Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Toyota Auris - 2nd Report Update
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Toyota Auris - 2nd Report Update

Date: 10 July 2007   |   Author:

Auris outside glass building

Glastonbury came, Glastonbury went and the Auris got through the mud...

10 JULY 2007
Mileage 4642
Forecast CPM 25.3p
Actual CPM 28.5p
The Auris’ talents came to the fore at 6am on the day after the Glastonbury festival ended. The list stretched to an irritation-free car with a decent boot that doesn’t mind days left in a muddy field.

12 JUNE 2007
Mileage 3714
Forecast CPM 25.2p
Actual CPM 28.5p
The gearshift indicator is irritating everyone who drives our Auris. Descriptions range from “irritating” and “gimmicky” to things we can’t print. And no-one obeys it anyway.

Main Report

It's sometimes easy to overlook the simplicity of life with our Toyota Auris. Having joined us in March, the black five-door hatch has now turned its wheels through almost 3500 miles, with a pretty much universal warm reception.

That's because there's little not to like, although the lack of character that typifies Toyota models means the Auris isn't amassing an enthusiastic fan club either. It just does everything well, in the same way as you don't notice the good work done by a decent fridge or oven.

Toyota_Auris_LTT 30.05.07.gif

However, a week in the range-topping Auris T180 got me thinking. Apart from a much gutsier diesel engine and a couple of bits of nicer interior trim, you're not necessarily getting a great deal more for a car in excess of £4500 more than our 1.6-litre petrol T3. A couple of extra gadgets like cruise control, auto lights and wipers, and dual-zone climate control are thrown in, but I'm quite happy with the workmanlike simplicity of our car, and the extra cash-in-pocket that comes with it.

Especially as the T180 suffered in terms of ride quality, while our Auris continues to impress, particularly around town where the smooth ride combines with decent visibility, well-weighted steering and nice gearshift (although some have complained about the shift quality from second to third gear). From the outside, it's also tricky to tell which is our modest 124PS model and which is the 180PS diesel.

In general, we're still loving the interior, despite one or two people criticising the funky handbrake design. The only complaints we've got are small and maybe say more about the lack of any major problems. The nannying upshift indicator [1] that's a) the same colour as the indicators on the dashboard and b) will ask you to shift down even if you're in neutral is irritating, and the ashtray is the same size as a small flask and either fits in to the armrest cupholder [2] in the centre or by the passenger door [3], both inconvenient, although as cars are about to be smoke-free zones, the ashtray was only being used as storage anyway.