Our cars update: Toyota Auris

  • Long distance love affair
  • Good economy on motorway
  • Driver's seat lacked comfort on long trip
Car tested Toyota Auris 2.0 D-4D T3
List price £15,955
Target price £14,549
Run by Jim Holder, Deputy editor, Whatcar.com
Tested for for 10 months/11,300 miles

Love at last! After 10 months, I’ve finally fallen for my Auris. Well, sort of. Previously slated for its average looks, performance and refinement, it won me over on a 1600-mile round trip to Orkney, followed by a couple of 600-mile runs to Wales.

With fuel prices soaring, running costs have become more important than ever. Despite loading the Auris to the gills with a wife, baby and all the accompanying paraphernalia, it’s starred by averaging up to 58mpg on the motorway.

That’s a little short of the official out-of-town figures but, given our excess baggage, it’s impressively close. One word of caution, though: we achieved our best economy by far at a steady 60mph, but watched it plummet as low as 45mpg if we went faster on the motorways.

These long-distance trips also highlighted a few other aspects of the Auris I’d previously overlooked. You can fit a surprising amount of luggage on the flat floor below the rear passenger seats, and there’s a useful sliding storage tray beneath the front passenger seat.

Not so impressive was the comfort of the driver’s seat. While it hadn’t presented any problems on shorter journeys, it became uncomfortable over longer trips – albeit only when I sat there for more than 200 miles in a day.

Any aches and pains soon passed when I took the Auris in for its 10,000-mile service. Currie Motors in Isleworth (020 8568 4343) had previously seen the car when the door latches tightened up and, once again, their efforts were top-notch, despite the service area being rammed with customers.

It wasn’t just the nice people that put a smile on my face, though. A bill of £127.93 for the service, including an oil change and the use of a courtesy car, was good value.

The only minor niggle came when I had to hang around to pick the car up, despite being phoned to say that it was ready. I was told the interior of the car was being cleaned – but when I got in, they appeared to have given up halfway through the job.

Still, it’ll take more than that to cool my new-found affection for the Auris. In most areas it fails to deliver many smiles, but while it’s keeping pounds in my bank account,
I’ll accept some compromises.

What Car? says
Decent economy makes Auris more appealing.
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