Toyota Auris Touring Sport

The new Toyota Auris Touring Sport is actually the Auris estate with a new name. A compact estate car, it looks a lot like its hatchback sibling but comes with more versatility and space for families who are looking for something a little bit bigger now that the kids themselves are getting bigger.

But perhaps one of the biggest selling points of this estate is that it’s available as a petrol/electric hybrid. The Hybrid Synergy Drive unit is the first of its kind to be used for an estate car, and it emits only 85g/km of CO2. It is also available with petrol and diesel engines

Key rivals in this sector include the impressive Ford Focus Estate and the Hyundai i30 Tourer, both of which we’ll be comparing this car with later. OSV takes a closer look at what this particular estate is all about with our Toyota Auris Touring Sport review.

Review of the Toyota Auris Touring Sport

Toyota Auris Review: On The Road

Toyota Auris Touring Sport

Whichever engine you choose, you won’t be getting a great deal of performance. Toyota have shown all their colours early doors here, and this is a car that is more about practicality, comfort and low running costs than out and out driver engagement.

This could be problematic for Toyota if you – and many other buyers – are looking for a car that can match the Focus estate for on the road entertainment. If, however, you’re A-okay with an earthy car that offers security and comfort, you might want to keep reading.

The steering is light, while body lean is overdone in corners. This means few drivers will want to put their foot down too often. The car is mostly quiet, though the hybrid variant does offer some louder revs.

Speaking of engines, there are are two petrol units available, a 1.33-litre and a 1.2 litre Turbo. The former is only available with 99bhp and takes 13.2 seconds to cover the 0-62mph “sprint”, while the more powerful engine develops 116bhp and can get to 62mph from rest in 10.4 seconds.

The 1.33 unit is unavailable with the top of the range Excel model and feels sluggish on the motorway, while the 1.2T unit is available with a manual gearbox as standard but can be mated to an automatic if you wish. However, it will then take 10.8 seconds to get from rest to 62mph.

There are two diesel units in the line-up, a 1.4-litre engine that is only a tad more powerful than the 1.33-litre petrol. It does feel zippier though, and is more at home on the motorway than its counterpart and a 1.6 D-4D with a 0-62 in 10.7 seconds and an MPG combined of 67.3

The liveliest of all the engines is the Hybrid Synergy Drive petrol/electric unit. It isn’t actually the quickest in the range, but it feels lighter and more performative. It’s only available with an automatic transmission, which can leave you feeling uninvolved at times.

Toyota Auris Review: Interior, Design And Build

Toyota Auris Touring Sport Interior

Take a look at the Auris Touring Sport from the front end and you’d probably think it was the hatchback. Only a few subtle moderations have been implemented, but this is really no bad thing because the Auris hatch has got one of those family friendly faces that are really appealing to both parents and kids. This car is bigger, though, and comes with a longer roofline, while aluminium roof rails have been added to give it more practicality.

Cabin refinement is overall good – unless you opt for the hybrid variant. In which case, you will hear a lot of the CVT gearbox seeping through.

It’s quite throaty. On the whole, the interior is comfortable, quiet, and comes complete with a clean dashboard that is user-friendly. Button clutter has been minimised, while all the materials used feel robust and durable.

In terms of aesthetics, though, it does all feel a bit grey and neutral. If you like your interiors to be colourful and plush, you might want to look elsewhere.

Regarding practicality, the car does well. Although it’s a Touring Sport, the name is very misleading because it’s pretty much 90% Touring and only 10% Sport (if that). There is lots of luggage space, storage spaces, while the boot offers up to 530-litres of space with the rear seats up. Which is impressive and will do a job for most buyers.

Rear seat space, though, is a bit cramped, and will be especially so for taller passengers.

Toyota Auris Review: Equipment

Toyota Auris Touring Sport

There are four trim levels available:

  • Active
  • Icon
  • Icon Plus
  • Excel

The Active is the cheapest model, and while it’s definitely cheap, it doesn’t come with a great deal of standard equipment. It does still come with 15” Alloys, LED daytime running lights, air conditioning and hill-start assistance as standard.

The Icon treats you to 16” alloys, front fog lamps, silver roof rails, a DAB digital radio and Bluetooth, while the Icon Plus throws in tinted privacy glass and heated sports seats.

Opt for the range-topping Excel model and you’ll get 17” alloys, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and twin-zone-air conditioning.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport Review: Costs

Prices for the new Auris Estate from Toyota start out from around £16,990 and rise to almost £28,000, which makes it one of the least expensive cars in its sector. If you want to lease it on a contract hire over three years, you can expect to pay between £250 + VAT – £450 + VAT, with exact amount subject to trim level and mileage.

Running costs are good if you choose a diesel unit or the hybrid variant. The hybrid’s best numbers are 85g/km of CO2 and 76.3mpg, while the 1.4-litre diesel unit emits 109g/km of CO2 and returns an impressive 67.3mpg.

The petrol unit fares less well; the less powerful 1.33-litre unit returns only 50.4mpg from a sensible outing, while the 1.6-litre engine can only manage 46.3mpg while emitting some 140g/km of CO2.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport

The Toyota Auris Touring Sport Review: 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

 

  • The Hybrid Variant Is Super Efficient

The hybrid unit really is the pick of the bunch if you want to keep economy and emissions down. It isn’t available with the base-level Active trim, but if you pair it up with the Icon or the Icon Plus model and stick to the 15” steel wheels, you can see returns of around 76.3mpg, while emissions stand at just 85g/km of CO2, freeing you from road tax.

