From £11,945
The first full hybrid in this class is impressively cheap to run, but its diesel rivals are a better drive

Our Verdict

Toyota Auris 2007-2012

The Toyota Auris is a spacious, but unspectacular attempt at a high quality Golf rival. Only the availability of a hybrid lifts it from obscurity

  • First Drive

    Toyota Auris Hybrid T4

    The first full hybrid in this class is impressively cheap to run, but its diesel rivals are a better drive
  • First Drive

    Toyota Auris 1.6

    The best Auris in the range - but not the best car in the sector

What is it?

In effect, this is an Auris with Prius electro-mechanicals, providing a Toyota hybrid at slightly lower prices in more mainstream clothing.

The headline news is its class-leading 89g/km, the servicing costs of a 1.0 Yaris and the low tax it attracts.

Its 74.3mpg just betters the Prius, although their CO2 numbers are identical, while the Auris also tops the less powerful, stop-start Focus Econetic (109bhp, 99g/km) and Golf BlueMotion (103bhp, 99g/km).

Its petrol engine is an Atkinson cycle 132bhp 1.8, a 79bhp, 153lb ft electric motor supplementing the former’s 105lb ft. For technical reasons you can’t add these numbers, but the theoretical peak is 295lb ft.

What's it like?

It certainly doesn’t feel like adding the power and torque figures is legitimate on the road, its admittedly brisk powertrain lacking the immense low-to-mid-range tug of the Auris 2.0 diesel that it replaces.

With its CVT transmission prompting persistent high-rev thrash when worked hard, this an unwelcome substitute for the tachometer replaced by a gauge revealing the charging status of the battery.

Switching to Eco, via a switch behind a stubby gear selector whose return-to-neutral mechanism promotes confusion, softens the noise by dulling the throttle response, together with performance. But for commuting, it’s fine – and the threshing noises create an incentive to back off and save fuel.

You can also drive in pure electric mode, at up to 31mph for 1.2 miles, but the motor is better left to deploy when the ingenious brain sees fit, which is often in urban jams.

A hard and decidedly uneconomical thrash through the hills produced 36.6mpg – another economy-minded tester managed 57.7mpg - so 60mpg-plus should be on.

But thrashing this Auris is an unrewarding experience, this hybrid version shorn of the recently-titivated conventional versions’ improved agility – blame Cd-reducing lowered suspension, fuel-eking high tyre-pressures and extra weight – and its steering is pretty lifeless too.

Should I buy one?

This is a car that’s more transport - if intriguing transport - than engaging drive, but one that proves civil at sensible speeds (more so than the Prius) and tempts very effectively with its dramatically reduced running costs.

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Comments
11

20 May 2010

[quote Autocar]

This is a car that’s more transport - if intriguing transport - than engaging drive, but one that proves civil at sensible speeds (more so than the Prius) and tempts very effectively with its dramatically reduced running costs.

[/quote]
Doesn't really answer the question [quote Autocar]Should I buy One?[/quote]
but maybe that's because I shouldn't???

20 May 2010

A car for a boring person. In context that means id struggle to be entertained in the company of someone who drives one

20 May 2010

[quote Harrelson]A car for a boring person.[/quote]

I would disagree, perhaps the person who buys an Auris has a fantastic, busy and enjoyable life and is a confident enough person not to need there car to be an extension of themselves.

I like this car purely because it does not shout that you are a tree hugger like the Prius does it just gets on with the job quietly.

20 May 2010

[quote jonfortwo]

[quote Harrelson]A car for a boring person.[/quote]

I would disagree, perhaps the person who buys an Auris has a fantastic, busy and enjoyable life and is a confident enough person not to need there car to be an extension of themselves.

I like this car purely because it does not shout that you are a tree hugger like the Prius does it just gets on with the job quietly.

[/quote]

I agree with all of that Jon,I just wish it was a couple of grand cheaper.

20 May 2010

A lesson in how to make a dull car duller?

20 May 2010

Disappointingly expensive.

21 May 2010

"Disappointingly expensive." - in comparison with?

Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Econetic

Test date 21 January 2010 Price as tested £20,445

Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion

Test date 28 January 2010 Price as tested £18,685

24 May 2010

[quote blowerbentley]Disappointingly expensive.[/quote]

Just wait til Toyota rebodies it, adds a slightly more powerful engine and calls is a Lexus!

24 May 2010

This car should be compared to the Honda Civic Hybrid in the same way the Prius is compared to the Insight. In this respect, the Auris is night and day superior.

Don't forget, there are plenty out there who hate the smell, noise and extra cost of diesel and want a refined and economical car.

If Toyota are guilty of making automotive white goods then so what. When you drive for 2 hours every day in London traffic, you can't appreciate steering feel, sublime handling and poise, but you can appreciate comfort, noise suppresion, a decent radio and free congestion charge.

By the way, I could save £175 per month alone on the congestion charge as well as the free road tax and reduced fuel costs, lets call it about £200 per month. For that I can buy a used Lotus Elise on a PCP and still have my cake and eat it!

25 May 2010

If a lot of the time the engine has to charge the baterys to run the electric motor then its not very economical as it then strains the petrol engine. I know sum1 with a prius company car and its using more fuel than the old toyota rav4 diesel

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