Toyota Auris (2007-2013)

The Toyota Auris has often had a rough ride in the press, thanks to its white goods nature. Designed to appeal to those who see their cars as mere transport, rather than something to enjoy driving, the Auris is one of those cars that gets on quietly doing its job, failing to inspire, but actually doing a pretty good job. So while this Focus rival is reliable, cheap to run and decently practical too, its bland styling and so-so driving experience guarantee you’ll never hear an Auris owner getting excited by their car. But if you’re after cheap, anonymous and dependable transport, then look no further.

Key dates

2/07: The Auris supersedes the Corolla with 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol (VVT-i) engines plus 1.4 or 2.0-litre (D-4D) diesels. There are three- or five-door hatches with T2, T3 or T-Spirit trims.

3/07: A 175bhp 2.2 D-4D debuts.

4/08: SR and TR trims join the range

7/08: A 1.4 D-4D engine is introduced and the 1.4 VVT-i engine is replaced by a 1.33-litre unit with stop/start.

7/10: The hybrid Auris (1.8 HSD) appears.

5/11: A range refresh brings extra kit for most models, plus the Edition replaces T2 trim.


  • The regular Auris has a reasonably sized 354-litre boot, but the hybrid edition cuts this to just 279 litres.
  • Automatic gearboxes aren’t very reliable; they can be reluctant to change gear, or changes can be jerky.
  • On manual cars, clutches can fail prematurely, so feel for slipping which suggests a new clutch is due.
  • Squealing brakes aren’t unusual. Many cars got new parts under warranty.
  • There have been instances of gearboxes being replaced under warranty, because they chatter so noisily.
  • The handbrake can fail to hold the car on an incline. Adjustment usually sorts things, but as a precaution, leave the car in gear.
  • Water in the spare wheel well is usually because the air vents behind the rear wheels have leaked – or it could be the rear light units letting in water.

We like

  • Practicality
  • Reliability
  • Comfort
  • Build quality
  • Spacious cabin

We don’t like

  • Stodgy dynamics
  • Bland design


Richard Dredge