Toyota Auris XR review

Toyota Auris XR review

Auris XR

Auris XR

Toyota entered the hatch market with the Corolla hatch in 1984 based on the FF (front engine, front wheel drive) 5th generation family size Corolla range which also included more sporty rear wheel drive models.

Today Toyota makes many different hatchback models including the very small Aygo, the compact Yaris and the family sized Auris.

The C segment which includes the medium family cars like the Auris comprises compact family hatches (30%) and sedans (70%) but is under pressure from compact SUVs which are like little station wagons on tall wheels.

The present version of the Auris is an example of just how good today’s car design and engineering is. It simply does everything so well and ticks so many boxes.

⊗ Good fuel consumption.

Toyota Auris XR at Lourensford Estate.

Toyota Auris XR at Lourensford Estate.

⊗ Excellent road manners.

⊗ Solid build quality.

⊗ Comfortable interior.

⊗ Comprehensively equipped.

⊗ Safe.

⊗ A pleasant car to drive, with a fun dimension.

The electric lime green XR Auris we got to test certainly stood out on account of its colour. But it also stands out because of its design and styling. And value for money.

Toyota_Auris-etc-011-DashI particularly like the design of the dashboard. It reminds one of an aircraft dash, but in a good technical way, not the fake styling of some other brands. The interior is really pleasant and well thought out, with plenty of storage nooks. Space is actually quite good. The boot easily passes the pram test and is surprisingly big for a hatch.
In the Auris, Toyota has caught up with VW and Ford in respect of the perceived quality and I think may exceed them in the actual quality of materials used and feel of the switchgear.
The drivability is more sprightly than sporty. It goes well and does pack a satisfying dollop of power and good almost sporty road manners. It is not a GTi or STi wannabe, rather a well behaved car with a slightly mischievous streak.
Toyota claims 0 to 100km/h in 10 seconds. In reality acceleration is on par with the competition and more than good enough.

I got 7.1 Litre/100km in Auris-Xr-Vergelegen-094-flankmixed driving, which implies that 6L/100km on the open road is more than likely. If you drive really carefully you will be able to improve on these figures.

Resale values for Toyota hatches have always been good, and I think you can expect the same or better for this range.
The competition in this niche of the market is fierce and several cars are deserving of consideration. I would recommend testing the Focus and Mazda3 before deciding.

Prices start at R223 700 for the base X version right up to R360 300 for the Hybrid. The model we tested was the XR at R287 700.

Warranty is 3 years/100000 km. Sevice plan is 5 years/90 000 km.

Also consider the VW Golf , Kia Cerato, Hyundai i30, Peugeot 308, Ford Focus and Mazda3

Auris-Xr-Vergelegen-082-butt

 

Auris 1.6 vs Golf 1.4 TSi

Hatch match
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.

Toyota Auris 1.6

Toyota Auris 1.6

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.

Golf 7 1.4 Tsi

Golf 7 1.4 Tsi

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.