Toyota Auris (E150) review, specs, problems
The first-generation Toyota Auris was introduced at the 2006 Paris Motor Show as a compact hatchback that shared the same platform (E150) with the popular Toyota Corolla and replaced its hatchback version. The Auris was sold between 2007 and 2012 but never managed to equal the balance displayed by the Corolla, as it had to compete against models like the Ford Focus, VW Golf and Hyundai i30.
- Good value for money
- Go for five-door Auris models
- 151 HP 1.4-liter diesel engine
- 122 HP 1.6-liter petrol engine
- Vague steering
- Boring to drive
- Dull design
Stay Away From
- Three door variants
- MultiMode automatic gearbox
- 175 HP 2.2-liter D-4D diesel engine
Known Problems & Recalls
- Slow response, jerky shifts and a lot of noise from the automatic gearbox
- Squealing front brakes
- Clutch breakdown and handbrake slipping
- Detaching rear brake calipers
- Rear suspension arm may separate
- Oil may accumulate in the turbocharger and flow into the combustion chamber
- Accelerator pedal issues affected the 2010 Auris models
- Overall, not as reliable as most owners expected
The Auris was initially fitted, among other options, with a 1.4-liter petrol engine with 96 HP, eventually replaced in late 2008 with the familiar 1.33-liter petrol engine good for 99 HP. The new unit was fitted with an engine Start/Stop system and has a declared average fuel consumption of 48.7 mpg. Then, there's the 1.6-liter unit - considered by some the superstar of the range - thanks to its 122 HP and the compromise it offers between resources and efficiency. The diesel line-up consists of a 1.4-liter engine delivering 151 HP, a 2.0-liter good for 124 HP and a 2.2-liter with 175 HP, for those who want more power under the hood.
On the road, the driving experience can be described as decent, thanks to the limited body roll and a good amount of grip displayed in corners. However, the steering is rather soft so it won't provide enough feedback while the suspension can't handle poor road surfaces. Also, some aspects like wind noise, engine noise and road noise could have been better cared for, so you should take this into consideration as well.
The 2007 Toyota Auris received five stars at the Euro NCAP crash test and an overall score of 35, where it managed to pull off a front-impact score of 15 (94%) and a side-impact score of 18 (100%). The pedestrian-test score was its Achilles’ heel, at 21 (58%). It is worth noted here that the knee airbag protected the driver's knees and femur in the frontal impact test.
Inside the Auris, things are looking good in terms of space. The hatchback offers enough space for a small family, while those sitting in the back can enjoy a decent amount of legroom, which means the Toyota Auris can accommodate four adults in good comfort conditions. Headroom is also offered in good levels and the car's floor is flat all around the interior so there's plenty of foot space in the rear, not to mention the rear bench seat can be reclined for more comfort.
Overall, the Auris is well built but some will find the plastics inside a bit too rough. Also, there's not much to praise from a visual standpoint in what looks like a dull cabin with an uninspiring design, where black dominates the panorama. Otherwise, the button and switches are not confusing, mostly because everything was kept simple inside the Toyota Auris.
The boot was designed to offer 354 liters of cargo space - it's not the best in class, but besides that, the Auris is fitted with a lot of pockets and storage compartments, like a tray under the passenger seat or a deep box hiding in the central armrest, two cup-holders and two gloveboxes.
The dashboard of the Auris is fitted with a 32,000-colour tactile display available as an option, where customers can access the satellite navigation system, the audio system (with AM/FM RDS radio and CD player, also MP3 compatible) integrated in the bridged center console.
The most prolific engine is without doubt the 122 HP 1.6-liter choice which offers both power and good efficiency thanks to its average fuel consumption rated at 39.8 mpg when fitted with the five-speed manual or 40.9 mpg when fitted to the MultiMode automatic gearbox, although we recommend you stick to the manual transmission.
Diesel-wise, both the 1.4-liter engine and the 2.0-liter unit are good choices, but it depends a lot on how you plan on using the car. The 1.4-liter and its 56.6 combined mpg is ideal for urban use, while the 2.0-liter mill returning 52.3 mpg for the combined cycle will favor long trips outside the city.
Air-conditioning is offered a standard on the entry-level T2 Auris model, along with front electric windows, remote locking and a CD player. Plus, Toyota fitted the Auris with standard ABS and Brakeforce Distribution, while Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control come as standard. Move up one notch to the T3 and you'll find alloy wheels plus climate and cruise controls. Higher TR models come with Bluetooth and a CD multichanger, but it can't really match what Hyundai and Skoda have to offer as far as value for money is concerned.
If we take into consideration the overall package offered by the Auris, you could be looking at a bargain on some models, when you take into consideration that the base Auris comes with air-con, nine airbags and front power windows. Sure, it won't keep its value like a Volkswagen Golf or a Ford Focus would, but it will offer a good alternative for those on a budget, looking for a straightforward car that does the job without fancy add-ons.