Toyota Auris Touring Sports Active 1.4 D-4D 5dr

July 2013

picture of car from the front

Edgy styling aims to appeal to younger buyers

Ratings

Overall Rating 7Overall rating

Value for money Rating 7Value for money

Space and Practicality Rating 7Costs

Space and Practicality Rating 8Space and practicality

Controls and display Rating 7Controls and display

Comfort Rating 8Comfort

Security Rating 7Car security

Safety Rating 8Car safety


Likes

  • Good levels of cabin space
  • Oddment storage is generous
  • Hybrid Auris drives just like a regular Auris
  • Versatile load space is easy to use

Gripes

  • Modest outright performance might prove a disappointment
  • Firm ride can prove a little uncomfortable around town
  • Touch screen infotainment can prove sluggish at times
  • Interior plastics can't compete with best in class

Contrary to popular opinion, the compact SUV hasn't killed off the compact estate car. Numerous players still consider this an important market for both private and business users, with Toyota ensuring its latest Auris is represented in Touring Sports guise.

Keen to ensure the Auris range appeals to a younger group of buyers, this generation sports a more distinctive exterior look. Radical by Toyota's standards, this edgy appearance does much to enhance the car's chances of finding homes in what is a highly competitive marketplace.

The Auris wagon is offered with Toyota's usual modest choice of low capacity petrol and diesel engines plus the firm's now familiar petrol-electric combination. Boasting low CO2 and consumption figures, the hybrid should appeal to savvy private buyers and business users keen to pay less tax.

For the rest of us, the petrol-powered models offer modes performance and good levels of refinement. And while the diesel variant can't match the petrol alternatives for refinement, you should see a good level of economy on long journeys.

Key to the Touring Sports' appeal is, predictably, its load space. Offering a more practical and versatile ownership experience than the regular Auris hatch, this estate model gains more useable space when the rear seats are easily folded. Thankfully the penalties are minor, with only a little more care required when parking.

Our verdict on the Toyota Auris Touring Sports Active 1.4 D-4D 5dr

Behind the radical appearance of this generation of Auris estate lies a thoroughly conventional ownership and driving experience. The car's somber cabin might lack sparkle but it should be resilient enough to withstand the knocks of daily life. Thanks to its low-key engine choice, this Auris is best suited for urban journeys and sympathetic, light-footed drivers. Boy racers need not apply.

Costs
Costs rating 7

The Auris range has been designed with low cost of ownership in mind. With its low fuel consumption and CO2 ratings, the car offers owners meaningful financial savings. Owners shouldn't expect anything more than routine servicing to figure in the ownership experience, thanks to Toyota's solid performance in this area.

Space and practicality
Space and Practicality Rating 8

For the occupants, the Auris wagon proves just as accommodating as the regular five-door hatchback. With enough room for a growing family, the car's cabin is a good size and boasts plenty of oddment storage. At the rear, the car's boot space is a flat and wide, and with the rear seats folded there's plenty of room for larger objects of varying dimensions.

picture of car from the rear

Stylish tailgate hides a practical rear load space

Controls and display
Controls and Display Rating 7

Toyota is well known for producing cars with clear, easy to read displays and intuitive controls, and this generation of Auris is no different. Aside from the important main dials, the car's fascia is dominated by a touchscreen display giving access to entertainment and, where fitted, navigation functions. The slick-shifting manual gear level can be swapped for a straightforward auto unit or, in the case of the hybrid, a stubby little lever.

Comfort
Comfort Rating 8

In the realms of compact estate cars, the Auris Touring Sports delivers a solid performance. The car's supportive seats and hushed cabin do much to ensure a relaxed driving experience. Noise from poorly surfaced roads and when exploring the upper ranges of the various engines can creep into the cabin though.

Car security
Security Rating 7

Remote central locking and an engine immobiliser are both standard, while selected models offer a completely keyless entry and ignition feature so that you can keep the key in your pocket at all times - good for when you're approaching your car in dark, unfamiliar areas.

Car safety
Safety Rating 8

Like all Auris models, the Touring Sports model boasts an comprehensive array of passive and active safety measures, including ABS, EBD, brake assist as well as stability and traction control. Occupants are also protected by seat belt reminders, numerous airbags (including knee airbag for the driver) and Isofix child seat fittings.

Driver appeal
Driver Appeal Rating 5

Toyota doesn't pitch the Auris as a car for keen drivers, more something offering good levels of refinement and comfort. This is true for the load-lugger variant, and it doesn't disappoint in the case of ease of use and comfort. Light controls, good visibility plus sensible performance should please the target audience. Engines can sound harsh when pushed hard, but under moderate driving conditions this is unlikely to be an issue.

picture of car interior

Sombre-looking cabin should stand up to knocks associated with daily life

Family car appeal
Family Appeal Rating 7

Building on the appeal of the five-door model, the Auris Touring Sports has clearly been designed with families in mind. The car's durable cabin is an obvious plus point, and there should be enough oddment storage space to satisfy most demands. Move rearward and the estate car's expanded boot can swallow a larger number of items with ease - by they cycles, baby buggies of a large weekly shop.

First car appeal
First car Rating 7

Just like with a regular Auris, there's no reason why the estate variant can't be a recommended purchase for a novice driver. It's a safe, practical and reliable choice.

Quality and image
Quality and Image Rating 7

Toyota continues to enjoy a reputation for producing reliable vehicles, and as such many are purchased by the more conservative, older driver, as well as by families. In a break from the norm, this Auris demonstrates a more daring design than past models as attention shifts towards younger buyers.

Accessibility
Accessibility Rating

With its slightly raised front seating position, the Auris Touring Sports is an accessible car. Realistically, there's no compromise when accessing the rear seats either despite the slightly smaller door opening. The tailgate feels light and can easily be opened and closed one-handed while boot floor access to also good.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

The industry standard is much higher than in recent years and the Auris competes on a level footing with the opposition. Sound quality is good and the essential controls are present on the steering wheel. Bluetooth connectivity, iPod connections and sat-nav are all available, and can be accessed via the car's easy to use touch screen system.

picture of car in detail

Practical nature of Touring Sports variant should endear it to many families

Colours and trim

No longer conservatively styled, this Auris works best if selected in a bold exterior colour, with white a surprisingly good choice. Inside, a modest range of trim levels help lift the otherwise somber cabin ambience. The interior fabrics and plastics do not feel particularly special, but they are robust and well put together.

Parking

Thanks in part to the elevated driving position, all-round visibility is good and parking is straightforward, although the learning curve is a little steeper thanks to the extra metal of the estate body. Parking sensors are a welcome addition, as is the car's light and accurate steering at low speeds.

Spare wheel

A tyre mobility kit is included as standard.

 

Range information

Petrol engine options - 1.33-litre (98bhp); 1.6-litre (130bhp); 1.8-litre hybrid (134bhp). Diesel engine options - 1.4-litre D-4D 90 (89bhp). Transmission options: six-speed manual gearbox, CVT automatic gearbox. Trim levels: Active, Icon, Sport, Excel.

 

Alternative cars

Volkswagen Golf Seventh generation inherits strong build quality and frugal diesel variants from its predecessor

Ford Focus Benchmark for general motoring duties but lacks innovative hybrid model

Vauxhall Astra Impressive mainstream alternative, but can't match Focus for driver appeal

Hyundai i30 Korean alternative now a genuine alternative - stylish and good to drive, too



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July 2013