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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The Toyota Auris is practical, comfortable and well built

Against The Toyota is let down by its uninspiring dynamics and design

Verdict Capable, but disappointing follow-up to the excellent Corolla

Go for… 1.6 T2 5dr

Avoid… 2.2 D-4D SR180 3dr

Toyota Auris Hatchback
  • 1. It drives decently enough, with good grip in corners and limited body roll, but the steering is vague and the ride fails to smooth out the poorest road surfaces.
  • 2. The Auris is spacious inside for a small family car and there’s decent legroom for passengers in the rear middle seat.
  • 3. Go for the five-door version rather than the three-door car. They’re easier to find, more practical and not much more expensive.
  • 4. The 1.4-litre diesel is the champion of cheap motoring, with an average of 56.5mpg and emissions of 132g/km.
  • 5. The Auris isn’t upholding Toyota’s reputation for reliability, with many owners describing their cars as merely average.
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Toyota Auris Hatchback full review with expert trade views

When compared with the Corolla – the car it replaced – the Auris feels rather bland. It’s not too bad in any particular area, but in totality it’s a long way behind class leaders.

It drives decently enough, with good grip in corners and limited body roll, but the steering is vague and the ride fails to smooth out the poorest road surfaces. It’s the same story with wind-, engine- and road noise: it’s not terrible, but you would expect better.

The Auris is spacious inside for a small family car and there’s decent legroom for passengers in the rear middle seat. There’s also reasonable headroom, and the rear seats can be reclined. The boot is smaller than you'd expect, but is still a reasonable size and shape.

Trade view

A good buy, but it's not worth paying extra over cars such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Originally, there was a 96bhp 1.4-litre petrol, but that was replaced with a 99bhp 1.33-litre at the end of 2008. The latter comes with an engine stop-start system to help achieve an average of 48.7mpg. The 122bhp 1.6-litre petrol is noticeably more powerful and more prolific on the used market. Of the diesels, the 151bhp 1.4-litre unit is smooth and efficient, but not so easy to find as the 124bhp 2.0-litre. There’s also a 2.2-litre T180 model with 175bhp.

The entry-level T2 model gets air-conditioning, front electric windows, remote locking and a CD player, while the T3 has alloys, climate and cruise controls. TR models add Bluetooth and a CD multichanger, while SR gives the Auris a sporty edge. T-Spirit models add a few extras, but nothing you couldn't do without.

Go for the five-door version rather than the three-door car. They’re easier to find, more practical and not much more expensive.

The MultiMode automatic gearbox – available on the 1.6-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel – is rare on the used market, and not popular with owners.

Trade view

A spacious and practical small family hatchback with low running costs.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The 1.4-litre isn’t as cheap to run as you might imagine. With an official average of 40.9mpg and emissions of 163g/km it’s eclipsed by the newer 1.33-litre with 48.7mpg and 135g/km. Even the 1.6-litre gives it a run for its money, at 39.8mpg and CO2 of 166g/km.

The 1.4-litre diesel is the champion of cheap motoring, with an average of 56.5mpg and emissions of 132g/km, while the 2.0-litre does 52.3mpg and emits 144g/km. The T180 manages 47mg and 158mpg. Insurance is affordable with the range starting at group 10 and rising to group 13 for the mainstream models. The most powerful models make it to group 18. Servicing costs are also reasonable.

Trade view

A good buy, but it's not worth paying extra over cars such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The Auris isn’t upholding Toyota’s reputation for reliability, with many owners describing their cars as merely average.

Despite the limited number of automatic models on the road they’ve generated a relatively large amount of complaints. A reluctance to change gear, hesitation when accelerating and jerky shifts have all been reported.

There’s a well-documented issue with squealing front brakes, too. Toyota has acknowledged the problem, but assured owners that it doesn’t affect braking performance. However, dealers have a service action to resolve the squeals if the car is still under warranty.

There are also reports of some clutches failing, along with problems with the handbrake slipping when the car’s parked on a slope. Some owners complain of gearbox 'chatter' while driving. Dealers often say this is normal, but gearboxes have also been replaced under warranty. There have been some recalls for the Auris, involving the brakes and the steering.

Trade view

A spacious and practical small family hatchback with low running costs.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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