Exclusive! New Toyota Auris: your verdict

Production of the all-new and British-built Toyota Auris is finally underway, but last week we were given an exclusive chance to be the first to drive the car ahead of its official launch at Toyota’s Burnaston factory.

New Auris exclusive first driveAn embargo means we can’t talk about how it drives just yet (other than to say we liked it!), so instead we took it to you, the Great British Public, to find out exactly what you think.

This was the first time New Auris would be seen on UK roads, and secrecy ahead of the factory launch was important, so we took the car on a whistle-stop tour of the South West to get people’s first reactions.

We drove an Auris Hybrid, in the new mid-spec Icon grade (find out about Auris prices and specification here).

Teacher Lara Hosford, above, who lives near Chilcompton, said: ‘It’s comfortable, and it feels like I could get used to it quickly because it’s nice and simple inside.

‘It looks nicer than a Focus or an Astra, I’d say it’s a little bit like a BMW, especially from the back. The first thing I noticed was the colour, the white paint is pearly and it sparkles when you’re up close to it, it’s lovely.’

Mark Wilde, who runs a catering company and lives in Yeovil, said: ‘I have a van to get my work equipment around, but I usually need a car as well. The Land Rover I have at the moment is terrible in terms of fuel, so the hybrid sounds really good to me.

‘Anything that would lower my fuel and tax bills is worth a look, so it’s certainly something I’ll think about when I change my car. I like the look of it too.’

Oliver McManus, above, who lives in Yeovil, said: ‘I think it’s really good looking.  My wife and I have just had our first baby so practicality is important. The boot space looks about right in terms of space for what we need, like a pram and baby stuff. If I could get something that’s cheaper to run than my car I’d be really happy, so the Auris Hybrid seems great.’

Lucie Adams and Kevin Buxton, above, from South Petherton, both complimented the style of New Auris. Lucie said: ‘I really like the shape; it’s a good-looking car. I didn’t know Toyota makes it in the UK, but that’s really good to hear and it would make me prefer to buy it than something made in Europe or somewhere else.’

Kevin added: ‘It looks very smart, and I like the idea of the hybrid system, it sounds really clever. I’d really like to have a drive in it.’

Yeovil resident Judith Kingsmill, above, said: ‘It looks lovely, I know Toyotas quite well as some of my friends and colleagues own them and this is a lot better than the previous Auris. It looks like it’s got plenty of space and the interior is smart too.‘

Jo Feltham, who also lives in Yeovil, said: ‘I’m a Volkwagen owner and I’ve had them for a long time, but I really like the lines and the shape of this, it’s quite distinctive. The VWs I’ve had have always been pretty reliable but I know Toyota is very good on that side of things, so I would take a look at the Auris when I change my Beetle.’

So what do you think of new Auris? Take a look at these images from our drive (you can find more Auris pictures here, and all our new Auris content here) and leave a comment below.

New Toyota Auris exclusive first drive

New Toyota Auris exclusive first drive



  1. Looks and sounds as if will be well received.
    We have been looking for a slightly smaller and more economical alternative to our 10yr old Laguna for 5 months without success.
    The noise level of modern and new models has been horrendous and leaves us feeling tired and shattered after an hours test drive. We have always been releived to get back in our dated but comfortable, QUIET old Laguna. Will the new Auris be able to fill our requirements I wonder? We will wait till December to see unless another unknown car appears before then!!

  2. We own a Prius T-Spirit “Gen2” and are considering a New Gen 3 Prius.

    But this is on hold due to the launch of the New Auris Hybrid in December, our concern is it has the same mechanicls as our old Gen 2 Prius i.e uses the same engine.

    Also I did look at the Gen1 Auris Hybrid when it came out, and did not like the car at all, at that time we had an Auris petrol T-Spirit. So apart from changing to a hybrid would not gain anything.

    So too sum up, Why have Toyota re-styled the Auris !!! so soon. For me to change from a Gen2 Prius to the Gen2 Auris hybrid what are if any the advanta ges if any.

    The model of the Gen2 Auris hybrid with a similar spec too our own car would be the XL, am I correct !!

      1. What is the difference in mechanics as I thought the engine was the same as Gen2.

        I also noted on the Gen3 Prius that they have done away with the Parking assist system WHY !!!!

        Also the T-Spirit badge on the rear of the Tailgate has been removed WHY !!! it would appear we are now getting less for our money. Something too do with class thing I guess ( no more T3, T4 and T-spirit ) snob thing.