Pair it up with the range-topping Excel variant and its meaty 17” alloys, and emissions are increased to 92g/km – which means you’re still free from paying road tax.

 

  • Comfortable Ride

Make no mistake; the Auris Touring Sport doesn’t offer all that much fun behind the wheel, but the performance is pleasingly smooth and refined. The suspension is soft, and the steering gives you confidence.

Toyota has worked hard to improve driver enjoyability, and while they’ve missed the sweet spot, the comfort here should be enough to satisfy drivers who don’t mind missing out on the sportier aspect of a Touring Sport.

 

  • Lots Of Boot Space

The size of the boot isn’t the best in class – but it most definitely the worst either. It’s important to remember that this is a compact estate, and as such the 530-litres of space on offer is very respectable and very satisfying.

Not just this, but there are lots of practical touches and storage spaces dotted around the interior which will prove handy if you’re to be travelling with various bits and bobs.

Cons:

 

  • The Interior Is Fairly Dull

Some cars in this sector are priced highly, and some are priced lowly. The Auris Touring Sport is at the lower end of the scale, but perhaps that comes with a price because the interior is almost as dull as dishwater.

Neutral (drab) greys abound in an unimaginative cabin where aesthetics were an afterthought (that got forgotten about entirely). To offset this, Toyota at least have made everything clean, user-friendly and functional. There is nothing downmarket here; it’s just that it doesn’t look all that attractive. It lacks personality, in short.

 

  • The Hybrid Power Train Is Noisy

This is the first compact estate car to come with a hybrid variant. It’s a good thing in theory, and the running costs are certainly exemplary. Unfortunately, the hybrid powertrain is also a little bit noisy.

The reason for the din is the gearbox which reacts slowly and causes the petrol/electric engine to work overtime.

It’s not apocalyptic – but it is noticeable.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport vs. Ford Focus Estate vs. Hyundai i30 Tourer

The compact estate sector is really hot right now. Car manufacturers have realised that buyers want some style to go with their substance, and there are now some seriously handsome models fighting for your cash. OSV checks out how the Toyota fares against two rivals in our Toyota Auris Touring Sport review.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport vs. Ford Focus Estate

Ford Focus Estate

The Ford Focus Estate will attract a lot of glances and queries from buyers. The mega-popular hatchback’s offspring, it’s got a reputation that already sets it apart from the competition.

It looks the part. With a more commanding front end than the hatch that is borderline aggressive (assured), this is a self-confident car for confident families. Designers generally tend to struggle with transferring the elegant look of a hatch or saloon onto an estate, but Ford have done an exemplary job here.

It’s not all about style, though; the Focus Estate offers much more driver enjoyability than the Touring Sport. With a powerful and performative engine line-up that is plucked from the hatch, the Focus Estate handles like a dream. Body lean is a little bit overdone on tighter corners, but there is plenty of gusto. At times, you have to remind yourself that you’re in an estate.

But it’s practicality where a car has to match up to the Toyota – and the Focus falls short. The boot offers 476-litres of space with all the rear seats up, which is among the smallest in the class. Space for passengers is decent, but it lacks the intelligent, practical touches and useful storage spaces that make the Toyota a better option for buyers who want more substance than style.

 

Prices:

Ford Focus Estate – £17,000 – £27,000

Toyota Auris Touring Sport – £17,000 – £28,000

Toyota Auris Touring Sport vs. Hyundai i30 Tourer

Like the Focus, the Hyundai i30 Tourer Estate is a handsome thing. Amazingly, the design team have made this car look so slick that it doesn’t even look like an Estate at all – which has to be a good thing.

Like the Toyota, the Hyundai is an affordable compact-estate that also has low running costs; on a sensible drive, you’ll see returns of around 71mpg from the 126bhp diesel. Unlike the Toyota, though, all engines are subject to road tax, as all emissions are above 100g/km of CO2.

White Hyundai i30 Tourer

It’s incredibly practical, though; the boot offers 528-litres of space with the rear seats up, which is more than you’ll find in the Toyota. There are also lots of huge pockets dotted around the cabin for your various odds and ends, as well as cubbyholes here and there. There is more backseat space, too, and even taller passengers should be comfortable on longer journeys.

These are definitely some of its plus points, but like the Toyota, it isn’t an exciting car to drive. To introduce more fun for driving enthusiasts, the brand developed their Flex Steer system – but it just didn’t work, and the car doesn’t really feel any different. Ride quality is overall poor, and the car doesn’t offer as much comfort as the Auris Estate.

 

Prices:

Hyundai i30 Estate – £17,000 – £21,000

Toyota Auris Touring Sport – £17,000 – £28,000

Verdict Of Our Toyota Auris Touring Sport Review

Not everyone is going to put immense drivability and fun behind the wheel as their number 1 priority when shopping around for a compact estate. If this is you, this estate from Toyota should represent an interesting proposition.

It’s spacious, practical, hugely comfortable and the hybrid variant is free from road tax. The Toyota Auris Touring Sport might not have the Focus’ sex appeal, but it’s got that all-important substance factor.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport

Want to learn more? Click below to view the review for the competitors in this article…

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