What is it? The latest newcomers to the compact family car sector is an estate version of Toyota’s much-acclaimed Auris hatchback
Who is it aimed at? If you need more practicality than your average family hatchback but you want something that can also be parked in a tight corner when you get home again the Auris Touring Sport may just be what you are searching for.
Styling? The recent Auris was a delicate balance of sleeker styling; not too avant-garde to alienate existing customers but edgy enough to woo new ones. The result was a new look that carries forward to this Touring Sport.
Under the Bonnet: Our test car was powered by a 1.4-litre diesel. There is also a hybrid option and two petrol engines, 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i and 1.6-litre Valvematic.
What about Inside? Settle behind the wheel of the Auris and everything is light and roomy and is all well made. The instrument panel is nicely laid out and the driving position is good and it feels really comfortable. Both driver and front passenger are well looked after with decent head and leg room. In the rear things get a little cosier. The Auris Touring Sports is nearly 30cm longer than the hatchback version and it is the boot that gains all the additional space. Not only it is bigger but it’s also 10cm lower than on the hatch so it makes loading it so much easier plus the lack of lip at the entrance of the boot allows heavy items to simply slide in. Boot space is a very generous 530 litres with the seats in use and a 1,600 litres with the seats folded so it’s an excellent family holdall five-seater.
On the Road? The touring version of the Auris doesn’t feel like an estate car at all and on the road it is as composed and light as the hatchback. The engine more than packs enough power when it counts but is light on fuel.
And Safety? The Auris Touring Sports earned a top five-star rating in the 2013 Euro NCAP independent safety test programme. As standard all models are fitted with ABS, EBD, brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control and an emergency braking signal. In the cabin there are front, side and knee airbags for driver and front passenger, plus full length curtain airbags.
Options? The range starts from £15,595 for the Active, which is available with either a 1.33 Dual VVT-i petrol engine or a 1.4 D-4D diesel, both with six speed manual transmission. The next up is the Icon, priced from £18,245. The full range of engines is available on the Icon, including the 1.8-litre hybrid system. A 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol is also available, with a choice of six speed manual or Multidrive S continuously variable transmission. Sport models add sporting design cues to the interior and exterior, and are available from £19,345 for the 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol, or £20,345 for the 1.4-litre D-4D diesel. The top of the range Excel models are priced from £20,345 for the 1.6-litre Valvematic petrol, and offers extras such as 17” alloy wheels, Rain sensing wipers and Intelligent Park Assist.
What about fuel economy? On a mix of urban and motorway driving the Diesel Auris returns 67.3 mpg, for every greater efficiency opt for the Hybrid and the figure improves to 70.6mpg . CO2 emissions on the diesel are 109 g/km dropping to a mere 92g for the Hybrid.
Okay so the Verdict? The real strength of this car lies in its spacious, economical and functional approach to family motoring. Sleeker looking than the Corolla and far more practical than the Auris Hatchback, the Touring Sport deserves a spot on any buying list.
Why you’ll buy one? Spacious; Price; Hybrid option
Why you won’t? Unexciting to drive
Ford Focus Estate – Priced from £17,195
Hyundai i30 Tourer – Priced From £16,600
Toyota Auris TS 1.4 D4D
Engine:1,364cc diesel with 89bhp @ 3,800 rpm and 205Nm/1,800-2,800
Max speed: 109mph
0-60mph: 13.0 seconds
Emissions : 109 g/km
Model price range: £15,595 – £22,845
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 67.3mpg
Boot Capacity: 530 litres
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
|Active||1.33 Dual VVT-i||£15,595|
|Icon||1.33 Dual VVT-i||£18,245|
|Icon||1.8 Hybrid Synergy Drive||£21,095|
|Excel||1.8 Hybrid Synergy Drive||£22,845|
5th March, 2014