I was looking for a second-hand car and was tossing between a Toyota Camry, Toyota Aurion or Honda Accord. In the end, I saw this handsome metallic black Toyota Aurion Presara 2007 with beige/stone interior.
I personally did not know much about the Aurion and had not done extensive research about the car. The Camry and Accord were much more familiar cars to me. In fact, I had never driven an Aurion before I bought it. So I went with my gut feeling and bought it anyway, as I was really attracted to its looks.
In fact, I got much more than I expected from this car. The honest fact is the Toyota Aurion is a relatively unknown and underestimated car. Especially the Presara variant from 2007, the one I purchased. The car has a truly refined drive and comfort, the seats are extremely comfortable, the infotainment, it has sat-nav, Bluetooth, and premium audio, which sounds fantastic.
The engine is superb, and the 200kW 3.5-litre V6 means there is always power on tap. I know this is no performance car and it is a front-wheel drive, which I was also highly skeptical of. However, to my pleasant surprise, it is not an oversteering mess and the six-speed semi-automatic transmission with 'sports mode' is pretty decent and can handle corners confidently.
So, all in all, it can be a fun car to drive while also being comfortable. After driving and owning similar German cars, the Aurion Presara is just as good with its features and ride. Especially considering it was less than $50,000 brand new and only $11,000 currently, it's honestly a bargain.
As it is a Toyota, it is truly reliable. I have driven it more than 150,000km and had no mechanical issues or any issues whatsoever, and it is very cheap to maintain and service. It is also safe with eight airbags, parking sensors and reverse camera, and has a four-star ANCAP safety rating.
This car is most definitely a better option than a regular four-cylinder Camry from that same era, from personal experience. I used to own a 2008 Camry Sportivo. To be frank, it was quite a disappointment. I bought that Camry for its reliability, however I had several issues with reliability. The paint on the spoiler and mirror caps were forming bubbles and losing colour. The dash was literally melting – a common issue in the Toyota Camry, it was truly disgusting to touch, as it was all sticky. The car is anything but sporty, which I knew before buying, but I don't know how Toyota gets away with false advertising for calling it sporty, and it was not smooth or refined like the Aurion.
So, if you're out there considering a second-hand Camry, make sure you also consider and test-drive an Aurion as you will be impressed. It is a much better car than a Camry from my experience.
However, like all things, the Aurion is not perfect. My major complaint is that you cannot fold the rear seats down. Another is it does not have AUX connectivity and the Bluetooth connectivity can only take phone calls but not for playing songs.
Another is fuel economy. The average is brilliant for freeway driving. I usually get 8–10L/100km, which is pretty good considering it only needs regular unleaded. However, if you are in traffic, or have a heavy right foot, the average leaps to 14–16L/100km. For everyday driving around town, it is between 9–10L/100km – nearly as good as a four-cylinder Camry.
Another fault is its resale value, but that is due to the lack of people knowing much about the Aurion, or thinking it is just a V6 Camry. However, it is not, and there are many differences between an Aurion and Camry, especially the interior.
If you're in the market for a large V6 sedan, the Aurion is definitely a car worth checking out. It has power, safety, reliability and luxury all in one package, while also being Australian built. A car I would most definitely recommend and love.