Toyota GT86, Toyota Auris. Two cars at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to delivering thrills. While the GT86 has been making headlines, the Auris is universally perceived as, well, the motoring equivalent of kitchen equipment. And we’re not talking Kitchen Aid or Smeg here; we’re talking Morphy Richards.
Toyota's 2013 Auris
With the new Auris, Toyota is hoping to make us go ‘wow’ rather than ‘oh,’ by promising to ‘appeal to our hearts as well as our heads’. Well, it’s lower, slightly lighter (the lightest of the range has shed 50kg) and more slippery too. The engine line-up is much same with a 98bhp 1.3-litre petrol, 130bhp 1.6-litre petrol, 89bhp 1.4-litre diesel, and the 1.8-litre petrol Hybrid.
The 1.6 whispers along at motorway speeds, gear-shifting is slick and the ratios fine. It’s no belter, but it does a good job of delivering a comfy, refined, effortless drive.
Lowering the centre of gravity has allowed softer springs, improving the ride with no rock ‘n’ roll in the corners. Inside it’s well made, if plain.
The Hybrid gives the Auris an angle that competitors lack (40% of all Aurises sold in the UK will be Hybrids). That said, the best we saw was 50.4mpg, making the claimed urban figure of 76.3mpg seem but a distant dream.
At between £14,495 and £21,745 (with Hybrids from £19,995), the new Auris is an improvement on the old, but more of an uprising rather than a full-on revolution. It remains competent but uninspiring and though it has a number of appealing traits, the ability to seduce isn’t one of them.