Toyota Auris 1.4 petrol 2009

Petrol power; it’s getting rare to find a newer car on a dealer forecourt that runs on the stuff, due to the Irish Government bringing in car tax based on Co2 emissions most people bought a diesel car from 2008 on. Instead of changing to one tax system the government decided to have 2 kinds of tax, any car registered before 2008 is on the old engine size tax. Nevertheless today here stands a 2009 Toyota Auris 1.4 petrol with a Co2 output of 163g/km. This is the last of the true 1.4’s as Toyota has released the low Co2 1.33 petrol, with only 139g/km. The Auris replaced the very dull but bulletproof Corolla hatchback; the Auris is a much nicer car in every respect, a purposeful tough look exterior and high roof line makes it look impressive.

The dash layout is clear and functional looking, the centre console is meant to have been inspired for the flying buttress of Notre Dame, which means the gear stick is set high and there’s storage underneath. The handbrake is set at rather an odd angle, it’s near vertical but you soon get used to it, the seating position is great, I seem to be able to get comfortable no matter where I put the seat, this is the Terra model so it’s just the basic equipment, it’s a little strange to find nothing on the steering wheel other than the horn. I also like the way the dashboard lights brighten when you start the car, it’s a nice touch, and it also means in bright sunlight you can see the dials.

The back seat is decent for the size of the car, there’s plenty of leg room and just about room for three adults. The 354ltr boot has a good load space and opening, but there is a big enough lip to get over.

The 1.4ltr 97PS engine won’t exactly get the pulses racing with a 0-60 time of 12.7sec but it will get you where you want to go. At low speeds the steering is light and easy to control, the high mounted gear shift means you don’t mind flicking from one gear to another, the gear leaver does slightly get in the way of the air controls, it’s not a big problem just an annoying feature. At motorway speeds the engine does drone a bit, it only seems to happen at 120kph and above, it does feel a little light in the steering wheel when cruising, there’s very little wind noise and plenty of comfort. On the back roads the suspension does a good job of keeping the bumps to a minimum while offering plenty of grip. There’s little sign of under steer, but there’s little enough horse power to pull away from the corners so you’ll never be going fast enough to get any over steer. There’s an arrow on the dash that tells you when you change gear, it’s obviously set for economy because when I obeyed it I felt like the car would cut out the revs were so low. Around the town the Auris is great; plenty of room and good seating position mean visibility is enough without being too bright in the cabin.

The Toyota Auris Terra is a good honest car, there are no frills and it’s a little short on horses but as a fundamental piece of equipment I can’t fault it, decent comfort, size, boot space. Toyota is still a good badge in Ireland; it has always been reliable despite some recent hiccups. At €12,500 for a 2009 Auris you can’t go far wrong.

You can see the car I drove on Carzone, you can test drive it yourself in Downey’s Auto Stop Portlaoise, just be sure to mention the review here.