Toyota is very proud of having the world's first full hybrid compact estate car with this one. So here is a version of the Auris Touring Sports that drives straight into motoring's history books. Built in Derbyshire, this car is very economical indeed, with official fuel figures that make average economy topping 70 mpg a very realistic expectation for an owner of one of these.
We Brits love estate cars, and have a greater appetite for them than almost anywhere else in Europe. So this one ought to do well and attract a strong following. It is up against some tough competition, though, with rival offerings from Kia, Hyundai, Ford and Volkswagen. The hybrid is the ace up its sleeve, a version that none of the others currently offer.
Slick looks, a roomy cabin for its size and a boot uncompromised by the hybrid kit are all in the Auris Touring Sports� favour. It is well-equipped and quite reasonably priced for what you get. The hybrid has a 1.8 (98 bhp) petrol engine combined with an electric motor and storage battery pack (total 134 bhp).� Other versions are available with a 1.3 litre (98 bhp) or 1.6 (130 bhp) petrol engine and there is also a 1.4 (89 bhp) diesel. Trim levels are Active, Icon, Sport and Excel.
Prices start from £15,795 for an Auris Touring Sports with a 1.3 litre petrol engine, and rise to £23,245 for a top-spec hybrid Excel. The car we tested is a 1.8 hybrid in Icon spec at £21,495.Performance
The Auris Touring Sports in this hybrid version is a respectable performer but it certainly isn’t a car to quicken your pulse with pleasure at the prospect of driving it. This is a ‘does what it says on the tin’ kind of car, as exciting to own as an efficient fridge or cooker. It performs smoothly and efficiently, but don’t expect it to put the kind of smile on your face that erupts when you are behind the wheel of a more engaging ‘driver’s car’.
The performance figures are 109 mph top speed, acceleration from 0-62 mph in 11.2 seconds, and a combined average fuel economy figure of 76.3 mpg. The CO2 emission figure is a frugal 85 g/km, putting it in band A for Vehicle Excise Duty, so the annual tax disc is free. It is at the low end of the scale for company car taxation, with a Benefit-in-kind figure of just 10 per cent.
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