Toyota Auris (2013 – 2019) Review

Toyota Auris (2013 – 2019) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you’re after an efficient, reliable and British-built family hatchback, the Toyota Auris is a fine choice. It isn’t exciting, but it impresses in other areas.

+Excellent reliability record and long warranty, hybrid version is economical and efficient, easy to drive and live with.

-Lacks excitement, early engines are disappointing, sombre cabin lacks flair.

Insurance Groups are between 7–15
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

Launched in 2013, the Auris rivals the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra, but the availability of a hybrid powertrain gives it a USP in a crowded market. If the name is unfamiliar, it’s best to view the Auris as Toyota’s attempt to inject some desirability into the dull but worthy Corolla. It kind of worked, but it speaks volumes that Toyota has since ditched the Auris in favour of the Corolla. 

The Toyota Auris is a car for non-car people, right? The kind of family hatchback you buy when you want to get from A to B with the minimal amount of fuss. A car lacking in flair, imagination and excitement.

Maybe so, but who’s to say that the non-car people have got it wrong? Research the purchase of a family hatchback or compact estate car in the way you would a dishwasher or refrigerator, and you’ll almost certainly be advised to buy the Toyota Auris. It’s efficient, reliable, robust and built to last. It’s also a bit of a used car bargain.

Launched in 2013, the second-generation Auris took the best bits of the original car and added a little spice.

It’s not going to turn many heads, but the styling is more striking than before. Inside, it remains a sombre affair, with a tall dashboard and a complete absence of imagination. On the plus side, the quality is excellent, with the materials chosen for their hard-wearing qualities.

There are two versions: the Auris hatchback and the Auris estate, with the latter badged Touring Sports. Space is good without being exceptional, although the estate is the more practical of the pair. The cabin offers good levels of headroom and legroom, and while the middle seat is a bit tight, the absence of a transmission tunnel means there’s plenty of room for your feet.

Equipment levels are good if you avoid the entry-level Active trim. This was ditched later in the car’s life, but we’d still recommend avoiding the Icon trim. Icon Tech and Design models offer the best balance of price and equipment.

You might be wondering how the Toyota Auris manages to stand out in a market dominated by the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra.

One word: hybrid. The Auris Hybrid gives the car a unique selling point, offering the efficiency of a diesel engine with the smooth running of a petrol car. It should come as no surprise to discover that by the end of the production run, sales were dominated by the hybrid.

The Auris Hybrid is like a Toyota Prius in a more conventional suit, which will appeal to buyers who don’t want to wear their green badge on their sleeve.

Alternatively, petrol and diesel versions are available, including a diesel sourced from BMW as part of the 2015 facelift. The later engines are better, with the 1.2-litre petrol easier to recommend than the earlier 1.33 unit.

Regardless of the engine, the Toyota Auris is not an exciting car to drive. Safe, predictable and competent are the watchwords – for flair and excitement you need to look elsewhere. On the plus side, the Auris is comfortable and easy to drive.

Because production stopped in 2019, it’s no longer possible to buy a new Toyota Auris. The majority of used examples are powered by the excellent hybrid system. We’d recommend the Auris Hybrid for its efficiency and economy, and you needn’t pay more than £20,000. That’s the price of a new Ford Fiesta. Maybe the non-car people know more about cars than you think.

Ask Honest John

Should I use an independent garage to service my car?
"I purchased a 2018 Toyota Auris last year - just over three years old. The main dealers I purchased from have called me to book it in for service and MoT. Apparently, this is a major service, and will cost £340 plus MoT on top, so around £400 - eye watering! I called an alternative family operated established garage for a comparative price and the major service was £165, and they'd do a reduced price MoT if I serviced it there. I bought the car at 49,073 miles and it has now done 53,500 approx, so only 4,500 miles over the last year. When I challenged the price, and told them of the alternative, he said that spark plugs alone cost £50, and that for that price, I could not expect the other garage to do as proficient a job as the main dealer would. There are some issues with damp/condensation inside the vehicle, and in a headlight unit as well, and tracking/pull/alignment so I might need these things done under warranty. I feel obliged to go there, so I can hope to maintain the goodwill for sorting these issues out. I would greatly value some opinions on what I should do please, including whether I invalidate my Toyota warranty/or should worry about loss of goodwill from the main dealer if I go to the alternative (non-main dealer) garage for servicing?"
You can have the car serviced outside of the dealer network and maintain the warranty. However, the independent garage must service the car in accordance with Toyota's service schedule and use approved parts and fluids - this must all be shown on an itemised invoice. If you keep the car within the Toyota dealer network you may qualify for the Relax service-activated warranty, which will continue until the vehicle reaches 10-years of age or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best car for taxi work?
"I have a budget of around £10k to buy a car for taxi work. On average, I do around 25,000 miles a year. I'm after a vehicle that's 2017-onwards. What car would you recommend for me?"
If you spend a lot of time driving around town or in city centres, a hybrid might be a good choice. We'd recommend a Toyota Auris – it'll be cheap to run and very reliable, while there's an estate (Touring Sports) model available if you need more space. Otherwise, if most of your miles are long-distance airport runs (for example), we'd recommend a diesel. A Skoda Octavia would be a good option.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Do any other carmakers use Toyota engines?
"Is there another carmaker that uses Toyota's engines (apart from Lexus)? I'm looking to buy a used (2012 or later) Auris for the Mrs but they are very pricey. I want Toyota reliability on a budget. Is this possible?"
A few niche car manufacturers (like Lotus) use Toyota engines but none that will sell a substitute to the Auris. Suzuki recently started selling the Swace, which is essentially a rebadged Corolla, but it's a fairly new car. You could consider a Honda Civic as an alternative – they're generally very reliable.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which is better - the Skoda Octavia or Toyota Auris?
"I'm wondering about the long-term prospects of a 2014 Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI DSG (which I'm being offered, at a low price) vs those of a 2015 Auris Hybrid (which I have). The Octavia is a few months older, but near enough half the mileage of the Auris (which itself has only done about 23,000 miles). The Octavia is mostly a higher spec and a sharper (if slightly less economical) drive. Would it be madness to swap my Auris for the Octavia?"
I'm a big fan of the Octavia - it's comfortable, practical and easy to drive. Toyota has a better reputation for reliability, but it was only marginally ahead of Skoda in our 2020 Satisfaction Index: The Octavia hatch and Octavia Estate both performed strongly for reliability in the list of best models:
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Toyota Auris (2013 – 2019) cost?