GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

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Thread: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

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    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    Me No Po Po


    Michael McWilliams
    Australia Correspondent

    GMInsidenews.com


    20 June 2017

    There aren't many cars that have me in two minds as much as this final farewell from Toyota Australia. Closing in October this year, Toyota is leaving behind a legacy of dependable ordinariness that started in 1958.

    The most normcore of all normcore brands, in this instance, has turned its back on its heritage and blasted off for an impromtu weekend away. Not a civilised winery tour mind you. More like a roll in the grass topped off with a red bull and two minibar sized bottles of vodka. And to think, responsible adults (A.K.A Police) actually use these on public roads.



    Normally I would stroll past an AT-X base model Aurion with little interest, but this slightly unnerving family sedan grabs you firmly by the eye lids with it's retina searing "Cherry" red paint.

    The insectoid eyes seem black and dead, as if they pay you no heed though for the record, are excellent in the misty night. The black multi-spoke 18 inch wheels speak of an intent long departed from the brand and mostly back up the suggestion that you can lean a little harder and turn a little later.
    Aesthetics at least, warm some cockles even if it ain't pretty.

    The design style is hard edged when viewed in the Queensland sun. Panning around the car does create interest if you are willing to pay attention, with different angles bringing different turrets and structures to the fore.

    I certainly didn't expect to be kneeling down at each corner tracing the straight lines from the square hip across the subtle tail.

    Therein lies the attraction for me. I prize the ability of a product to defy expectations.


    Admittedly, expectations from a "sporty" V6 Camry (which is essentially what the Aurion is) had been formed by wheel time in a Presara some years ago. They include benign steering through an under-tyred front end, and, suspension that is competent but about as interesting as last weeks TV guide.

    Again, this Sportivo points out the folly of my prejudice. On the road, it's pointy and responsive. The 200kw V6 is putting down everything it can through a pair of willing 225/45 R18 boots. There's too much to handle, but you get to actually respond to torque steer, as if the nanny has had a few G&Ts and has left you to your own devices for a little while.

    I am a big fan of the 2GR-FE motor because normally aspirated V6s still give that little bit of extra aural pleasure that you just can't get from many turboed 4s. It's a personal preference and it's beyond mere figures but there is more to life than winning a drag race. This motor delivers with impressive day to day tractability and a willingness to rev. Drive one before you settle for less.


    Suspension tune of this sedan is borderline harsh and makes everything feel agile but with a sense of heft and effort. It's rewarding to get right, but awkward when you get it wrong, just like driving a car should be. Rear end holds on well enough to give your neck muscles a workout.

    Inside, the Australian built Aurion is par for last years course, with old materials, plasticky controls and [ugh] a foot operated park brake. The seats are decent, though should be deeper for a sporty number.


    Ergonomics are good, and, controls are ultimately purposeful and intuitive. Dash trim is not a high mark but everything goes together well enough.

    It's few saving graces inside are the DAB+ radio thumping through a JBL 10 speaker stereo, and a retractable screen which can be raised to keep the sun off the rear parcel shelf. It can also serve as a figurative flipping of the bird to be raised for anyone who may be tailgating you.

    Everything else feels like it's ready to be put out to pasture, but in reality, they are built with durability in mind, rather than touch feeliness (AKA haptics).

    There is one metric where this Aurion continues to shine: interior space. Rear seat head room is about best on the market. Not just the domestic market either. It reveals many Euro options as embarrassingly cramped.

    Properly spacious, you can see why the Aurion/Camry twins are popular Taxis. In the real world, it's an ideal size to quell complaints from the second row.


    When the final bell tolls for the Aurion, not many will shed a tear aside from those who built them. Aurions are on the lots right now and you'll see discounts in the thousands for the last hurrah of one of Australias longest serving and most trusted manufacturers.

    That's bad news for dealers, but good news for buyers looking to sneak something a little unhinged into the "responsible adult" slot in their garage.

    Price: $43,990 listed (but expect to knock off about 5k for the right deal!)
    Engine: [email protected]/[email protected] 2GR-FE 3.5V6
    Fuel Economy: 13.3/7/9.3l/100kms City/Hwy/Combined

    Find out more on Redbook.com.au

    See More Toyota Icons and History on my IG tag #ToyotaRekishi

    Last edited by mikmak; 06-20-2017 at 03:04 AM.
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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    I've actually been toying with the option of buying one of the last ones

    Mainly for the price for what you get

    They are pretty much bulletproof
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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    Still one of the best car ads ever f

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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    Yeah.



















    Actually........nah.

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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    It must be slow with GM-related news...

    GMI - Welcome to GM Inside News Forum - a website dedicated to all things GM (and Toyota). I sometimes wonder how these non-GM reviews and posts wind up on the News Ticker. Oh well... as always, great job with the review, Mikmak! Hope you're doing well down under.
    Last edited by ZvetteGuy; 06-21-2017 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    Quote Originally Posted by mikmak View Post
    Price: $43,990 listed (but expect to knock off about 5k for the right deal!)
    I should hope so, I paid less for my SS. Speaking as Mr. Normcore, it's not the worst thing on the road. Not a great suspension setup, but not much they can do given terminal understeer.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZvetteGuy View Post
    It must be slow with GM-related news...
    Know what you mean. Is there any GM news outside of closures/selloffs/shuttering/poor sales? I'm beginning to think GM=General Malaise...

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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    There are too many good choices to ever consider one of these terrible cars.

    "Toyota - for when you've given up on life and happiness, just get the F*cking Toyota".

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    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    Quote Originally Posted by NeverEnough View Post
    There are too many good choices to ever consider one of these terrible cars.

    "Toyota - for when you've given up on life and happiness, just get the F*cking Toyota".
    I nearly bought a Camry yesterday because I was running out of options.

    As far as the choices for a V6 Sedan in Australia, there are very few.
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    GMI Australia Correspondent Premium Member mikmak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZvetteGuy View Post
    It must be slow with GM-related news...

    GMI - Welcome to GM Inside News Forum - a website dedicated to all things GM (and Toyota). I sometimes wonder how these non-GM reviews and posts wind up on the News Ticker. Oh well... as always, great job with the review, Mikmak! Hope you're doing well down under.
    Hah there will be some Holden stuff turning up shortly. I was just lucky enough to grab an Aurion and thought I'd share. It's not everyone's cup of tea but it's a mouthful of chilli in a room of ham sandwiches.

    I actually put this to a vote last year and a majority were cool with the idea of other brand reviews (which is lucky because Holdens press fleet has shrunk as much as their real fleet so...).

    I'll also have something rather special in September

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    Re: GMI Drives: 2017 Toyota Aurion Sportivo

    Quote Originally Posted by ZvetteGuy View Post
    It must be slow with GM-related news...

    GMI - Welcome to GM Inside News Forum - a website dedicated to all things GM (and Toyota). I sometimes wonder how these non-GM reviews and posts wind up on the News Ticker. Oh well... as always, great job with the review, Mikmak! Hope you're doing well down under.
    That is easily explained. If GM has no news then someone else does.

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