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Toyota Auris Sport X

by CAR magazine on 01/09/2010

Comments: 0

John BentleyGood package damned by bland looks – JB
Kelly LodewyksA comfortable and solid package, but not what I would call sporty – KL
Peter PalmGood all rounder, but needs more oomph to match the title – PP
ROAD TEST
SCORE
14/20

At A Glance

Make TOYOTA Auris
Retail Price R263 000,00
kw 93
Torque 310
Top Speed 175

TOYOTA enjoyed huge success when its RunX shot to the top of the sales charts from the word go. This was a vehicle that offered comfort, a decent level of luxury, some personality and was quite good to drive, too.

Enter the Auris, launched as a replacement for the RunX, which wasn’t around for very long, but certainly long enough to win over the hearts of many motorists. Auris immediately struggled to pick up the mantle of its predecessor. Moving it off showroom floors was not nearly as easy as Toyota had expected, and those who were looking to upgrade from the RunX were not enamoured of a vehicle that had moved up in price range, but seemed to have lost some personality.

Toyota South Africa has explained that, when the Auris was launched, many potential buyers did not know that it was a replacement for the RunX. So, to make the connection clearer, the company has upgraded the engines and appearance and slapped the “X” onto the name to create the Auris X. Sounds suggestive and somewhat exciting, doesn’t it?

The X upgrade includes a new front bumper and fresh styling for the grille, which is now wider and adds a bit of sportiness. There is also a new front spoiler to complement revised headlamp clusters. The SportX model here has the same spec package as its Auris XS sibling, but adds an aero kit that includes side, front and rear skirts, a diffuser and… customised carpets.

The SportX comes with 16-inch alloys shod with 205/55 rubber as standard. Other features include a rear spoiler with an integrated high-mounted brake lamp, privacy glass for the rear side windows and rear screen and front foglamps.  At 4 245 mm long, 1 760 mm wide and 1 515 mm high, the Auris certainly is a fair bit bigger than the old RunX. This results in an airy and spacious cabin.

Climbing inside, it is immediately apparent that a lot of time has been spent on making the interior as comfortable as possible. With both rake and reach adjustment on the steering column and lots of variation available on the driver’s seat, it is easy to find a comfortable driving position.

There is a lot of space around the driver and all the important controls are within easy reach. The layout of the facia is simple and very easy to get used to and steering wheel-mounted controls are an added bonus. The amber lighting of the instruments will not appeal to all tastes and some testers commented that the digital fuel gauge was not very clear, but the general consensus was that the instruments are neat.

Standard comfort, convenience and entertainment features include an audio system with a USB/aux-in jack, electric windows all round and electrically adjustable mirrors. The 1,6-litre powerplant in the SportX has 6 kW and 3 N.m more than that in the outgoing Auris, which takes the maximum power to 97 kW at 6 400 and torque to 160 N.m at 4 400 r/min. Toyota claims that while power and torque are up, emissions have been reduced and fuel consumption has improved thanks to Toyota’s Optimal Drive technology, which has been applied to all engines across the range. CAR’s fuel index comes to 8,3 litres/100 km, which gives the Auris a range of 663 km on a full 55-litre tank. The taxable CO2 emissions fi gure for the SportX is 165 g/km.

Sending drive to the front wheels is a notably slick sixspeed manual transmission that is only let down by a clutch that seems far too light. This engine and transmission set-up helped the SportX achieve performance figures of 10,70 seconds for the zero-to-100 km/h sprint and a 195 km/h top speed. It’s not a ball of fire, and defi nitely not what one would expect of something badged as a “sport” model.

The average 100-to-zero km/h time was a just-below-average 3,13 seconds, with a braking system that is equipped with ABS with EBD. Suspension consists of a combination of MacPherson struts with an anti-roll bar at the front and a torsion beam axle with coil springs at the rear and this proved to be a well conceived set-up. All testers remarked on the comfortable ride quality, even over roads marred by uneven surfacing. The handling surprised most of us as the Auris SportX proved to be an agile car, even though the tyres squealed with little provocation. These two features – ride and handling – were by far the most impressive things about the SportX’s character.

Passive safety features include central locking, an antitheft alarm, whiplash injury lessening (WIL) concept seats for driver and front passenger, ISOFIX anchorages for child seats and seven airbags.

TEST SUMMARY
The Auris SportX has a lot going for it – quality levels seem high, standard specification is good, driving dynamics proved better than expected and overall it is a very comfortable car to drive. However, the bland looks and lazy performance fall short of what one would expect a “sport” model to offer. Also counting against the Auris SportX is the high price tag of R243 800. It just seems too much money for a vehicle that wants to replace a best seller, but can’t match it on all bases.

View other Toyota road tests.

