2012 Toyota Auris review
By Ian Lynas, 05th December 2012
Every 66 seconds a new Auris comes off the production line at the Toyota plant in Derbyshire but thankfully Toyota are now putting emotion, as well as volume into its production. The new GT86 is a good example of this.
The Auris is not another GT86 but it does provide the range with a compact hatchback that is well engineered, has greater road presence and offers maximum choice to the buyer.
Designed with the European market in mind with the use of 'customer clinics'; Toyota appears to be listening to and taking note of what customers want.
The main focus in the design was on weight management, chassis design, clever packaging and improved engines, which resulted in a better equipped car that is cheaper to run. There is also sleeker styling, improved driving dynamics, a much higher quality interior design and changes that deliver better fuel efficiency.
I had the opportunity to take the wheel of a petrol and a hybrid version in Portugal and I found that a more rigid body, enhanced steering and resultant comfy ride makes for an altogether pleasant driving experience.
Petrol, diesel and hybrid engines are available, providing the customer with maximum choice. The 1.4 litre D-4D engine develops 89bhp and has Stop & Start technology as standard for the first time. 74.3mpg is quoted and the CO2 figure is just 99g/km.
The 1.33 litre petrol engine offers 98bhp, 52.3mpg and 125g/km CO2, while the 1.6 Valvematic engine, which I tried, is available with either a six-speed manual transmission, or Toyota‘s Multidrive S CVT. It develops 130bhp and can return 47.9mpg.
Sales are likely to be evenly split between the two fuel types but in our market, we may still prefer diesel. The new Hybrid generates class-leading emissions of 87g/km and this performance will deliver significant cost of ownership benefits, thanks to emissions-linked lower taxation rates.
Toyota‘s Hybrid Synergy Drive system also brings lower routine service and maintenance charges.
The latest Auris scores highly with aesthetics and now possesses the new Toyota family look. The new headlamp design incorporates LED daytime running lights.
Length has been extended by 30mm, there is more room for occupants and boot size is good. Also, access to the boot has been improved.
A wider-opening tailgate displays powerful convex and concave surfacing, is topped by an integral roof spoiler and flanked by new wrap-around rear combination lamps which reinforce the shape of both the rear wings and the rear screen, as well as the strength of the shoulder area over the rear wheel arches.
Toyota has introduced a new grade structure for trim in the UK - Active, Icon, Sport and Excel. The Hybrid features new wheel designs, with 15 inch silver alloys on the Icon model and 17 inch graphite alloys on the Excel. There's also a choice of ten exterior colours, including new Avantgarde Bronze and Zenith Blue metallics with Pearl White, which is exclusive to the Hybrid.
Standard features on all versions include seven airbags, air conditioning, follow-me-home headlights, Hill-start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Control and LED daytime running lights as well as optional Toyota Touch & Go multimedia system with full map navigation and access to online content and applications.
New Intelligent Park Assist system calibrated for easier and significantly quicker operation is standard on Excel grade.
Depending on which model you decide to buy, prices range from £14,495 - £21,745 and residual values are predicted to be much better than the outgoing model.