I was sitting in the new Auris thinking just how much Toyota has upped its interior design game when I realised that I had to compare it to the latest Golf to properly evaluate just how far the car has come. So I organised a Golf 7 to test.
Is the Auris interior as good as that of the Golf 7? Well, yes and no. I still prefer the materials, layout, clever juxtaposing of finish and feel of the Golf, but it all comes at a price. To match the appointment and equipment level of the well-equipped as standard Auris, you need to spend quite a bundle. The result of my interior comparison is clear. On value for money, the Auris wins easily. But the Golf still has a little edge in terms of overall feel.
Ride and handling
Moving on to the ride; it quickly becomes evident that the handling qualities of the two cars and the results are similar. The Toyota has improved massively and is now similar to the Golf in performance, but the VW is still more of a driver’s car. It’s just a little sportier. Both are a pleasure to drive and handle very well. The Auris’s days of labouring behind the Golf are gone.
The Golf 1.4 TSI accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in a claimed 9.3 seconds and has a top speed of 203km/h. The “little” 1.4 produces 90kW and 200Nm. The Auris 1.6 develops 97kW and 160Nm to take it to 100km/h in a claimed 10.8 seconds and to a top speed of 195km/h.
They consume pretty much the same in everyday use. The Auris should give you well under 7 litres per 100km without too much trouble. I got 6.5 litres per 100km in the Golf, driving conservatively. In town, however, it goes up quite rapidly to around 7 litres per 100km. On the highway you can get under 6L/100km, though. Thus, even the fuel consumption is a close match.
Both cars sport all the safety kit you would expect from top level C segment cars. But the build quality of the Auris appears to have a slight edge on the Golf.
The price comparison is interesting. The basic price of the VW Golf 1.4 TSI is R269 500. The car I tested had R6 000 worth of optional extras. The Toyota Auris 1.6 XR costs R253 200, but has a full house of equipment as standard. Both cars come with a five-year or 90 000km service plan and three-year or 100 000km warranty, the Golf to 120 000km. There is at least a R20 000 price difference between the two cars. The Auris is much better equipped as standard. My advice would be to test them both if you’re shopping in this segment.
First published in Your Business magazine.