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Toyota Auris: Test Drive Review

Date: 10 January 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £20,590
Key rival: Ford Focus

The Auris - Toyota's lower medium stalwart - has received a complete overhaul.

The styling has been brought into line with recently updated models such as the Avensis, and this time around the hybrid version is available from launch.

The car now sits 55mm lower and is up to 75kg lighter than its forebear depending on the engine and trim combo. That's not enough to make it interesting to drive, but improvements have been made, and there is a noticeable lack of body roll in bends while it also seems a little lighter on its feet than before.

Ride comfort and refinement are by far its strongest dynamic suits. There is a little wind noise from the A-pillars at higher speeds but save for that, the cabin is quiet, although this can be counteracted by some of the engines. Suspension updates render it very comfortable and well able to handle rough surfaces, too.

BusinessCar tested the hybrid and the 1.6-litre petrol variants. You're looking at a P11D of £19,940 for the cheapest hybrid next to a range starting price of £14,440, but the lack of shove and the racket it creates at

A-road speeds and above won't go down well with motorway drivers, nor will you see the economy benefits with that kind of usage. It's much better at a lower speed though, with silent operation and more immediate responses from the electric motor.

While it's cheaper than the hybrid, the 1.6-litre petrol won't figure highly on fleet sales charts. It needs to be worked hard and offers neither the cost attraction of the hybrid nor the long-legged appeal of a diesel.

Despite being unavailable to test, there will be a 1.4-litre diesel Auris available from launch. With 89hp, it's unlikely to be potent, but it promises 99g/km and 74.3mpg and may better cater for higher-mileage drivers. There's also an estate coming in 2013, which will be the first on the market with hybrid power.

Toyota boasts that this is the only car in the lower medium sector with a hybrid drivetrain, and that the resultant 87g/km and 74.3mpg figures can't be bettered in the class. However, the best economy and emissions only come with cars on 15-inch wheels, as 17s rob 4g/km and 1.9mpg respectively.

It lacks the evergreen appeal of rivals such as the VW Golf and the Ford Focus, and it's certainly not dripping with character, but it's hard to knock the Auris from a logical and cost perspective. Toyota's five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and its recently instigated fleet charter promising top service from its business specialist dealers make the Auris even more of a logical choice.

Toyota Auris Hybrid Icon satnav
P11D price£20,590
Model price range£14,440-£23,540
Residual Value32.3%
National Insurance£881
Fuel consumption74.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 87g/km (10%)
BIK 20/40% per month£34/£69
Service interval10,000 miles
Insurance (1-50)group 7
Warranty5yrs 100,000 mls
Boot space360/1200 litres
Engine size/power1798cc 98hp (plus 36hp
electric motor)
Top speed/0-62mph112mph/10.9secs
On sale December 2012
VerdictUninteresting, but excellent
costs make it a sound
fleet purchase


Uninteresting, but excellent costs make it a sound fleet purchase