CarAdvice continues to be the most informative automotive website in Australia. (Stop it, we're blushing! - Stevo) I always look forward to reading the Owner Reviews and I’ve decided to give it a go and submit my own.
My previous car was a 1995 manual Nissan Maxima, which was flawless for almost 20 years (bar the embarrassing faded paint). However, due to the birth of my son, plus the fact that my wife couldn’t drive a manual, I needed to search for an automatic family car. I’m cautious when it comes to CVT’s, so the newer model Nissan Maxima/Altima were ruled out.
I wanted to buy a safe, reliable car (with a conventional automatic), and it was in 2014 that I found a 5 year old Toyota Aurion Touring model with 50,000km on the odometer that had been kept in immaculate condition.
The Aurion has now done 120,000km and it performs flawlessly. Even though the engine is 3.5 litres with plenty of power on paper (200kW), the real “shove in your back” occurs in the middle to upper revs, and not in the low-rev range. I’m a dull 50 year old family man, so I drive the car sedately around the city. This rewards me with fuel economy of around 9 litres per 100 kilometres. There is plenty of power if I need to overtake, but I really need to put my foot down and hold onto the steering wheel, as the car responds like a slingshot.
Ride and handling for someone in my age bracket seems to be fine. But what would I know? I’m more interested in a smooth, quiet drive and that’s what the Aurion delivers.
The interior of the Aurion is rather basic and a bit plasticky. In contrast, my 20 year old Maxima had expanses of velour and wood grain to assist with the dreariness. In tribute to the Australian workers who put the car together, there are no creaks, rattles or groans. The seats in the Aurion are very comfortable (and large) plus the rear air vents are welcome. Outward visibility is okay for a large car.
My only complaint is the driver's sun visor, which has lost some of its spring and has gone limp. It's too costly to fix (quoted at $300).
I’m afraid I have not embraced connectivity and infotainment too well. I turn my head and use mirrors when reversing. I use my road map when I want to travel somewhere. I don’t think many Toyotas in 2009 had many technological gadgets, however this Aurion came with some kind of GPS unit which looks nice at night. My son worked out how to use it once, and we listened as some lady told us where to go. The only gadget in the Aurion I find useful are the reversing sensors.
Somebody has described Toyotas as “whitegoods on wheels” and I must say this description is spot on. However, if anyone is searching for a competent and reliable car, please consider an Aurion.
NB: I regret de-registering the Maxima and leaving it dormant in my parents' garage for many years where it wasted away. The scrap dealer came to collect it.