Evolution rather than revolution with Auris
First impressions are that this car is an evolutionary upgrade rather than a revolution
Toyota Auris 1.4 D-4D Luna
Model:Auris 1.4 D-4D Luna
Date Reviewed:May 24, 2013
Unlike its rivals, Toyota is not pushing technology in its family hatchback. Where others offer lane-keeping assist, speed limit sign alerts, and emergency automatic city braking in their smaller cars, Toyota has eschewed turning the Auris into a tech showcase.
It’s not that the firm doesn’t have the technology – its Lexus models are awash with tech innovations – but it seems to have decided not to load the car with kit. Instead it offers functional features like bluetooth and a decent touchscreen media system.
Practically speaking the space inside has also been improved, giving the Auris a sense of mini-MPV. In the back there’s room for three adults in relative comfort; not quite Avensis leg-room but good for the price. Bootspace at 360 litres is fine for family needs.
On the road the Auris is not a match for the Focus or mid-range Golfs. Take rear-end cornering – in the Focus you feel the rear is fighting the physics of the cornering motion. In the Auris the rear end is more a neutral observer.
On a particularly windy day the test car also seemed quite prone to be thrown about.
The 1.4-litre D-4D diesel in our test car is a solid performer and relatively refined, offering up a competitive emissions range of 99g/km in the Terra and Aura spec, and 103g/km in the Luna. However it doesn’t set new standards in terms of performance. A 0-100km/h time of 12.5 seconds and an official fuel consumption figure of 3.9 l/100km (72.4mpg) sum up its performance: impressively frugal but not fast.
While the Auris entry level price is very competitive, its specification levels are a bit perplexing. Three specification grades are on offer but the middle grade Terra only differs from entry-level version by having automatic air-conditioning. For this upgrade you pay €1,000 on the diesel version and a whopping €2,075 on the petrol one. It means the Auris buyer has a choice between entry-level Terra or top-level Luna. For features like Bluetooth you need to opt for the higher grade, which is a pity given that most motorists have mobile phones and would find the feature useful. It’s time for car firms to make Bluetooth a standard feature and not just bundled in with the more expensive high-end packages.
On a like-for-like comparison with our Luna test car there’s still a sizeable price gap in the market between the Hyundai i30, a finalist for the European car of the year, and the equivalent new VW Golf.