The remaining engines include a handful of petrols, easily the best being the smooth and gutsy 114bhp 1.2T, introduced in 2015. The two diesels, an 89bhp 1.4 D-4D and a 109bhp 1.6D, are less impressive: they’re sluggish and rattly. In Euro 6 guise, they’re particularly thin on the ground too.
Surprisingly, fewer Touring Sports than hatchbacks are diesels. Lesser-powered Auris models run a fairly basic suspension set-up but the 1.2T, 1.6 V-Matic, 1.8 VVT-h and 1.6D benefit from a more sophisticated arrangement that brings a smoother ride and, at least in Auris terms, keener handling.
The model was facelifted in 2015, when it gained new headlights, LED tail-lights and grille and revised bumpers, all of them giving the car a more purposeful appearance. The interior was upgraded too. (Earlier models look a little drab and some plastics feel cheap.)
Despite its low and sleek profile, the Auris is reasonably roomy and offers a good driving position. The hatchback’s boot is 350 litres with the seats up and 1200 litres folded, compared with the Touring Sports’ 530 litres and 1658 litres respectively.
Trim levels range from Active to Excel. Mid-level Icon and plush Excel are the most popular. Icon has 16in alloys, 7.0in touchscreen infotainment and, on post-2015 cars, Toyota’s new Safety Sense technology.
Excel adds LED headlights, sat-nav, auto-wipers and lights, dual-zone climate control and parking sensors.
According to the most recent survey in WhatCar?, Autocar’s sibling magazine, the Auris finished in sixth place out of 28 family cars for reliability, and Toyota came third out of 31 manufacturers.
The Auris was sold with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty too, meaning that should bad luck strike, and assuming it has a full service history, even the last 2019-reg car is still covered.
Toyota Auris 2012-2018 common problems
Engine: Toyota’s annual hybrid service extends the battery warranty to 15 years. Toyota acknowledged problems with faulty 12V batteries on early cars caused by the hazard warning lights system, so find out if rectification work was required. Check the catalytic converter is present. Many have been stolen. Beware of particulate filter issues on low-mileage diesels. There have been reports of the 1.33 petrol engine burning oil. Failure to stop-start is a common issue to do with battery size.