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Auris - solid and reassuring

By unknown | Nov 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bruce Fraser

The Toyota Auris 1,8 RS has only been part of the Road Rave long-term test programme for a short period of time but is already proving itself a hit with those who have driven it.

I was fortunate enough to have it for a week recently while exploring the picturesque Waterberg region in Limpopo.

The five-door hatch is surprisingly roomy and with the 1,8 litre engine sitting under the bonnet, you get the impression the vehicle possesses enough grunt to hook up a trailer or caravan depending on your holiday option.

Spending the week in a game reserve, the car spent a bit of time off-road.

Though obviously not designed for bundu-bashing, the Auris handled the sand roads with ease and always felt secure and safe.

The seats - in cloth trim - are comfortable and practical and give the lower back plenty of support.

As you would expect from anything coming out of the Toyota stable - and the Auris is no exception - high quality workmanship on the body.

It is a solid little car and gives the driver a reassuring feel, that if, heaven forbid, something goes wrong, you are offered a certain amount of protection in an accident.

Backing up that solidness is a scattering of air bags for the front passengers.

Visibility is particularly good and the larger than normal side mirrors have managed to eliminate any nasty little blind spots.

The design of the car offers it a sporty feel and this is backed up by the design and placement of the gear stick.

It is slanted at a 45-degree angle between the dashboard and handbrake and is particularly easy and comfortable to use once familiar with it.

What I did miss though with the Auris is easy access to an area where you store your loose change for toll roads and other bits and pieces you need while driving.

With the Auris this space is located under the gear stick and is slightly difficult to reach while driving.

The Auris is not cheap, coming in at R190500, though for that price you do get a number of extras - ABS brakes, radio/CD player, alloy wheels, a multifunction steering wheel and other extras.

For the open stretches of the N1 highway it would have been nice to have cruise control which, unfortunately, is only available on the more upmarket RX model.


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