- 5-star NCAP safety rating
- Cheap to insure
- Not much fun to drive
- Interior quality isn’t the finest
- Automatic gearboxes are noisy
Solid but uninspiring family hatchback
The Toyota Auris is the Japanese manufacturer’s family hatchback offering, designed to compete in a crowded market with key rivals such as the Ford Focus, the Nissan Pulsar, and the Vauxhall Astra. First introduced in 2006, replacing the outgoing Corolla, the Auris is a solid, if unspectacular family car. One advantage that the Auris has over its rivals is its hybrid option. Toyota is famed for its eco-technology, and the hybrid on offer in the Auris is both practical, green, and fuel efficient. This is enough to attract some buyers, though it fails to excel in any other area.
The second generation Auris, introduced in 2012, features a more luxurious interior, as well as a lower ride height.
Solid, but lacking in quality
The family hatchback market is one of the hardest markets to stand out in. With so many rivals offering exceptional interior quality, with the Volkswagen Golf setting the benchmark, Toyota have found it difficult to live up to these standards. It’s still a solid package, but it’s far from ground-breaking.
The dashboard of the Auris is a well-designed affair, and feels quite solid. Unfortunately, the materials used throughout are a little disappointing. There are soft-touch materials on show, but look further down, and on the side panels, and you’ll meet hard plastics that are a little unpleasant. The gloss finish that sweeps across the dash looks impressive, but again the materials used feel cheap.
Compared to most of its main rivals, the Auris lacks a little in boot space. With 360 litres, it’s smaller than the Volkswagen Golf, the Seat Leon, and the Skoda Octavia, though it is a little bigger than the Ford Focus. There’s enough room for most family needs, and there’s an adjustable floor for added practicality.
Spec levels in the Auris are roughly the same as in all of the major competitors. Entry-level Active trim comes with climate control, electric windows and mirrors, and Bluetooth connectivity. The pick of the range though is the Icon trim, which adds alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, rearview camera, a DAB radio, and a 7” touchscreen to control the infotainment system on board.
Overall the inside of the Auris is solid, but unspectacular. Build quality is a little disappointment, especially compared to rivals, but there’s decent space, and a good level of standard kit.
Competent handling, decent refinement
The Toyota Auris is some way off its close rivals when it comes to driving experience. It’s not as fun to drive as a Focus, nor is at as refined as a Golf. It is a decent package, though it’s far from stimulating.
If all that you require from your car is it to be composed and safe, then the Auris will more than likely meet your needs. But for keen drivers, the Auris is going to disappoint. Handling is predictable, without being engaging, and there’s enough grip to keep you stuck to the road in all weathers, but not enough for you to feel confident throwing it into hairpins. It’s far from a driver’s car, but it is solid.
Ride refinement in the Auris is again a little disappointing. There’s quite a bit of body roll around corners, which won’t be good for anyone who suffers from travel sickness. The suspension system does cope well with all but the worst of road surfaces and potholes, but it’s nowhere near as composed as a Golf.
Gearbox options in the Auris come in three guises, a 6-speed manual, a CVT automatic, and an optional Multidrive S automatic, available only on the 1.6 Valvematic. The six speed manual is actually pretty decent, though automatic options are quite noisy, and cause feedback into the cabin, making both the steering wheel and the pedals buzz. Thankfully this gearbox only features on the hybrid model.
A mixed bag, some impress, whilst others feel dated
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Auris, you’ve got three options: petrol, diesel, or petrol-hybrid. The 1.3 litre petrol, and 1.4 litre diesel options are pretty rough going, but the 1.2 litre petrol is decent, and the hybrid is great for eco-conscious buyers.
If it’s power that you want from your Auris, you’re probably going to be disappointed. The fastest engine in the range is the 1.6 litre petrol unit found in the V-matic model. With 132bhp, and a 0-62mph time of 10 seconds, it’s not a car that’s going to make the hairs on your neck stand up. It’s reasonably pacy though, and should cope with motorways and country roads with ease.
The standout option for those concerned with the welfare of the planet is the the 1.8 litre electric hybrid. With just 79g/km of C02, you’ll certainly be doing your bit, and with up to 76.3mpg, you’ll save yourself money on fuel. That said, real-life fuel efficiency tests yielded results that fall way below that mark.
For money savers then, the most economical option is the diesel powered 1.4 litre D-4D. It’s not the most refined of engines, but you can get up to 80mpg, which should make it a popular option for regular motorway drivers.
Engine options in the Auris are ultimately decent, without really standing out. There’s good fuel efficiency throughout the range, though all engines could do with a little bit more power. If you plan on sticking around town, go for 1.2 litre petrol, motorway drivers should opt for low-powered diesels, and eco-conscious buyers should go with the hybrid, though shouldn’t expect the fuel economy stated in the brochures.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, good standard equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the Toyota Auris easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 92% for adult protection, and 84% for child occupant protection, it’s a pretty safe car, though rivals such as the Seat Leon eclipse these figures. There’s also lots of safety kit as standard. You’ll get seven airbags, stability control, and hill start assist even with entry-level models. All in all the Auris is a very safe car for you and your family.
Good value day-to-day, so long as you avoid the cost of new car depreciation
The Toyota Auris is a reasonably cheap car to run, no matter which model you choose to go for. Figures are far from class-leading however, with the Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon in particular offering better value. C02 emissions are reasonably low throughout the range, with the hybrid model in particular excelling. You’ll be paying zero road tax, though fuel consumption stats are in reality some way off those stated in the brochures.
When it comes to insurance costs, the Auris actually scores quite well. No model in the range is extortionately expensive. The cheapest Auris to insure is the 1.33 Dual VVTi Active, which sits in group 7, whilst the most expensive is the range-topping 1.6 V-Matic Icon+, which is in group 16. Overall though the Auris is reasonable when it comes to insurance costs.
Depreciation is one area that particularly affects the Auris. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Toyota Auris is a family hatchback that is solid but uninspiring. There is no area in which the Auris excels, making some rivals seem like more viable options. Nevertheless, Toyota’s are known for their impeccable reliability record, which is enough to put the Auris’ name into the ring. If you’re looking for an engaging driving experience however, you’re better off looking rivals from other brands.
Buying a used Toyota Auris online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Toyota Auris for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Auris. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Toyota Auris online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Auris? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Toyota Auris, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Auris, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Toyota to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.