Toyota Auris

First impressions don’t always count! We weren’t big fans of the Toyota Auris when it arrived on our fleet. but we’ve stuck with it, and it’s now proving itself to be a thoroughly dependable family car.

  • Economy. Fuel consumption is first-class. The Auris gobbles up the motorway miles at nearly 50mpg. It has never proved particularly thirsty on my low-speed urban commute, either.<BR><BR>Reliability. Dull, I know, but I can’t help being impressed that after nearly a year of family life, nothing inside the car has snapped, broken, been faulty or given up the ghost.
  • Visibility. Large, angled A-pillars obscure the driver’s view. The problem is even worse if you’re as tall as me.<BR><BR>Styling. Is it wrong to want a bit of excitement in life? The Auris really could look sharper.

A great way to judge a car’s desirability is to see how often others want to grab the keys!

Like the plain-looking girl at a party, our Auris five-door hasn’t exactly been inundated with suitors on the Auto Express staff since it joined the fleet. Yet if people could see beyond the dull exterior, they might be able to judge the Toyota on ability rather than appearance.

First of all, fuel consumption is excellent. The 2.0-litre D-4D diesel engine, which I described in my first report on the car (Issue 950) as noisy and unrefined, has been delivering 47.4mpg of late. Not bad, especially when the bike rack I fitted has done little for the aerodynamics.

Second, the Auris is spacious. The distance between the driver and the windscreen is huge, and this also gives you a feeling of security. As I am 187cm tall, the steeply angled A-pillars which create this roominess tend to obscure my view. But both my children have plenty of space in the back, although I still think the boot could be more generous.

Third, the Toyota is dependable. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong. That is as it should be, but you’d be amazed how many things can drop off cars after as little as a month on the road!

So the Auris has been reliable, versatile and cheap to run. But what’s surprised me most is that I’ve found it enjoyable to drive. As you read this, I’m on a family holiday. We may be driving through the Yorkshire Dales or on a day trip. The children are playing (or fighting) in the back and a couple of bikes are strapped to the rack.

People might not give us a second glance, but I am always confident that the Auris will get us safely wherever we want to go. And I also appreciate that first impressions don’t always count!

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