The Toyota Auris has never been the most inspirational choice on the family hatch market, but it actually does a very good job and is well worth a visit for second-hand buyers. It was offered as a gasoline, diesel and hybrid – which was unique in its class at the time – and it is reliable, inexpensive to run and practical. But the anonymous styling and mediocre driving experience mean you’ll rarely hear an Auris owner excited about their car. However, if you’re looking for affordable and reliable transportation with an easy driving experience, you’ve come to the right place with a used Toyota Auris.
The Toyota Auris was launched in 2006 as a replacement for the Toyota Corolla. The Mk1 was then replaced by the Mk2 in 2012, and that’s the model we’re focusing on here. A facelift was introduced in 2015, so we’ll detail the changes and improvements below. In 2019 Toyota launched a new model that replaced the Auris, which traced its family sedan back to the Corolla name, and the Corolla is now exclusively available as a hybrid.
- Toyota Auris Mk2 (2012-2018) – Reliable family hatch is a solid second-hand choice
Toyota Auris Mk2
Prices from £ 4,000
The second generation Auris hit UK showrooms in January 2013 with a choice of 1.33 or 1.6 liter petrol engines, alongside a 1.4 liter diesel and a 1.8 liter hybrid model. Initially there was only a five-door hatchback body, but from spring 2013 a Touring Sports station wagon was added to the range.
Car group tests
From June 2014 the Icon Plus replaced the sports equipment with privacy glass and heated front sports seats. A revised Auris came into the showrooms in July 2015. In addition to an overhauled 1.4-liter diesel engine, there was a new 1.2-turbo gasoline engine and a 1.6-liter diesel. The interior and exterior design have also been refreshed, the refinement has been improved and the steering and suspension have also been redesigned. At the same time, the cabin was equipped with higher quality materials.
Toyota Auris Mk2 reviews
Which one should I buy?
If you make a lot of highway trips, the diesel model is your best bet as it happily eats the kilometers. Otherwise, the petrol engines are fine, if not particularly bubbly, while the automatic transmission is equally loved and loathed by the owners. The hybrid versions offer an excellent alternative to diesel models due to their smoothness and impressive fuel consumption, but they lack a bit of pulling power.
The entry-level equipment Active offers air conditioning, electrically adjustable, heated exterior mirrors and electric windshields. The Icon offers 16-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio, touchscreen multimedia, Bluetooth, a parking camera and electric rear windows.
The sports equipment is equipped with 17-inch wheels, sports seats and privacy glass, while the top model Excel has a two-zone automatic air conditioning, cruise control, automatic lighting and windshield wipers as well as heated front seats.
Alternatives to the Toyota Auris Mk2
The Volkswagen Golf is very popular due to its wide range of engines, equipment and body styles and has a strong image – which is why the values tend to be high despite the company’s recent problems. The Ford Focus, which is also very well equipped, offers more driving fun and a better price-performance ratio.
The Opel Astra is cheaper to buy than the Toyota, and while generally not as reliable, it’s still an affordable family car. The Renault Megane, Citroen C4, and Peugeot 308 are all cheaper than the Auris, but none typically offer the same incredible levels of reliability.
If this is high on your needs list, the Hyundai i30, Kia Cee’d, and Honda Civic are all worth a look, along with the grossly underrated Mazda 3. If you’re looking for an alternative to the Toyota Auris Touring Sports, most of them do The competitors mentioned are also available as longer and practical station wagon models.
What to look for:
The Auris Hybrid claims 74 mpg, but in the real world it’s often closer to 50 mpg. In really cold conditions, economy can drop closer to 45 mpg. The 1.2 gasoline model may well struggle to get 40 mpg while the 112-horsepower diesel demands 67.3 mpg – but like the hybrid, take that with a pinch of salt.
It’s not uncommon to hear a creaking noise when opening or closing the front doors. The door stops must be well greased to avoid the annoying noise.
The seals for the taillight cluster and the tailgate can fail, which can cause water to get into the trunk. This then leads to the windows fogging up.
The Auris doesn’t have a spare wheel, although some owners have paid extra for a space saver. However, the bike must be stowed in the trunk.
The dashboard is easy to use, but some of the interior materials don’t look or feel very high quality and the design is more functional. There is plenty of space in the rear seats for this, and the 350-liter trunk increases to 1,200 liters when the rear seats are folded down – these values also apply to the hybrid versions. Kombi models offer a useful 530 liters of space (1,658 with the seats folded down) and have a lower lip than hatchback models so that bulky items can be loaded more easily.
All Auris Mk2 require servicing every 10,000 miles or 12 months. There are small, medium, and large schedules; or in Toyota it speaks Intermediate, Full and Full +. For gasoline and diesel versions these are £ 145, £ 205 and £ 275, respectively, while for hybrids the cost is £ 169, £ 219 and £ 279, respectively.
All Auris engines are chain driven so there is no timing belt to replace, but the brake fluid should be changed every two years at a cost of £ 39. The coolant needs to be changed every 10 years or 100,000 miles – count on about £ 65 to get this job done.
So far there have been a few product recalls affecting the Mk2 Auris. The first was issued in January 2015 and was aimed at diesel cars built through September 2013. These could suffer from oil build-up in the turbocharger, which could then get into the cylinders and damage the engine.
Another recall came in August 2015. For Auris Hybrids manufactured between May 2013 and May 2014, the problem was centered on the overheating of the powertrain inverter, causing the car to go into limp mode.
A recall in October 2018 was aimed at fixing some software issues in the ECU, and it affected hybrids built through November 2014. Since then there have been minor recalls for the fuel suction plate and leather seat covers. Another ECU recall was initiated in June 2020 for cars built between February 2014 and November 2018.
Driver Power owner satisfaction
The Auris took 45th place in our Driver Power 2015 satisfaction survey, with many placements in the middle class – such as 46 for operating costs and 49 for driving friendliness. Reliability is the highlight (28th), while 136th place pulled the total number of points down. It took 64th place for the quality of workmanship and 77th place for seating comfort.
Toyota scores well in our driver performance survey. In 2020, the brand was ranked sixth out of 30 manufacturers, with operating costs and reliability being particularly praised.
If you have competitors like the well-rounded Volkswagen Golf or the dynamically excellent Ford Focus, why settle for something that doesn’t sparkle any more than the Auris? The simple answer is that the car isn’t bad in any particular area, and it’s usually as impressive as you’d expect from a Toyota in terms of reliability and running costs.
That’s how much some motorists want from a car, and when you consider that the Auris is cheap – if not the cheapest choice in its class – it’s worth taking a closer look. If you can afford it, go for a facelift model (launched July 2015) as these are better to drive.