Toyota might actually have been better served retaining the Corolla badge for the Auris, as our expectations would have been lower.

The Auris has little of the dynamic sparkle or design brilliance shown by the class leaders. It does most things well enough, but in its tilt towards MPV proportion and detailing it is left rather exposed.

The Auris makes the most sense in hybrid form

In that respect, Toyota has failed in its attempt to create a small car that engages the emotions of those who drive it. The Auris might succeed in other areas, but there are better alternatives in the class.

It's car which makes the most sense in its hybrid form, where it is something of an unsung hero. But ultimately it is a car destined to be bought as a tool; a white good.

It's something capable of ticking the boxes to achieve the dictionary definition of a car, without the passion, flair or personality that's so common among mid-sized hatchbacks.

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