Case study: Japanese compact hatchbacks
0 to 100 km/h: 10,70 sec Top speed: 200 km/h Power: 97 kw Torque: 160 N.m CO : 161 g/km CAR fuel index: 7,44 L/100 km
2 Like the Corolla, the Auris is a car with a well-sorted suspension that provides a good ride quality. It was never a great seller in our market, but a new model in 2013 (pictured above) did improve its fortunes somewhat. A lower, sportier stance and a revised interior added appeal, while rear legroom was also increased. Luggage capacity was upped to 232 litres; not class-leading, but it did come with a full-size spare wheel.
The engine employs newer technology, with dual VVT-I, plus variable valve lift and variable intake manifold length. While the power output is healthy at 97 kw, the torque figure is low when compared with some of the competition. This means lots of gear changes (only five gears, not six) but the gearshift is a pleasure to use and the engine should prove fastidiously reliable, limiting maintenance costs. Be painstaking with servicing, though – particularly oil changes – as the high-tech engine’s innards need clean lubrication.
The electrically assisted steering is more direct than most and, as we have noted, the ride is excellent, mimicking that of a larger vehicle.
Although most models have four airbags, the top-spec XR that we tested in 2013 has seven (plus leather upholstery and keyless start).
If you prefer the older Auris, note its resale values are strong and so is not much cheaper than this version.