What's the used Toyota Auris hatchback like?
Are you the kind of person who gets fed up reading motoring journalists banging on about a car’s character? The kind of person who thinks that’s all rubbish and is frankly interested only in finding a used car that will get you around dependably and quietly, with the minimum of hassle and the maximum of ease? If so, there’s a strong chance the Toyota Auris will be right up your street.
Toyota’s family cars have never been renowned for their ability to stir the soul or tingle the spine. But they are well known – and loved by millions of buyers – for their ability to provide unobtrusive, reliable transport with minimal fuss. This second-generation Auris was no different.
How the Auris drives depends on which version you choose, because the 1.3 petrol and 1.4 diesel versions had a less sophisticated suspension set-up that means they ride and handle more crudely. Together with their gutlessness, that puts both engine options firmly on the ‘avoid’ list.
The other two petrols and the 1.6 diesel offer a relatively smooth ride, although even these can be caught out by the odd sharp bump. They do offer safe, predictable handling, although if you push an Auris hard, you’ll find it flops over in corners and pushes its nose wide at the slightest provocation – this isn't much fun. These versions are at least quick enough for most drivers, though; the 1.2 turbo is, in particular, a real gem, being both gutsy and smooth.
Then there’s the hybrid model, which rides and handles much like the high-end petrols and diesels but accelerates rather differently. Its electric motor gives plenty of shove off the line, but at higher speeds you’ll notice that it feels rather lethargic – and you’ll find the petrol engine revving noisily any time you call for even moderate acceleration.
The Auris’s interior isn’t dull to look at, but the drab plastics make it feel a little cheap, as does the rather dated-feeling infotainment system. Still, at least all the switches and buttons are where you’d hope to find them, so everything’s easy enough to get to grips with.