Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
  • A choice of two engines in the Auris
  • One turbocharged petrol and a hybrid
  • Performance is good, but not thrilling

Toyota Auris performance

With a focus on efficiency rather than outright speed, performance in the Auris is adequate. The line-up comprises two options: a four-cylinder petrol and a petrol-electric hybrid.

Toyota Auris petrol engines

The 1.2-litre in the Auris produces 116hp and 185Nm torque, making this version good for the 0-62mph sprint in 10.1 seconds. It’ll go on to reach a top speed of 124mph.

It’s fair to say that these performance figures might not be that impressive, they don’t really reflect how well it drives. Although it’s unlikely that an enthusiast will be buying a 1.2-litre Auris, it’s good to know that it’s lively, refined and feels much bigger-engined than its modest capacity would have you believe. 

Toyota Auris driving side

A CVT transmission is also available with this engine if you prefer a two-pedal set-up. It’s marginally slower than the manual version, taking 10.5 seconds to complete the 0-62mph sprint, while the top speed is lower at 118mph.

Toyota Auris Hybrid

READ: How to drive a Toyota hybrid

The Toyota’s hybrid system utilises a 1.8-litre petrol engine, an electric motor, a battery pack and a continually variable automatic transmission. The electric motor can propel the car on its own, or work with the petrol engine to boost acceleration.

When the batteries deplete, the car switches over into conventional petrol mode until some charge is restored to the electrical system.

Toyota Auris engine

It’s not horrifically slow, either. The 0-62mph sprint takes 10.9 seconds and the hybrid Auris can reach a top speed of 112mph.

The only downsides are that, because of the way the transmission operates, the response to throttle inputs can be sluggish and the engine can also be noisy.

Toyota Auris engines no longer available

The entry-level petrol option used to be a 1.33-litre engine that produced 100hp and 128Nm of pulling power. Auris models with this engine accelerated from 0-62mph in 12.6 seconds and reached a top speed of 109mph.

If you needed a little more power, then there was the 1.6-litre petrol engine instead. It generated 130hp and 160Nm of pulling power, allowing the Auris to accelerate from 0-62mph in 10 seconds dead and on to a top speed of 124mph.

This engine is smooth and quiet when cruising, although it does need to be worked hard to maintain speed when going up hills. Additionally, the 1.6-litre engine is available with an automated manual transmission called Multidrive S.

There was just one diesel engine available in the Auris, a turbocharged 1.4-litre unit. Rated at 90hp and 205Nm of pulling power, it allowed the Toyota Auris to accelerate from 0-62mph in a reasonable 12.5 seconds. With this engine the Auris could reach a top speed of 112mph.

  • Auris handles well enough
  • But isn’t as entertaining as rivals
  • Easy to drive, with decent performance

Toyota Auris handling

The way the Auris handles could be described more as competent rather than engaging. That doesn’t matter necessarily, as many buyers just want a car that’s easy to drive.

While it isn’t as involving or as satisfying to drive as a Ford Focus or SEAT Leon, it's far from hopeless, and is actually rather capable. The steering doesn’t offer much in the way of feedback but it’s direct and there’s enough steering weight to inspire some confidence in faster corners.

The Toyota handles acceptably, too. There’s plenty of traction available and it doesn’t roll excessively, even in tighter bends. You won’t find it struggling for traction and the car feels relatively secure and settled, even on rough or wet roads.

Toyota Auris driving front

Further improving driver confidence is a range of safety systems, which keep the car in check, and disc brakes all round which provide good stopping power.

While keen drivers may find the Auris’s on-road behaviour disinteresting, many will be pleased at how uncomplicated and effortless it is to drive. What it does lack is any significant feedback, and that leaves it feeling unengaging, and very much the reliable, dependable automotive appliance. Good, but far from interesting.