Toyota Auris Touring Sport Review

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Toyota Auris Touring Sport Quick Review

7.6
This is the score given by Car & Driving
  • 9 Economy
  • 9 Build
  • 8 Insurance
  • 8 Depreciation
  • 8 Equipment
  • 8 Value
  • 8 Styling
  • 8 Comfort
  • 7 Space
  • 6 Handling
  • 5 Performance

Short Review

With their rejuvenated Auris Touring Sports model, Toyota aims to bring us a compact yet very spacious estate that's a cut or two above the class norm. This version boasts a smart look, impressive safety provision and lots of equipment. And it's still very practical, with a decent 530-litre boot that extends to 1,658-litres with the seats folded. It's a car that's been under-rated.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport LeaseFetcher Review

Verdict

The Toyota Auris Touring Sport is the stretched estate version of the moderately successful Toyota Auris. With a new back section bolted on, it’s not what you’d call a looker but that’s always a trade-off with estate models.

Under the new body, the Touring Sport is largely similar to the Auris it’s based on. It’s a very well built car with decent engines, responsive handling and a comfy ride. But when you stack it up against the best estate cars of 2018 — the Skoda Superb Estate, the Jaguar XF Sportbrake the Volvo V90 — you have to ask whether that’s enough.

Let’s find out!

Style

Look, estates are never going to be the best-looking cars but the Toyota does an admirable job. The basic Auris style is there — sharp headlights, thin air intakes, tinted rear windows — but there’s just an extra box bolted on the back.

It’s not the worst looking estate out there (Subaru Levorg, I’m looking at you) but it’s no Jaguar Sportbrake, either.

Interior

Inside, the cabin is quite a nice place to be. The dash is mix of simplicity (most physical buttons have been relegated to the infotainment panel) and intricacy (the wheel is still a mosaic of buttons). It shouldn’t really work but, for some reason, it looks great in the Auris.

As I mentioned, a lot of buttons and dials have been relegated to the infotainment panel, which sits bang in the centre of the centre console. I prefer this look as panels can look like an afterthought when they’re fixed on top of the central vents.

Strangely, they’ve also included an independent digital clock, which sits to the side of the infotainment panel. While it looks a bit dated, it’s actually quite handy to have the time accessible when the infotainment system is off.

The infotainment system itself comprises a seven-inch touchscreen panel that comes as standard across all trims. The actual system software is a bit hit and miss as the graphics are often quite sluggish, which makes it a bit of a pain to use. Also remember that sat nav is optional and smartphone mirroring isn’t available, which is disappointing on a car sold in 2018.

Driving

The Toyota comes in four different trims — Icon, Icon Tech, Design and Excel — and there’s not a whole lot of difference between them.

The same two engines — a 115 bhp 1.2-litre petrol turbo and a 136 bhp 1.8-litre hybrid — are available on all four trims. The petrol is available with either a manual or an automatic whereas the hybrid only comes with the automatic gearbox.

Both engines are nippy, willing and efficient. Obviously, the hybrid (65.6 mpg) is more fuel efficient than the petrol (52.3 mpg) but the difference isn’t as big as you might expect.

Behind the wheel, the Toyota Auris Touring is quiet and refined. It is not necessarily an engaging drive but as an estate, you get more points for practicality than fun.

Suspension is soft, which helps the 1,400 kg Toyota soak up all but the deepest potholes. The steering, unfortunately, isn’t so good and isn’t quite as responsive as we’d like. But, again, this is an estate not a coupe.

Toyota, as we all know, is super into safety and the Auris Touring Sport is no different. With a five star safety rating from Euro NCAP, you could drive this thing into a wall and (probably) walk away unscathed. (Please don’t drive into a wall. We can’t actually vouch for the Toyota’s wall-to-face safety.)

Practicality

Space in the front is good and feels, more or less, the same as the basic Auris. There’s decent headroom, legroom, the seats are comfy and there’s plenty of adjustment in the seating position. Storage space in the front is also good with big bins in the doors, a deep glovebox and a hidden cubbie under the centre armrest.

With estates, it’s the second bank of seats where you start to see real improvements. However, since the base Toyota had such a flat roof, head space was already quite impressive. So the estate version doesn’t really chance that much. There’s maybe a touch more room but it was already a comfortable car with three passengers in the back.

Oh, and if you go for the hybrid, don’t worry about losing space to batteries. With the Toyota, they hide the battery bank underneath the rear seats, which retains as much useable internal space as possible.

Boot space, as you can probably guess, is enormous. You’re looking at 530 litres with the seats up and 1,658 litres with the seats down. It’s useful space too since the Toyotas’ boot lip is relatively relatively flush to the boot floor. On top of the cavernous boot space, you’ve also got some storage bins on either side of the main boot space, which gives you somewhere to secure small loose items.

Practicality

As I mentioned above, the Toyota Auris Touring Sport comes in four different trims — Icon, Icon Tech, Design and Excel.

The good news is the basic trim (Icon) is actually pretty well kitted out. Follow-me-home headlights, push-to-start, aircon, fingertip controls, auto high beams, daytime running LEDs, road sign assist, lane departure and stop-start all come as standard on all levels of trim.

As you go up the tiers, you get some nice additions but there’s nothing that you simply couldn’t live without. The Icon Tech gets cruise control. The Design gets bucket seats and park assist. The Excel gets smart entry, auto folding mirrors, heated front seats and dual zone climate control.

Toyota Auris Touring Sport Gallery

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View the available trims for the Toyota Auris Touring Sport starting from £214.63 per month

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