Toyota has emerged as one of the most successful motor brands, with the Corolla standing out as its best selling vehicle. The Auris was released to ride on the popularity of the Corolla, sporting a similar size and make up to its famous predecessor. How it measures up, however, to the motor brand’s name is another story.
The Auris boasts of a slightly taller dimension compared to regular vehicles. Below its two-box shape rests a front suspension, 16 inch alloy wheels, and the back’s torsion beam. Apart from keeping the essentials, the Auris’ new height frees up more interior space.
The interior sports several appealing features: from quality build, an appealing instrument binnacle, and a raised gear lever console. The cabin offers more than enough space for four adult shoulder and heads, along with one person to squeeze in at the back seat. There’s also ample space in the boot with its 354 litres capacity. Although Toyota describes this measurement for low load height, it actually provides more space than expected.
In terms of performance, the Toyota Auris comes with three choices: a diesel, two petrols, or a petrol-electric hybrid. The 1.33 petrol entry-level engine packs in 99bhp, providing ample performance as it can go to 100bhp and 97lb ft. Expect the car to go from zero to 62mph in just 13.1 seconds. Its top speed at 109mph isn’t too bad for an entry-level engine. You’ll want to go for the 1.6-litre valvematic petrol engine, though for an open road situation.
Although the interior provides comforts for the drivers and passengers, its other features fail in terms of function and practicality. First, there’s the impractical MPV shape. Then there’s the overly dramatic console—at first glance it acts as a central design. But users will eventually see that’s all there is to it; the space beneath is a large waste.
Compared to its competitors, the Auris’ ride and handling isn’t as smooth as it should be. Other family cars sustain a more precise and smoother performance for bumps along the road. Refinement is another major issue. Petrol engines make the ride noisy when going at motorway speeds, compared to the quieter diesel on cruising rides. But the diesel engine gets noisy even while going about town. The quietest option would be the hybrid for gentler rides, but go any faster and the rev overwhelms with its sudden soar. Road noise at coarse areas and wind noise also tend to distract the driver.
The car’s overall weight is another serious impediment to its ride and drive power. At 1380 kg, the Auris’ power to weight ratio is limited at 85bhp/tonne. As a result, the car doesn’t feel too fast. The remaining 1.4-litre diesel engine, after the Auris dropped the 2.2-litre D-4D and 2.0-litre engines, can only manage through motorway traffic and light roads. Otherwise it coarses when there’s a need for acceleration. Manual choices include 1.4 and 1.6-litre engines plus the six-speed manual or MultiMode automated manual. The MultiMode is adequate but tends to slow down when you go into automatic mode. Little is done to improve the overall driving experience.
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