From £14,864
Drop in performance pays for economy gains

Our Verdict

Toyota Auris
The Toyota Auris is a sharp-looking hatchback, but it lags behind its rivals in terms of dynamics and interior finish

The new Toyota Auris is super-rational and likely to be a good ownership proposition, but it lacks character and is dynamically behind the class best

Mild might be too strong a word to describe the revisions to Toyota’s best-selling car. The Corolla’s body-coloured grille is now neatly framed by two lines, and larger headlamps and a chunkier rear bumper round off what is a barely noticeable facelift.

But the big news lies under the bonnet. The 1.4-litre diesel engine from the Yaris has been fitted, albeit with revisions to the turbocharger and ECU to boost power from 74 to 89bhp. 

The adoption of this small-capacity oil-burner means the outdated 89bhp, 2.0-litre diesel lump is removed from the range. Replacing a 2.0-litre engine with one of such a small capacity might seem like a rough deal for buyers, but the 1.4-litre unit produces identical power, is Euro4 emissions compliant and returns 57.6mpg instead of 49.6mpg. But torque – the key to effortless driving – falls by 19lb ft to 140lb ft.

Turn the key and the new diesel is supremely refined, its civility noticeably superior to the outgoing 2.0-litre’s.

A Corolla diesel is hardly a sports car, although the smaller engine improves its agility – even if the steering lacks feel and the suspension allows noticeable body roll. At least the ride is compliant and the steering wheel can now be adjusted for reach as well as rake. If economy is all, then this 1.4 diesel Corolla is a huge improvement, but 2.0 diesel owners who trade down into it will notice the performance difference.

Jack Galusha

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI 150 S tronic
    First Drive
    29 May 2016
    We head to Havana to find out how the new Audi Q2 is shaping up ahead of its November launch
  • Seat Leon 1.4 EcoTSI FR Titanium
    First Drive
    27 May 2016
    High-spec new Titanium FR trim is temptingly good value, particularly on the semi-enthusiastic 1.4 EcoTSI petrol
  • Kia Niro
    First Drive
    27 May 2016
    The Kia Niro will be one of the greenest cars in the compact crossover class when it goes on sale later this year. We drive it to see what else it has to offer
  • Car review
    27 May 2016
    Can the turbocharged successor to the 458 raise the bar again?
  • Car review
    27 May 2016
    The big-in-every-way Bentley SUV lands. We assess the impact