First Drive: 2010 Toyota Auris

Claire Edwards

The Toyota Auris has always been one of life's 'grey' cars. The name isn't familiar or especially memorable like "Golf" or "Focus", and while it's not conspicuously unattractive, it isn't particularly desirable either. But Toyota is hoping to change all that with the car's mid-life facelift.

The Auris's styling hasn't been drastically altered, but the Japanese manufacturer has given the car a more prominent face with a new body-coloured grille and front bumper which incorporates a deeper, wider air intake that does make it look marginally sportier. The rear treatment is less noticeable, although again the rear bumper is new and has a more dynamic catamaran-style shape to it with inset reflectors at each corner.

The interior has been improved, with soft touch materials adorning most surfaces around the cabin, while the general fit and finish feels up to the kind of quality we'd expect in a Toyota. Everything makes good ergonomic sense and the switchgear feels admirably solid. As one of the more spacious cars in its class, the Auris offers plenty of room for two adults in the rear and a decent size boot.