- Aug 2015

Toyota’s Swiss Army Knife, the Auris XR.

Driving Toyota’s new Auris XR

The Swiss army knife was a very handy tool for soldiers during the war and has maintained the same level of usefulness for people today. The design has stayed the same over the years, a sharp blade, a screwdriver, scissors and a can opener. All these items fold snugly into the base of the knife. When folded the Swiss army knife can look quite deceiving, like it’s just any other item. Victorinox is a company that has been making Swiss army knives for years and over the years the product has been known for its reliability. Older versions of Victorinox Swiss army knives don’t look that amazing, even bland you may think but they still maintained the same level of reliability. Newer versions of the knives look quite good though, they have been reinvented and are now available in bright shiny colours. Who would think that a Swiss army knife can now be considered as something not only practical but also cool to have. Well the current range of Victorinox knives has made that possible.

Something similar has happened with Toyota, especially the current Auris. The Auris XR is the car we had to sample and it is surprisingly trendy. Toyota has been many things over the years, reliable and affordable being its two main attributes. I can now safely say that the new Auris can add “trendy” to one of it’s characteristics. As a person who falls under the youth category, I’m happy to say that I didn’t feel in anyway like I was driving my grandfathers car whilst piloting the new Auris. One of the biggest selling points found in the new Toyota Auris is the vast amount of creature comforts found in the car. Leather heated seats, touch screen radio, reverse camera and bluetooth are all standard in the car, making it a very comfortable car to be in. The car is also deceivingly large, so much so that five adults can comfortably sit in the car and not feel cramped. Externally the car is pretty too, Toyota decided on a more bold, sharper design on this new Auris and as a result, it has paid off well.

The only thing that makes the new Auris feel slightly dated is the use of a normally aspirated 1.6 litre engine producing 97kW and 160Nm. Since most of its competitors are now using small turbocharged engines, you long for the surge of torque found in the lower rev range that you get from the other cars. Being that as it may, the new Auris is not slow, it happily does the job around the city and an even better job on an open road since it cruises very comfortably. The Auris has never been punted as a performance car so it would not be fair to expect it to perform like one. We could find nothing wrong with the new Auris XR, instead we found many things that were right with the car. Yes it may not be as exciting to drive as some of the other cars in it’s segment, but driving this car makes me think that Toyota’s aim with the new Auris is not to make grown men feel like children. Driving this car makes one think that Toyota want’s people to feel like an adult in the new Auris. It is like a Swiss army knife, as much as Victorinox may offer you various bold designs, the point of the knife is to be practical. The same goes for the new Toyota Auris, the size of the car, its features and comfort make it a very practical car to own. The fact that it’s great on fuel and is well priced at R287 700 further seals the deal that this car is the Swiss army knife to the large hatchback segment. A great and practical item to have. Happy Feature Friday Motorists.