Toyota Auris Icon 1.4D-4D

| March 4, 2013 | 0 Comments



Toyota Auris Icon 1.4D4D .

When writing vehicle reviews, I make a point of driving the car or van for a week before I look at it’s price. In most cases, my educated guess isn’t too far off the mark. There are notable exceptions which are usually German cars where £10,000 worth of extras have been added & it’s nigh on impossible to work out exactly how much they cost. Rarer though are the times when one spends 200 miles driving around in a car weighing it up & deciding how much it will cost & that guess being over the actual price. A case in point was Toyotas new Auris, a completely new Auris from the previous model, which I drove in late February. A spacious five door family hatchback, I estimated an on the road price of around £22,000 & was pleased to discover that even with two extras which were Toyota Touch and Go Navigation at £650 & Metallic Paint at £450, it retailed at £19,595 on the road.
There are other surprises with the Auris as well, not least the total facelift of the exterior. Where once there was a Corolla masquerading as a new model, there is definitely a sexier edge to the way the Auris now looks, with a nod to it’s upmarket stable mate the Lexus CT200. Wrap around front & rear light clusters are complemented by a more aggressive nose & flatter rear end , which completely alters the cars perspective, as from the side it as far removed from the Auris Mk 1.It’s lower too. Somehow Toyota have shaved a massive 55 mm to make it more aerodynamic as well as pleasing on the eye. This has been done deliberately to appeal to the fussier European market of which possibly, we Brits are the fussiest of the lot !
The interior has also been updated & improved with a tough looking mixture of black & gun metal grey plastics. The dashboard sweeps right across the car, with the Toyota SatNav media system handily located in the centre. Unlike some systems I’ve tried, this was easy to understand & use, with my Blackberry connecting to it’s Bluetooth function in double quick time & allowing for easy storage of my phone contacts which was useful.
The seat fabric was predominantly black, a colour I happen to prefer seats to be. The drivers seat was easily adjusted & also comfortable. There’s room in the back for 3 adults on shorter journeys. Toyota have also been generous with storage in their new Auris. Apart from the glove box, there’s a sunglasses holder, coat hooks, a coin box, four cup/bottle holders, a sliding centre console armrest with document holder & 3 12v sockets.
The boot offered 360 litres of space with a handy removable deckboard which creates a dual level space as well as the usual parcel shelf, with plenty of room for 12 m squared of tiles in boxes for my bathroom.
The six speed manual box is good to use & the 1.4 diesel engine copes better than you’d expect it to on the motorway being more refined than many 1.6 units I’ve tested. It is a little underpowered through the mid range but will hit 62 mph from a standing start in 12.5 seconds & go on to reach 112 mph. For city driving it’s a joy to use.
Where the Auris scores maximum points is in fuel economy & emissions.  CO2 emissions are 103g/km & the claimed combined is 72.4 mpg. For those of us driving in the real world I did manage to break the 50 mpg mark (just ) for my week in the car which is Company Car & Vans benchmark, so well done to the Auris for that.
Like all Toyotas my test car was well equipped with a full complement of air bags, ABS, EBD & brake assist, Vehicle Stablity Control & Traction Control. Auto air con, all round Electric windows, Tilt/reach steering wheel,, height adjustable drivers seat, leather steering wheel & gear knob, reclining rear seats & remote central double locking were also fitted on the D-4D. On the outside there were heated electric wing mirrors, 16″ alloys, front fogs, LED daytime running lights & a rear spoiler, which I’m afraid to say I didn’t really notice.
More about Toyota Touch & Go, in my opinion well worth the additional £650. This includes a 6.1″ touch screen, six speaker, SatNav, Google Local Search, Bluetooth. USB/Aux in ports & a rear view camera. Once you’ve had this in a vehicle, you won’t be able to live without it, a bit like a mobile phone.
Are there any negatives ? Not really. I just felt the centre piece between the front seats which houses the hand brake & a storage are seemed of lower quality than the rest of the interior, which itself though much improved is still not quite a match for those found in Volkswagens Golf & Fords Focus.
In conclusion then the Auris Mk2 is much better than it’s predecessor & with so many bits of it reminding me of the more expensive Lexus CT200, it’s close than ever before to the benchmark Golf, whom it beats comfortably on cost & goodies as standard. If you’re looking to downsize your D Sector car the Auris wouldn’t feel like you down sized. It looks & feels bigger than it actually is & offers low cost motoring but with big car benefits. I liked it a lot & felt that anything less than an Oscar nomination in its category, is the least the Auris deserves. 4/5

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Category: Car Road Tests, Toyota

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