Review: Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019)
Spacious interior and fairly large boot with low loading lip. Feels well put together. Good ride quality. Hybrid version offers low CO2 and 60mpg.
Not a fun drive on 15-inch wheels. Sporty drivers don't like the hybrid's epicyclic transmission. Step in load area floor. Cat converter thefts.
Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019): At A Glance
The Toyota Auris is now in its second generation, the first model having replaced the Toyota Corolla – famously the most popular car in the world at one time, despite (or perhaps partly because of) its distinct lack of personality.
Despite Toyota’s best efforts, the original Auris largely picked up a character bypass from its predecessor. And although this follow up is a little easier on the eye inside and out, its main problem is that it inspires absolute indifference.
This is, of course, completely irrelevant to taxi drivers who are now graduating from dirty diesels to the Auris hybrid Touring Sport in droves because of its low CO2, 60mpg capability, phenomenal reliability and low maintenance and repair costs. The vast majority of Auris sold in the UK are hybrids.
Moving up through the trim levels, you come to a car that’s very well equipped, with alloys available from Icon upwards, while Business Edition includes ‘Toyota Touch’ multimedia with navigation, Bluetooth and DAB radio. Further up the range you’re looking at convenience features like dual-zone climate control and automatic wipers and lights – though, strangely, leather seats aren’t included even in the top-of-the-range model, but rather 'upgraded cloth'.
Regardless of trim the Auris is a very safe car, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and the full plethora of safety acronyms on its spec sheet. Of course it’s spacious too – but not excessively so in the class, with its 530-litre boot around the middle of the pack in pure volume terms. The Ford Focus Estate’s boot is just 476 litres, but the SEAT Leon ST boasts 587 litres, for example.
What does a Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019) cost?
Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?
One person’s class is another’s mundane, so it’s up to you what you make of the slab-faced, highly conservative nature of the Auris Touring Sports interior. Whatever you make of it, the understatement makes it easy to negotiate – unlike in, say, a Ford Focus, you won’t be ferreting around the dashboard for long here to find the button you’re after.
Icon models get stitched leather-effect trim for the dashboard and a centre console storage box cover, which does lift the ambience somewhat, but still can’t make it feel anywhere near ‘premium’.
There’s a good level of storage throughout, though, with the aforementioned box a large and square one, as per the glove box. The door pockets are fairly massive as well – big enough for a giant Starbucks mug or bottle of Irn-Bru. Similarly, the cupholders moulded into the centre console are American Drive-Thru proof, too.
The front chairs are built for comfort (even the sports ones in top-end models), but the downside is that their thick backrests eat into rear passenger knee room, especially with taller folk up front. If you’re a family buyer, especially with bulky rear-facing child seats to consider, that could be a problem.
Clearly, the main reason for buying an estate version of a hatchback is luggage practicality. The Auris Touring Sports fares okay on paper in pure volume terms plus Toyota has shifted the lower lip of the tailgate down compared to the hatchback for easier loading. The rear seats also fold completely flat with an easy lever tug.
However, the rear suspension eats into the boot sidewalls meaning you don’t get a perfect oblong and, a couple of bag hooks aside, it’s not the last word in carrying versatility – in that respect it feels more like a ‘hatchback plus’ than a proper estate car.
We’d avoid the entry-level Active spec unless you’re looking for the lowest list price possible – though that’s a false economy in many ways, because its lack of equipment will make it less desirable at sell-on. The sweet spot is Icon, which comes with alloy wheels, the touchscreen media system, DAB radio, Bluetooth and cruise control among its extras, but without veering into premium car price territory.
Child seats that fit a Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019) like to drive?
Four engines are available in the Auris Touring Sports - two diesels, two petrols and one petrol-electric hybrid. A 99PS 1.33-litre petrol kicks off the range, which sounds like too little for a load-hauling estate car – and is. That's largely because it’s got just 128Nm maximum torque and at a stratospheric 3800rpm. The sort of estate you have to empty before negotiating steep hills isn’t a very useful one.
Contrast that to the 116PS 1.2-litre turbo petrol, whose 185Nm torque peaks at 1,500rpm. That said, it’s the diesels that are the best all rounders, as usual. The 90PS 1.4 D-4D makes up in pulling power what it lacks in actual top-end power, with 205Nm from 1,800rpm, while the 1.6-litre feels very strong from the off, thanks to 270Nm.
The Hybrid only has 142Nm of the stuff, but it comes in at exactly zero rpm courtesy of electric drive. But while it feels quick on takeoff, it quickly runs out of steam as the 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor (with 136PS combined) are choked by the CVT automatic gearbox.
This is a drivetrain that’s fine at very low speeds and with a feathered throttle, but try to push it and its asthmatic nature and general din make the Auris genuinely unpleasant. Toyota claims that a full battery will power the car for just over one mile at speeds of up to 30mph, but in our experience the car never wants to, starting the petrol engine virtually as soon as the car pulled away.
What you’re left with is a lacklustre 1.8-litre petrol engine hauling along a heavy battery and electric motor, which is clearly not conducive to good fuel economy.
Still, 83gkm CO2 means the taxman will think you quite the planet liberator, so you’ll spend nothing in VED and very little in BIK tax, should you run your Auris Touring Sports as a company car.
Both the diesels return around 70mpg average, and the Hybrid around 80mpg. You’ll achieve 20- to 25 per cent less than in real life, according to our Real MPG figures, but that's still decent for a compact estate.
The driving position is never less than comfortable, with lots of seat and wheel adjustment, plenty of headroom and a foot well that includes a large left footrest. That, coupled with the distinctly non-dynamic character of the Touring Sports, makes this a good motorway car.
And indeed, the long-distance market is clearly one that Toyota has aimed at here, because the Auris is much more suited to sitting at 70mph on the motorway than being at pace on a back road. The steering is light, the suspension is better at subduing motorway expansion joints than it is minimising body roll during cornering, plus all the engines are noisy when thrashed but nicely quiet at a top gear cruise. Or a generally low-rev one, in the case of the CVT.
If you want to drive enthusiastically at all, the Auris is not for you in any guise – this is a comfortable, utilitarian car for those that want reliability and relatively low costs.
|1.2 Turbo||51–59 mpg||10.4 s||112–126 g/km|
|1.2 Turbo CVT||52–59 mpg||10.8 s||110–122 g/km|
|1.3 VVT-i||59 mpg||-||130 g/km|
|1.33 VVT-i||50–59 mpg||13.2 s||130 g/km|
|1.4 D-4D||50–69 mpg||12.7–13.0 s||106–112 g/km|
|1.6||46–46 mpg||10.0–10.5 s||140–143 g/km|
|1.6 automatic||46–47 mpg||11.2 s||139–142 g/km|
|1.6 D-4D||66–67 mpg||10.7 s||108–110 g/km|
|1.8 Hybrid||66–81 mpg||11.2 s||81–92 g/km|
|Hybrid||71 mpg||11.2 s||92 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Toyota Auris Touring Sports (2013 – 2019)
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.
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.
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