An Underated Over-achiever
Toyota’s second generation Auris is improved in every way over it’s predecessor. Built for the most part on a similar platform to it’s big-brand brother, the Corolla, Auris delivers all the reliability, refinement and economy of it’s more popular stable-mate but in hatch-back guise.
Badged as a Corolla in many markets around the world, it’s strange why the Auris doesn’t generate huge sales in South Africa. South Africans have always been sedan people but with Golf prices the way they are, the Auris presents a seriously strong argument in the R200k-R300k price category.
The range starts at a modest R212k for the entry level Auris X which has a host of standard features including Air-con, Radio CD, electric windows, ABS with EBD and side air-bags. The range topping XR is crammed full of spec with standard cruise control, electro-chrome rear-view mirror, auto lights/wipers with see-me-home, rear park distance control and reverse camera, full leather sports seats and curtain air-bags.
Driving the Auris is uncomplicated, comfortable and typically Toyota. Light controls, clear switch-gear and over-all high quality finishes remind you why Toyota has been SA’s number one car maker for 35 years. Leather in the range topping XR version is of a very high quality and feels luxurious.
The MacPherson strut and torsion beam suspension combo provides a very refined ride while still supplying the driver with a sporty feel. Handling is neutral with gentle understeer developing in the corners if you are pushing on. Steering feed-back is as good as any other front-wheel drive hatchback and feeds information to the driver very well through it’s electrically assisted set up.
The 1.6 Auris uses a slightly different power-plant to the locally produced Corolla and has 97kw on tap with a reasonable 160NM’s of torque. Power is adequate for a car of this type but the biggest surprise for me was the fuel economy I returned during my time in this vehicle. Manufacturer fuel figures are always a bone of contention but in this vehicle I easily surpassed the factory figures on a recent run to the Drakensberg and back from Ballito, returning just 5.5l/100km! Granted I kept to the limits the whole way but this still represents serious economy for a 1.6 petrol car in a real life situation.
It’s a hotly contested market with huge choice under R300k but, with this combination of economy, style and reliability it could very well pay to back the under-dog….
McCarthy Toyota Ballito (Lifestyle Centre)
The McCarthy Toyota branch is based by the Ballito Lifestyle Centre with convenient access to the Ballito Circle and all Ballito businesses.
Tel: 032 946 7800, Douglas Crowe Dr, Dolphin Coast 4420
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