Toyota Auris 1.8

Hybrid Business

Edition CVT

Toyota Auris Hybrid, side, action
Toyota Auris Hybrid, front
Toyota Auris Hybrid, rear, action
Toyota Auris Hybrid, interior
Toyota Auris Hybrid, engine
Toyota Auris Hybrid, gear lever
Toyota Auris Hybrid, boot
Toyota Auris Hybrid, power gauge

TOYOTA must be as pleased as punch with its knock-out Auris Hybrid, now further improved.

As one of the first car-makers to embrace hybrid technology with the Prius and models under its sister Lexus badge, the powertrains have been put into the more mainstream Auris body for a couple of years and it has had a significant styling makeover.

No other car manufacturer offers such a comprehensive range of hybrids and make no mistake they are not a compromise between economy and enjoyment, but a statement you can have both without paying the earth.

The revised range from this autumn comes in hatchback or Touring estate styles from £15,245 and £16,345 respectively. So that's not going to break the bank.

Using petrol engines built on Deeside, the Auris Hybrid marries conventional internal combustion engine with a battery and an electric motor all linked and managed by through a sophisticated range of sensors and controlled by an on-board computer to extract a most economical method of propulsion.

Two body-styles for the petrol hybrid come in five bespoke trim levels, so there is something for everyone, from retail to business users who want to make the most of the tax advantages. You can also specify Toyota Safety Sense versions with additional driving aids to help prevent or mitigate collisions and a very sophisticated and smart infotainment system with seven-inch screen on the console.

The powertrain comes out of the Prius with some modifications but essentially it's the same and very good as a result. Start off in EV mode and it's absolutely silent until the petrol engine purrs into play but even then it's not noisy unless you blast away.

The CV-transmission can whine a bit but not excessively and it pulls well, cruises quietly and can even be held in a sporting mode to make the most of the power so it moves from economy to normal and then sporting.

The pure-electric mode is good for only a few miles before the battery depletes and you seamlessly and automatically engage the petrol engine, which immediately starts recharging the system topped up by regenerative-braking.

If you have a lot of miles to do regularly the hybrid is probably a better proposition than pure electric power which needs a charging point somewhere.

In give and take driving you have to anticipate overtaking opportunities and carefully select the sporting mode to cut down time, and don't be put off by the sudden rise in powertrain noise.

Cruising it was much quieter and composed and we achieved a good, but not exceptional economy figure. Handling was fairly flat and uninspiring, safe and sure but not nippy or agile, and you could hear the suspension coping with the bumps under the wheels but its ride is better than before.

Inside it was fairly basic but good nevertheless, with good access throughout and adjustment on the front seats, and room was fine for four or five with a decent bootspace from 435 to 1199 litres. New seats and a softer touch to the facia have improved the functional look while outside there are new LED lights, bumpers and trim.

FAST FACTS

Toyota Auris 1.8 Hybrid Business Edition CVT

Price: £21,945

Mechanical: 98bhp, 1,798cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus 60bhp electric motor driving front wheels via CVT automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 10.9 seconds

Combined MPG:78.5

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions: 82g/km

Bik rating: 13%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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