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Tweaks make Toyota Auris even more easy-going

17:17 04 September 2015

Tweaks to Toyota Auris, incluing some new engines, make it even easier to live with and better to drive.

Tweaks to Toyota Auris, incluing some new engines, make it even easier to live with and better to drive.

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A stalwart of the Toyota range, the updated Auris boasts cleaner engines, an exterior refresh and much-improved cabin environment, says Iain Dooley.

What’s new?

The Auris might be a familiar sight on our roads, but if you look closely you’ll see that this particular generation has been given a light refresh.

As a result, the Auris is now powered by a selection of new or improved engines – petrol and diesel. Of note is an all-new 1.2-litre turbo petrol motor, while a new 1.6-litre diesel joins the refreshed 1.4-litre oil-burner.

Hybrid accounts for the bulk of sales and, in petrol-electric guise, the Auris has also been tweaked to deliver reduced emissions and fuel consumption. Elsewhere there are small visual changes to the nose and tail and raised cabin quality and kit levels.

Toyota Auris

Price: Toyota Auris 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Icon hatchback, £20,695 (range £13,995 to £23,995)

Engine: 1.8-litre, 134bhp combined four-cylinder petrol-electric hybrid

Transmission: CVT automatic driving front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 10.9 seconds; top speed 112mph

MPG: 78.5 combined

CO2 emissions: 82g/km

Space and practicality

The hatchback version offers good levels of space fore and aft, Up front there’s ample room and plenty of oddment storage options, while those in the back are unlikely to feel compromised as head and legroom is respectable even for adults. The boot is a reasonable size, plus there’s the added convenience of being able to fold the rear seats to free up more space for larger loads.

Behind the wheel

Don’t expect the Auris to set the world alight on the open road – Toyota’s pitch is more of an all-rounder that’s focused on comfort, ease of use and low running costs. In that context the family hatch performs well.

And while the new engines – 1.2 petrol and 1.6 diesel – are fine performers around town and on the motorway respectively, the hybrid option remains the class act.

A little cleaner and more economical, this petrol-electric set-up delivers a relaxing and refined performance, with the bonus of near-silent electric running in short bursts, further enhancing its appeal for urban driving.

Value for money

There are cheaper cars in this class but the Auris is a tempting proposition thanks in part to its ease of use, low cost of ownership potential and durable, refined cabin. Toyota has upped the standard equipment and added some choice extras such as a full-on navigation and infotainment system depending on trim grade and a clever auto brake function that helps mitigate low-speed shunts. You can’t mention Toyota without considering the hybrid option – a no-brainer for business-users and could save private buyers a chunk of cash if they do the sums.

Who would buy one?

For all the car’s rakish looks, the Auris does attract buyers at the conservative end of the spectrum.

Far from being a negative point, it proves that brand loyalty is strong and Toyota has a good handle on what its buyers want.

The result is a well thought-out cabin, easy-to-use audio and navigation features and enough space for most everyday tasks.

And, if you’re of a green persuasion, the hybrid is one of the easiest alternative fuel cars to live with on the market.

There’s no need to recharge it yet it’ll deliver tax-busting economy with ease.

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Andy Russell

Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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