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Monday, January 12, 2009

Toyota UK Launches Auris SR Versions

The Toyota Auris is now becoming a familiar sight on UK roads. It replaced the Toyota Corolla – the world’s best-selling car –and has received some criticism for looking very similar to its predecessor. However, it fits neatly into the manufacturer’s model range, complementing the Yaris’s “big small” with “short and tall”. The Toyota Auris SR adds 17-inch alloy wheels, rear tailgate spoiler, smoked glass headlamps and dark-tinted rear privacy glass over other models in the range to enhance the car’s sporty credentials.

The Toyota Auris SR is no less practical than the versatile regular Toyota Auris, sharing the same generous boot space of 354-litres, rising to 761 litres with the rear seats folded down. Also, within the cabin there are ten storage areas which contribute a further 32 litres of space. People are equally well-served in terms of space with good head and legroom for drivers and passengers.

The Toyota Auris SR is only available with the 175bhp 2.2-litre (there are four further engines – two petrol and two diesel - available for other models in the range). The D-4D 180 engine used in the SR comes from Toyota’s Avensis model with power delivered through a six-speed manual gearbox. It helps the car cover 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds and can achieve a maximum speed of 130mph. This performance is the biggest single difference between driving the SR and one of the other models in the range. Putting your foot down produces an instantaneous, powerful response.

Toyota has given the SR a different suspension system to other models in the Toyota Auris range. The multi-link rear suspension aims to support “high performance stability” and we found the nimble handling markedly better than other versions we had driven. The car would still benefit from sharper steering, especially on this sportier model. However, the quality of the ride makes the Toyota Auris a very comfortable car.

The Toyota Auris scores very well when it comes to interior space, with great headroom and plenty of room for passengers. This gives the cabin a nice, airy feel. The central console protrudes and runs back to the distinctive Auris handbrake and back to the gear stick and central storage area. There are few differences between the SR model and the level of specification which comes with the previously range-topping T Spirit trim.

The Toyota Auris SR returns an average of 45.6mpg and with CO2 emissions of 164g/km falls into car tax band D, an annual expense of £140. Some other Toyota Auris models fall into category C which cut that cost to £115 a year. The SR provides economical motoring, especially considering the powerful engine. As a sporty model the car attracts Group 13 insurance.

The SR trim is the top-of the range specification with the others available from entry-level upwards being T2, T3, TR and T Spirit. The SR trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, rear tailgate spoiler, smoked glass headlamps and dark-tinted privacy glass. Vehicle stability control and traction control are also included. Sat-nav is an option

The Toyota Auris is a new model which replaces the world’s best-selling car, the Toyota Corolla. As such there is not enough data to analyse this model’s reliability. However Toyota appears in ninth place in the Reliability Index and though we experienced one problem with our long term loan, the car meets the Toyota image of being very well made with quality materials.

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