Dave Conole road tests and reviews the 2015 Toyota Aurion.
Remember the old days when Australian roads were dominated by big Holdens and Fords and the odd imported four-cylinder “buzz box”?
Well, one car that helped enormously in changing the Australian car landscape and Australian car buying habits was the Toyota Camry. The Camry opened up the option of having a decently-sized car without having to have a big six or eight under the bonnet.
It was nice to get a drive recently of the 2015 Toyota Camry and also the hybrid Toyota Camry, both have recently been upgraded for 2016 and you can catch those reviews here.
But, back in 2007, Toyota decided to fit a V6 engine to the Camry and call the more powerful variant the Toyota Aurion and despite being essentially the same car, the V6 Aurion today provides quite a different drive/ownership experience to Camry.
Under the bonnet of the 2015 Toyota Aurion Sportivo is a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine that produces 200kW and 336Nm. Transmission choice is six-speed automatic only.
On the road the Aurion Sportivo is surprisingly quick, but with that healthy power on tap comes quite noticeable torque-steer through the steering wheel under heavy right foot applications.
You can expect the V6 engine to use about 9.3L/100km combined and Toyota reckons you’ll use a bit over 13.0L/100km in city driving. Much of this higher than you might expect consumption comes down to the V6 Aurion’s 1555kg weight!
Suspension was harder than anticipated, though you can probably put most of this down to the 2015 Toyota Aurion Sportivo’s 45 Series tyres fitted to the sporty models 18” alloy wheels.
I thought the steering, as is mostly the case with Toyota products, was a good blend of reassuring at speed and light and easy to use in low speed manoeuvres.
The interior is a mix of new and not quite so. For example, there’s no heating for the leather seats and there’s the oddity of having a light on for when the air-con is NOT in dual zone mode. The seats themselves are comfortable enough and trimmed in a tasteful mix of black and mocha.
The dash has the same stitched look as Camry, albeit with a different design. Plastics are a mix of blacks, charcoal and the odd silver alloy-look highlight strip.
Standard features in the 2015 Toyota Aurion Sport include;
- Digital radio
- Dual-zone climate control
- Reverse camera
- Key-in-pocket central locking
- Push-button ignition
- Front and rear parking sensors
While sat-nav is only available as part of the $2,500 Premium Package that also adds more leather trim on the doors and an upgraded sound system.
A moon roof can be added for $1,950, or is available as part of the Premium Pack for a total cost of $4,450. Toyota charges $450 for premium paint on the Aurion and that covers every colour except white.
Being a good sized car the Toyota Camry and the Aurion boast plenty of head, shoulder and leg room, plus a cavernous boot.
The full Toyota Aurion range comes with a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; there’s plenty of choice across the three models in the Toyota Aurion range (AT-X, Sportivo and Presara) and with prices starting from $30,990 there’s value to be found. The Sportivo grade adds enough extras and respectable enough performance to justify the $40,990 price tag.
It’s just a shame that the V6 petrol isn’t just a little more efficient and thus a Camry might be a better option for most buyers, especially those driving predominantly in urban areas.
The Australian-built Toyota Camry/Aurion range is going out on a high overall, pity Australian car buyers in the main just can’t take their eyes away from the SUVs!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Toyota Aurion Sportivo
Engine: 3.5 litre V6 producing 200kW and 336Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Price: Aurion Sportivo from $40,990
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Toyota XV50 Aurion.
Dave Conole owns and writes the independent vehicle review and news website – A Wheel Thing.
With over 15 years of automotive journalism and reviewing experience, plus front line experience in vehicle sales, Dave is proud to be aligned with Behind the Wheel.