FIFTY years after making a modest entry to the UK car market Toyota has now sold three million vehicles in Britain and also manufacturers them here as well with one of the latest products from their Derbyshire factory being the new Auris writes Bryan Longworth.
New Auris competes against rivals like the Ford Focus and VW Golf and offers a tempting alternative for potential owners looking for a quality hatchback or estate with a variety of diesel and petrol engines plus a hybrid power unit.
The latest Auris has got a new look at the front and rear which has resulted in more up market and prestigeous styling especially at the front that will no doubt give the car more showroom appeal in this very competitive market sector.
There is also a refreshed interior with a redesigned dashboard and top quality trim plus a new seven inch colour multi information touch screen that is one of the most user friendly and easy to operate I have come across especially for using the radio.
The new Auris also benefits from revised power steering which produces a better feel and feedback and I found this to be one of the best steering systems available that made the driving experience much more enjoyable and in complete contrast to the unresponsive system on another European built competitor I tested recently.
My test car was the Auris Icon 1.2 CVT Touring Sports which is Toyota speak for an estate and cost £20,395 on the road with power coming from the new and lively 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine that produced a top speed of 118mph, a zero to 62mph time of 10.8 seconds with C02 emissions of 110g/km and combined fuel consumption of 58.9mpg.
There was a very smooth CVT automatic transmission which will be ideal for Auris owners who for whatever reason need or prefer this type of transmission and I found it to be one of the best CVT systems I have encountered.
At the rear is a large load area with a two way tonneau cover and a partition net that is easily accessed through the easy to open and close back door and there is a space saver spare wheel underneath which is something of a rarity these days.
There is also an information display panel between the dials which displays features like fuel consumption and range plus the very useful facility of being able to display the speed digitally as well as on the conventional speedometer and there is also a speed camera alarm which is extremely useful.
The hybrid version of Auris is the biggest seller but the addition of the 1.2 petrol engine has added more variety to the range and it should prove to be a popular power unit for it has impressive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
New Auris is not a flash car but has conservative styling that looks quite impressive and I found it a car that was difficult to criticise because it ticked all the boxes and it is quite clear to see why it is a popular model for Toyota.
It is for the owner who wants a good looking roomy and comfortable car and the five year warranty must also help to make the job of selling the Auris that much easier because Toyota has a world wide reputation for producing very reliable vehicles.
Model: Toyota Auris Icon 1.2 CVT Touring Sports.
Engine: 1.2-litre turbo petrol.
Output: 116 bhp.
Transmission: CVT automatic.
Top speed: 118mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 10.8 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 58.9mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 110g/km.
Price: £20,395 on the road.