Simplicity of drive is a winner

The first word could also be the last in this case, because there was nothing to question or to be negative about. The car did the business. Full stop!

The first word could also be the last in this case, because there was nothing to question or to be negative about. The car did the business. Full stop!

Much of Toyota’s hard earned reputation centred around important issues like good quality and easy and assured motoring.

Right now they are in a different, more daring place in terms of eye pleasing body shapes, and the good news is that quality hasn’t been affected or neglected.

One had driven no more than a few miles and already the feel of the Toyota Auris Touring Sports (their estate) was giving a positive feedback. The car simply eased along.

It did that during our entire time together. It was good service motoring, without a hitch.

There was a simplicity and ease about the drive, the handling, the use of the controls that jumped out at you because it was all so agreeable. This is exactly how things should be in the heartland of family motoring, where such Touring (estate) cars have a natural home.

The Auris Touring is a good, user friendly car. There is nothing over the top about it. Well done Toyota!

Providing a strong heartbeat is a good kicking 1.4-litre diesel, mated to a 6-speed gearbox. At a little over 2,000rpm this one breezes along, and one mean breezes without a murmur in the cabin, at motorway speed. Around the city it is a fine mover, with economy good in all sectors and conditions.

One drove the Auris Touring in some of the worst weather of late - high winds and driving rain - and there was no drag or movement from the wind catching the body or whatever. The Auris Touring Sports is 285mm longer than the hatchback, which is geared towards creating additional loadspace.

The boot area is so long from the low rear sill to the back of the rear seats that you have stretch to bridge the full gap. The boot can swallow a decent load. There are handy storage pockets on both sides of the rear door too, while the 60/40 split and folding rear seats offer all sorts of variations for carrying goods.

The cabin is comfortable and geared towards functionality. The space in the rear seats could be classed as okay rather than huge, but all the little touches are there for the family user - Isofix points, 12-volt socket, USB connection points and so on.

Our drive was in the high end Luna model which came with the camera assist feature for reversing. The guiding graphics - they mapped out the area behind you and projected it on to the screen in the middle of the dash’ - were ever so helpful, even when operating in the dark, even with the rain on the lense of the camera. In terms of operation, this was one of the best such units I have come across.

The Auris Touring Sport is a compact car that it easy to manoeuvre. The pleasing drive is an outstanding feature.

Standard features - Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, 7 airbags (including driver’s knee airbag), Stop/Star technology, LED daytime running lights, follow-me-home headlights, electric and heated exterior mirrors, blue theme illumination, USB and Aux-in connection for iPod®, driver’s seat height adjustment, 60:40 split rear seat configuration, ISOFIX child seat fixing points, 12V socket front, rear and boot, folding key design, Easy Fold remote rear seat folding levers.

The car

Toyota Auris Touring Sports Luna 1.4 D-4D €28,165 ;1364cc, 90bhp at 3,800rpm, 205NM at 1,800-2,800rpm; 6-speed manual gearbox, front wheel drive; maximum speed 180kph, zero to 100kph in 12.5 seconds; fuel consumption 4.2l (67.3mpg)l/100km (combined), 3.8, 74.3mpg (extra urban), 4.9, 57.6,pg (urban); C02 109g/km, annual road tax €190.