Reader test: Toyota Auris
I have driven many cars of a wide variety over the last 10 years, from a Volkswagen Golf to Polo Classic, VW's Jetta (both diesel and petrol, Toyota Corolla and Avensis, to a Lexus IS250 SE.
Obviously you can never compare the luxury of the Lexus IS250 with that of the VW Polo Classic, for instance, but then you also can’t compare the pricing.
The Toyota Auris is closer to the bottom end of the two and is priced at around R220 000. Yes, the Auris is highly priced for a 1.6, but I truly feel that it is worth the money. It is a very classy car and comes standard with many features other manufacturers charge a hefty fee for.
These features include a multi-function steering wheel, six-disc MP3/CD player with superb sound, height-adjustable front seats and front fog lights, as well as 16-inch mags.
Safety is also not compromised and the Auris comes standard with six airbags, including two front airbags, two curtain airbags and two side airbags.
Legroom in the back is plentiful and seating is very comfortable. The Auris only lacks boot space, but that is because I had a Corolla with a big boot before I got this car. I still manage to fit a big coolbag and the family of fours’ luggage, without having to strap anything to the roof or make the kids sit on the luggage.
The DOHC 16-valve 1.6 dual VVT-i engine is also remarkable and produces 91 kW at 6 000 r/min with 157 Nm of torque at 5 200 r/min, which makes it one of the strongest sixteen hundreds on the market.
When driving the 1.6 Auris, you can feel the engine come to life at just under 5 000 r/min. And it pulls right the way through to 6 500 r/min - almost as if you have a small nitro button at your disposal.
The fuel consumption is around 8- to 8.5 l/100 km on a combined cycle, but that is when your foot is pretty heavy. On the open road, consumption drops down to around 7.5 l/100 km. The top speed is claimed to be 190 km/h.
Road holding is superb and there is almost no roll when going through corners. The steering is direct and offers some feedback from the road, making it easier to control the car through the corners.
With the comfort, safety and assurance of a 90 000 km/five-year service plan, the 1.6 Toyota Auris RS is a pretty good buy.