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 23, 2013
The new Auris sits in the middle of the price spread, which is fitting for a car that falls in the middle of our list of favoured hatchbacks.
The Focus remains more fun to drive, the Golf a quasi-premium entrant, while the i30 is an impressive package at a really competitive price. The Auris is a mix of all these without standing out in any one area.
The decision to split the established Corolla brand in two several years ago – renaming the hatchback version as the Auris while keeping the Corolla name just for the saloon – has fed a misperception that Toyota are not as strong in the family market as it once was. Add sales of the two together and you find that Toyota’s Auris/ Corolla range is the second-biggest seller here this year with 800 registrations last month. That shows the loyal following Toyota retains and why its bosses are loathe to go for a complete overhaul.
Akio Toyoda’s ambition to add passion to the brand has a way to go before it delivers. The GT86 – a car of the year finalist in Europe - shows Toyota can deliver motoring desire. Yet at its heart is a conservatism that’s evident in the new Auris.
The problem is that the Auris risks getting squeezed in the middle ground. Rivals like Hyundai and Kia have closed the gap in build quality and value, while the Golf and Focus are pushing expectations further upmarket. The new Auris is an evolutionary improvement when a bit more revolution might have made more of a statement of intent.
The lowdown: Toyota Auris 1.4 D-4D Luna
ENGINE: 1364cc diesel putting out 90bhp @ 3,800rpm and 205Nm of torque from 1,800rpm
0-100km/h: 12.5 seconds
FUEL ECONOMY: 3.9 L/100km (72.4 mpg)
FEATURES: Standard spec includes: seven airbags including driver’s knee airbag; stability and traction control; daytime running lights; stop/start technology; electric front windows; USB/iPod connection; electric heated wing mirrors; 15” wheels; Aura adds: climate control (automatic air conditioning). Luna adds: 16” alloys; Toyota Touch System with 6.1” touch screen; rear-view camera; Bluetooth mobile phone hands free system with music streaming; electric rear windows
PRICE: €23,995 (starts €18,995 for 1.3-litre petrol Terra)
THE RIVALS: Ford Focus 1.6 TDi Titanium – €24,535; Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDi Comfortline – €25,295; Hyundai i30 Deluxe – €20,495