Toyota Auris hatchback
Price £14,945 - £22,890
- Top-class reliability
- Decent practicality
- Cheap to run
- Bland styling
- Unexciting interior
- Noisy automatic gearbox
At a glance
"The Toyota Auris is a well-made family hatchback that’s reliable, practical and cheap to run."
The Toyota Auris might not strike you as the most interesting car the company has ever produced, but if you’re looking for a durable hatchback, with proven reliability and a hybrid model in the range, then Auris could well be the car for you. Nonetheless, it's got a tough battle on its hands against proven stalwarts of the small family hatchback class, including the close-to-perfect Volkswagen Golf and fun-to-drive Ford Focus.
The option of a hybrid model used to mark the Toyota Auris out from the competition, but that was before the arrival of the petrol-electric hybrid Volkswagen Golf GTE. Unlike the Golf, the Toyota can only run a few miles on electric power alone – most of the time its electric motor serves to boost the power of the petrol engine rather than replace it – but it can still return impressive fuel economy. For this reason, the hybrid is the Auris we recommend, but if you’re not willing to take the plunge into hybrid power there are conventional petrol and diesel models to choose from, too.
If you want a car that can put a smile on your face down a country road, then steer clear of the Auris. The Ford Focus is far more entertaining (it leads the class in this respect), but the VW Golf gets one over the Toyota, too. Forget about having fun, though, and the Auris is a quiet cruiser, even if the stiff suspension feels at odds with the relaxed nature of the rest of the car.
Interior space isn’t class-leading, but the Auris offers a bigger boot than the Ford Focus and comes close to matching the Volkswagen Golf's. The Toyota looks up-to-date inside, plus the interior feels solid and it's well equipped. Even the basic model has air-conditioning, central locking and front electric windows, while the top-of-the-range Excel adds cruise control and climate control, as well as front and rear parking sensors.
Frugal diesel, but the petrol-electric hybrid Auris is the model to go for
The Toyota Auris is a capable car, but you’re unlikely to enjoy driving it
Smart and well built, but the Toyota Auris can’t match the VW Golf’s interior
The Toyota Auris offers decent practicality, but it’s not class-leading
The Toyota Auris has a hard-won reputation for reliability and safety