Case study: Ja­panese com­pact hatch­backs

Car (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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