We all know that Toyota kicked off a revolution with Hybrid technology, in
1997 the first Prius was released on an unsuspecting world and Toyota have
never looked back. As of August last year Toyota had made over 2.3 million
Prius and the new models that are coming out with plug in charging are set to
do it all over again.
In the mean time Toyota haven’t been resting on their hybrid laurels, they’ve
put all their know how into the Auris. They have taken the same 98bhp 1.8-
litre petrol engine and 80bhp electric motor as the Prius, but weighs 40kg less
so it does better fuel economy than the aforementioned Prius and it only puts
out 89g of CO2 so the road tax is €160 a year.
This is still the same size Auris that you’re used to, the boot isn’t quite as
big because that’s where the batteries hang out but it’s only a minor niggle.
Driving is, if anything, better than the standard car because when the 1.8
petrol engine is pushed the electric motor kicks in to give you that bit more
push. This is not to say that a hybrid is going to put a smile on your face while
lapping Mondello Park but that’s not what a hybrid is for.
The point here is fuel economy, Toyota claim that you can get 70.6 MPG from
the Auris; while if feel that might be a tad optimistic I still recon that if you
spend most of your day in stop-start traffic or just driving around the town then
you will get near that figure.
There are plenty of little touches to distinguish the hybrid from the standard
model and not just the HSD badge on the front, there’s front fog lights, LED
daytime running lights, 17 inch alloys and push button start. There’s even
Bluetooth with iPod and USB ports, so Toyota have really thrown in lots of
kit which might make you think there’s going to be a high price to pay, nope.
Prices start at €25,425 excluding delivery and that’s great value for a full
hybrid. Remember petrol is around the same price as Diesel so buying an
Auris hybrid at the moment could make a sound financial move as well as
being eco friendly.
The new Auris HSD is a good step in the right direction because the world of
motoring is changing with all electric cars, cars that run on a generator, Diesel
hybrid and further down the track hydrogen maybe the hybrid is coming into
its own now. The Auris is a proper sized hatchback that’s simple to use and
pleasant to live with and very cheap to run.
By Bob Flavin