Review: Toyota Auris (2007 – 2013)

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Rating:

Decent combination of ride and handling that might suit some people better than a harder sprung Golf or a Civic. A few inches taller than a Golf of Focus so easier to get in and out.

Dull, unadventurous styling.

Toyota Auris (2007 – 2013): At A Glance

The Auris is a decent enough looking car, a bit like a big Yaris, sitting on a long wheelbase and a few centimetres taller than the average C segment hatchback.

It's a bit more interesting inside, with a flying buttress arrangement housing the gearlever higher than most of us are used to, a commodious centre console and a flat rear floor making it a five seater which is genuinely comfortable for five.

Disappointingly, the ‘Optitron' digital dash is laid out with analogue circular instruments instead of the excellent central digital display of the Yaris that you don't have to re-focus from.

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What does a Toyota Auris (2007 – 2013) cost?

What's the Toyota Auris (2007 – 2013) like to drive?

The engine range includes a 1.4 petrol, a new 1.6 petrol, and 1.4, 2.0 litre and 2.2 litre diesels. Transmissions are 5-speed manual with the petrol engines and 1.4 diesel, optional ‘Multimode' automated clutch 5-speeders on the 1.6 petrol and 1.4 diesel, and 6-speed manuals for the 2.0 and 2.2 litre diesels. All engines are chain-cam. And all levels of trim include standard air-conditioning.

Prices start at £11,995 for the 1.4 petrol 3-door T2. But level out at a reasonable £12,995 for a special ‘TR' model 1.6 5-door aimed at the private market with a higher spec than the T3 model that lists at £1,000 more. A Multimode of the TR is £13,545, but 2.0 litre 126PS diesels are a price jump to £14,595 for the 5 door.

T3 is a level of trim, apparently aimed at fleets and likely to be discounted to fleet buyers, so of no interest to private buyers who get more for less with the TR. T-Spirit is the top trim level and T180 a special model with wishbone rather than twist-beam rear suspension and the punchy 177PS D-CAT diesel engine.

With limited numbers of cars available on the international launch I was only able to try the 2.0 litre diesel and the 1.6 Multimode, both in top-level T-Spirit trim.

The 2.0 litre D-4D 130 T-Spirit comes in at £16,495, plus £1,500 for Toyota's excellent satnav system. First impressions are you sit quite high. I levered the seat down to its lowest position but still felt I was sitting higher than I would be in a Focus or Golf.

Next impression was the comfort of the driving position. For me, everything was in the right place including the high set, quite long-throw gearlever. The T-Spirit is keyless, so pushbutton start, but the 2.0 chain cam diesel is unexpectedly noisy.

Its 127PS doesn't feel anything like the 130PS of the old Golf TDI PD 130, so definitely hasn't been rated conservatively. But, with an official combined consumption of 52.3mpg, a VED Band C diesel CO2 emission of 151g/km and Group 6 or 7 insurance rating, it makes up for that in running costs. MPH per 1,000rpm was 34, so it's decently long-legged. Tyre and road noise were low, but there was a bit of wind noise.

Off autopista, the electric power steering gives sufficient ‘feel' to promote confidence even if it was slightly fake feel, handling is much better than last generation Corolla and roadholding competent with understeer only apparent when deliberately provoked. It's a nice car and a better car than a Mk V Golf 1.9 105, with far better ride quality than a Golf 2.0GT TDI 140. Not quite up to the levels of competence of a Focus, a C4 or a 307, but easily the equal of a Civic.

Next day, we tried the 1.6 T-Spirit Multimode, at £15,445 plus £1,500 for the satnav. Since this is the only two pedal car available I thought I'd better check it out for the benefit of drivers graduating from the old Corolla 4-speed torque-converter auto.

The 124PS 1.6 Dual VVT-I is an all-new engine, revving much more smoothly than the old Corolla 1.6. But it needs to be because at only around 21mph per 1,000rpm in 5th it's very low geared.

Leaving it in ‘D. the box managed the difficult change from 1st to 2nd without jerking in light-throttle city conditions. But to control it properly on backroads I needed to switch to manual and use the steering wheel paddles. On the extremely sinuous off-autopista test route, left-foot braking into the turns, it did an excellent job. With a lighter engine up front the 1.6 petrol handled very well.

Not overtly sporty but neat, tidy and safe enough to give a keen driver plenty of pleasure. Much better than the more nose-heavy diesel. However, left to its own electronics, on the twisty multi-hairpinned route, the box was hopeless. Okay, not the sort of test the average automatic driver would put it to. But choosers should be aware this is not a torque converter automatic. Like the Honda Civic I-shift, unless you are just pootling round town, it needs to be driven with the paddleshifts rather than left in ‘D' to get on with it.

I'd say a vastly better car than the Corolla it replaces. Decent quality, with all chain-cam engines. Likely to be totally reliable. CAP predicts residual values after 3 years on a par with the Civic and ahead of the Golf. It's likable. It rides well. It's comfortable.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.33 VVT-i 48–49 mpg 13.1 s 135–136 g/km
1.4 D-4D 57–60 mpg 11.9–14.7 s 124–132 g/km
1.4 VVT-i 41 mpg 13.0 s 163 g/km
1.6 43–46 mpg 10.0–11.9 s 146–154 g/km
1.6 automatic 45 mpg 11.9 s 146 g/km
1.6 VVT-i 40 mpg 10.4 s 166 g/km
1.8 Hybrid 71–74 mpg 11.4 s 89–93 g/km
2.0 D-4D 52–54 mpg 10.3 s 138–144 g/km
2.2 D-4D 46 mpg 8.8 s 163 g/km
2.2 D-4D SR180 47 mpg 8.1 s 158 g/km
2.2 D-4D T180 46 mpg 8.1 s 164 g/km
2.2 D-4D Tourer 50 mpg 9.2 s 149 g/km

Real MPG average for a Toyota Auris (2007 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

84%

Real MPG

29–68 mpg

MPGs submitted

814

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Toyota Auris (2007 – 2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best car to buy for £3000?

I’m looking to buy a reliable second-hand car for roughly £3000. Three or five doors and a 1.4-litre engine. What would be a good make to consider?
A Toyota Yaris or Auris would be a good choice - they're both very reliable cars with low running costs. Also consider a Honda Jazz or Ford Fiesta.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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