It was some way from the top of most judges’ score sheets, but nonetheless the Toyota Auris gave a good account of itself.
Strong brakes stopped the Auris in just 10.3m from 30mph with a caravan in tow. That’s one of the best stopping distances in this class.
When pushed hard in the lane-change test the Auris also delivered, with the stability control working hard to minimise drama and keep everything pointing in the right direction.
The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) really helped on the hill start, taking the hard work away from the driver. However, it did make for noisy acceleration as the engine revved hard and the CVT adjusted the gear ratio to build speed.
So, a solid enough tow car, but as a solo drive the Auris is dull. It doesn’t ride or handle as well as VW Golf and the cabin is nothing like as spacious as the Skoda Octavia’s. On the plus side, it does weigh more than the Skoda and VW, giving a higher 85% match figure.
Toyotas have a deserved reputation for reliability, and despite being petrol-powered, official figures promise that the Auris will return 48.7mpg.