        And now Toyota has had a price increase on the Paint choice of nearly £200.00p.

        Getting less for our money NOT more.

      2. Hi Charles,
        The Gen 3 Prius marked the beginning of a new generation of HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) for Toyota with a new hybrid drivetrain. This drivetrain is used in the new Auris Hybrid with a few updates, mainly moving from a 1.5 engine (Gen 2) to the current 1.8 engine. Along with this, the Auris has a different aesthetic, spec, boot space…deciding which model is right for you depends on what you’ll mainly be using your car for.
        The Auris comes with the reversing camera as standard on Icon models and above, along with the Toyota Touch system.
        Thanks for your posts.

      3. Thank you for your reply, I am aware the New Auris has the Gen3 engine size as the Prius Gen 3.

        My own Prius Gen 2 T-Spirit “Reg Dec 2009” has a Sat Nav fitted. But not so on the New Auris Hybrid in any of the variants. You now have to pay extra if you what it fitted (More Money) Not Happy.

        The question now is do I go for another Prius Gen 3 spec as old T-Spirt or do I wait and see what I make of the New Auris Hybrid XL

      4. Charles I have the only car in this country with every available extra bought as a package.The Avensis Spirit 2012 model.Thats the way we are going not only with cars but a scone,jam and cream in the M&S cafe.It is worth remembering your Prius was basically built for the American market and in no way does it come up to british spec on other Spirit models.I owned one for 3 weeks in year 2009 but quickly went back to the Avensis.Please listen to me and get the new Auris Excel.

  3. Hi Arthur,
    As per our previous correspondance, the cars are expected in Dealers around the 3rd December 2012. If you’d like to get the most up-to-date information we suggest speaking directly with Charles Hurst as they’ll be able to comment about their specific delivery times. Here’s their contact number for you: 0844 659 6945.
    Many thanks.

  4. Trying to figure is the car a hatch back,does the door open in 2 pieces,Surprised no pics are shown detailing the luggage space As it would be needed to carry a wheel chair….Thanks

    1. Having seen the Excel I asm slightly dissapointed.The interior is dull and boring,Carpets and trim finishers are poor quality.Although the ext is nice and trendy it is let down by paint finish on the black finishers on each door which is shocking for Toyota.This is an expensive piece of kit and doesnt have the amount of add ons like the Avensis Spirit.

  5. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your posts.
    The new Auris is a hatchback however the doors do not open in 2 pieces. The luggage capacity is 360 litres, the size and shape of the wheelchair will be the factor as to whether it’ll fit. We’d suggest you visit your Local Dealer to see the car in the flesh! The Auris Hybrid Excel (Excel is now the grade previously known as T-Spirit) comes with 17″ tyres. Finally, there will be plenty of stock at launch for customers.
    We hope this helps, many thanks.

    1. Ahh Oliwer,Was refering to height in boot,Seats are removable from wheelchairs though.But my new avensis spirit saloon just will not do.Yea am aware of the 17″ Wheels it was TYRE Sizes which I asked of like 195 or 225 but at an educated guess would think 195s.Cheers

  6. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for confirming your questions. The height of the boot is 552mm and the tyre size for the Auris Hybrid Excel is 225.
    The new Auris will be available in showrooms early next week. If you’d like to experience the car for yourself, your local dealer will be happy to help, you can find their details are here: http://ow.ly/fHDvT.
    Thanks again for your posts.

  7. I have just bought a diesel Auris 1.4 but I’m a little disappointed by all the negative reviews on this car,I’m just wondering if I should of bought a fiesta,why are these car magazines rating it so low in overall performance,I should of read up on these reviews before I bought this car,your opinions would be most welcome,this is a 62 plate.

    1. Hi Janet
      Thanks for your post.
      Good to hear about your Auris 1.4 and sorry that you feel the media reviews have all been negative. I can assure you that we have received positive reviews on this car as well. When we loan a car to a publication for review we accept that this will cover both positive and negative features in the eyes of that particular tester. This is meant as a guide but the best way of course is for an individual to drive the car for themselves as to whether it suits their own needs. The British built Auris diesel is praised for good build quality, reliability and a low emission diesel engine which is cost efficient to run. Plus of course you have peace of mind with a Toyota five year or 100,000 mile warranty. This also applies to your query about driving the car on the motorway. Finally you are not alone, the comments you have seen did not stop over 9,300 customers taking delivery of a Toyota Auris in 2013, up more that 60 per cent over 2012.
      Hope this helps but please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

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