Toyota Auris


Debut: 2012
Maker: Toyota
Predecessor: Auris (2007)



 Published on 7 Jan 2013
All rights reserved. 


The launch of the second generation Auris reminds us that Toyota is not always successful. In the last 6 years, only 418,000 units of the Auris have been sold in Europe. This number is less than one year's sale of its key rivals like Golf and Focus. In Japan, its domestic version Blade also failed to register big sales numbers throughout the years. For the second generation, Toyota decided to discard the Blade nameplate and calls the car Auris across the world.

The new Auris looks sleeker and more stylish than the Mk1. Its bullet-train-style front end reduces drag coefficient from the outgoing car's 0.292 to 0.277. Furthermore, the new car is not as tall as the old one (1460 mm vs 1515 mm) thus its frontal area is reduced by 4 percent. Overall, this should mean it consumes 9 percent less power to travel at the same speed as the old car.

Another important improvement is weight reduction. Toyota claims it shed 40 kg from kerb weight thanks to improved bracings and the use of more high-strength steel. It is difficult to verify from our kerb weight figures as Toyota now claims a range instead of an exact figure for each model. But the reduction does feel present in the way the car drives. Besides, the new structure and steel materials improve its rigidity and NVH suppression, which is also evident on the road.



However, the platform itself is not new. It is adapted from the old platform. As before, the lower power models employ torsion beam as rear suspension. Higher power ones use double-wishbone setup, something unusual in the segment which favours either torsion-beam or multi-link. History tells us Toyota has been using such an arrangement for many years on its 4WD versions of compact cars, so it is probably a cheap carryover. Anyway, handling should be improved by the lower center of gravity, which is contributed by the lowered roof, 10 mm lower ride height and 40 mm lower mounted seats. Ride quality is improved, too, as the lower center of gravity allows softer suspension setting to be employed. On the road, the new Auris rides and controls its body motion pleasantly. Toyota also spent some time to retune its electric power steering, making it more accurate and linearly weighted, if still too light for the taste of keen drivers. Nevertheless, the car still can't quite match the composed ride and sharp handling of the best C-segment hatchbacks like Volkswagen Golf VII and Ford Focus.

In Japan, the Auris is offered with either 108 hp 1.5 VVT-i or 144 hp 1.8 Dual-VVT-i engine, or in the case of Auris Hybrid a 1.8 Atkinson-cycle engine plus electric motor with a combined output of 136 hp (transplanted directly from Prius). European market gets the Hybrid, a 132 hp 1.6 Valvematic, 99 hp 1.33 VVT-i, 90 hp 1.4 D-4D or 124 hp 2.0 D-4D. In other words, a competent if not outstanding lineup. Naturally, the highlight is the Hybrid, because no one else in the class offers this technology, and neither achieves the same low emission / consumption (74 mpg and 87 g/km CO2) without resorting to advanced diesel. As we found out on the Prius, its performance is acceptable, while refinement is excellent as long as you are light on throttle, otherwise the CVT will wind the engine stupidly.



On the plus side, the Hybrid does not reduce boot space, because the battery pack is now repositioned underneath the rear seats, so it enjoys the same 360 liters as the regular models. Despite of an unchanged 2600 mm wheelbase, the cabin gains a little space thanks to thinner front seat backs, which liberate 20 mm legroom to the passengers sitting behind. However, the class has moved on and most new rivals now boosts even more cabin space.

The same can be said to the interior build quality. Certainly some plastic materials and trims have been improved, but there are equally many low-rent hard plastics. Worse still is the dashboard design, which looks really cheap and ugly. It is a matter of taste more than cost. We saw similar poor taste from the interior designs of new Corolla, Vitz (Yaris), Aqua (Prius C) or just about any recent Toyota small cars! This has to be sorted out if Toyota wants to stop Volkswagen from taking its crown in a few years time!

After all, the new Auris is not a full makeover. Neither is it a heavyweight contender like Golf. Considering its limited investment its overall performance is respectable. However, if it wants to challenge for the laurel, it will need more commitment to the family hatch segment. These days 80 percent good is not good enough to succeed in the extremely competitive environment.
Verdict: 
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Auris 1.6
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4275 / 1760 / 1460 mm
2600 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
-
-
132 hp
118 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: double-wishbone
-
205/55VR16
1265 kg
124 mph (c)
9.4 (c)
-
Auris 1.8
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4275 / 1760 / 1460 mm
2600 mm
Inline-4
1797 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT
-
-
144 hp (CVT: 143 hp)
133 lbft (CVT: 128 lbft)
6-speed manual (CVT)
F: strut
R: double-wishbone
-
205/55VR16
1270 kg (CVT: 1280 kg)
-
-
-
Auris 2.0D
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4275 / 1760 / 1460 mm
2600 mm
Inline-4, diesel
1998 cc
DOHC 16 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
124 hp
228 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: double-wishbone
-
205/55VR16
1395 kg
124 mph (c)
9.4 (c)
-




Performance tested by: -





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine

Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power


Max torque

Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
Auris Hybrid
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
4275 / 1760 / 1460 mm
2600 mm
Inline-4, Atkinson cycle,
electric motor
1798 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
-
-
Engine: 99 hp
Motor: 82 hp
Combined: 136 hp
Engine: 105 lbft
Motor: 153 lbft
CVT
F: strut
R: double-wishbone
-
195/65HR15
1385 kg
112 mph (c)
10.2 (c)
-


























































Performance tested by: -





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