Toyota Auris hatchback
Price £15,645 - £24,845
- Impressive reliability
- Low running costs
- Good practicality
- Unexciting design
- Patchy interior quality
- Automatic gearbox can get noisy
At a glance
“As a family workhorse, the Toyota Auris makes a great deal of sense. It’s practical, reasonably-priced, comfortable and cheap to run.”
The Toyota Auris is a good car that competes against some very good rivals. This means that it doesn’t really shine in any particular area and you’re always able to make more of a case for some of its rivals – cars like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and SEAT Leon.
However, that's no reason to discount it, because it has some very good attributes. It has temptingly low running costs – especially from the diesel and hybrid models – and, if you’re buying a car from a spreadsheet (as a company car, for instance) then it certainly does make sense.
Practicality-wise it's about par-for-the course of family hatchbacks such as this. The boot measures 360 litres with the rear seats up and there's plenty of space in the rear seats for a couple of adults, while three children should fit reasonably comfortably, too.
You get a choice of petrol, diesel and hybrid power and, for its fuel efficiency figures alone, the hybrid is the one we’d have. It’ll return up to 80.7mpg and emits considerably less than 100g/km of CO2 – making it road tax exempt and very affordable as a company car.
If you’d prefer a conventional petrol engine, then the new 1.2-litre turbo is the one we’d choose. It's powerful, smooth and reasonably economical, while the 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel offers a good blend between performance and economy too. If at all possible, we’d recommend avoiding the CVT automatic gearbox as this can make the car exceptionally noisy and it saps power, too.
The Auris has been designed to be a relaxed, mile-munching cruiser, rather than an entertainer in the corners. The seats are comfortable and the ride soaks up the majority of the lumps and bumps, but without ridiculously soft suspension.
It's also well equipped, with all models coming with air-conditioning, a USB port and electric windows, while our favourite Icon trim is fitted with niceties like alloy wheels and DAB digital radio.
Reliability shouldn’t be an issue – it came a highly respectable 28th out of 200 for reliability in our 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey – and the five-year/100,000-mile warranty should give you peace of mind as well. Nor will safety be a problem – Euro NCAP gave it the full five stars, with an impressive 92% adult occupancy score and an 84% child occupancy rating, both of which are excellent scores.
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