Prices And Specs

Make
Model
Retail Price
kw
Torque
0-100km
Top Speed
Fuel Type
Fuel Consumption
Tyre Size Front
Tyre Size Rear
Rear Tyre Size Width
Rear Tyre Size Profile
Rear Tyre Rim Size
Spare Tyre Size
Tyre Pressure Monitor
Tyre Specification
Wheelbase

Safety And Features

Air Conditioner Manual
Audio System CD Frontloader
Rev Counter Yes
Gearbox Manual
ABS Brakes Yes
Power Steering Yes
Seats 5
Steering Wheel Heated No
Speakers 6
Colour Coded Bumpers Body Colour
Leather Trim No
Alarm Yes
Anti Skid Control No
Electronic Defferential No
Gears 6
Height 1505
Onboard Computer Yes
Immobiliser Yes
Split Rear Seats Yes
Brake Assist Yes
Electric Seats -
Cup Holders Yes
Electric Mirrors Yes
Electric Windows Front Rear
Airbag DPS
Doors 5
Airbag Driver Yes
Airbag Passenger Yes
Navigation System No
Park Assistance No
Side Impact Protection Bars Yes
Sunroof No
Fog Lamps Front Yes
Fog Lamps Rear No
Headlight Type Halogen
Towbar Yes
Payload -
Bull Bar -

  • Victor

    These days driving any new Toyota brands you as an old fogy. Will Toyota ever make something of beauty like the MR2 again?
    (A dull old fellow; a person behind the times,
    over-conservative, or slow)

  • MetalHed

    Still too expensive for a 1.6!!!

  • Niel Mohan

    Toyota very good cars. I currently own a runx and toyota has not made the new aurisX any exciting. I want to replace my current car but i see no reason why i should replace my current runx for an overpriced replacement which is not any better. Toyota where is the new RSI???

  • Graps

    Boring boring boring car. Just like the Yaris Sport – all show but no go

  • Ahmed Ginnah

    I am not a Toyota fan nor a Toyota driver, and I am NOT SURPRISED at the comments made above and I wholeheartedly agree with all the comments. TODAY ALL Toyotas are too expensive, bland and with ADD-ON horrible appendages, making an ugly slow car even uglier, heavier and a sore thumb to look at on our roads. Graps, Neil Mohan, Anonymous and Victor are say what you need to know about TOYOTAS. Nothing New except the high cost to purchase one. I am surprised to read (above article) that potential Toyota buyers DID NOT KNOW that the successor to the Run X was the Auris, and thus Toyota added the suffix \”X\” to the Auris range to make the connection clearer. Just shows the knowledge of cars the potential Toyota buyers have when making their choice of vehicle. I would rather buy a Mini Cooper S or an Alfa Mito Quadrifoglio for similar money and BLOW every Toyota Auris X away. It is NOT ABOUT GETTING THERE IT IS HOW YOU GET THERE(- in Style) . Ahmed Ginnah

  • Speed

    Sure this is not a RSi – but still one of the best 1.6′s
    Auris 97kw; 0- 100 = 10.4s
    Golf 1.6: 75kw; 0 – 100= 11.4s
    Renault Megane 1.6 83kw; 0- 100 12.3s
    Opel Astra 1.6 85kw; 0 – 100 = 12.3s
    Mazda 1.6 sport; 77 kw; 0 – 100= 11.4s
    BMW 116i; 85kw; 0 -100= 11.4s
    Ford Focus 1.8 – 92kw ; 0 – 100= 10.3s

    I own a Auris 1.6; 91kw and it goes – other 1.6 and even 1.8′s cannot keep up with this one and it handles like dream – also light on fuel. Good car – worth it.
    When the engine reach 3000rpm it takes off – feel like a turbo.

  • Victor

    @Speed. Now lets have a quick look what you can get for Auris money: VW Golf 1.4TSi R238k 90kw 0-100 9.7s Focus 2.0Si R244k 107kw 0-100 9.0s. Kia Koup 2.0l R210k 115kw 0-100 9.6s And of the cuff the Civic, Suzuki SX4 and quite a fe more all deliver more oomph for less rands. Personally I would take the Koup, pocket the R33 000 price difference and still drive rings around the Auris

    Live is just to short to drive a boring car

  • anthony

    Toyotas are the dullest,most boring cars on the market worldwide.
    Give me a Volkswagen,or Honda product instead anyday of the week.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • Yster

    not bad looking. Only thing though, is take off the X badge or anything on the car that points to any sporty. This is just another lazy 1.6L trying to fool people into thinking its a performance car.

  • Louis

    I think all cars are too expensive but at least the Auris or any other Toyota dont need 100 turbos like some of the vw’s we see these days.

    It is getting very silly to just have this small engine and add who knows how many turbos.

  • Gareth

    @Lousie – Which vw has more than 1 turbo? If I remember correctly the 1.4 TSI from vw only has 1 turbo! Performance way better is fuel economy is better as well! Turbo chargers are the future for performance and fuel economy in standard production cars…