Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Toyota Auris hybrid: Test Drive Review
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Toyota Auris hybrid: Test Drive Review

Date: 02 June 2010   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £18,895
Key rival: Ford Focus Econetic

Toyota is following in the footsteps of its trailblazing Prius with a hybrid lower medium car - the Auris HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive).

Powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine plus electric motor, the car falls into the fleet-friendly sub-100g/km category, emitting as little as 89g/km.

Available in two trims, the cheapest, T4 at £18,950, is expected to be the more popular for company car drivers. With 15-inch alloys, official figures say it does 74.3mpg. T Spirit, priced at £20,700, has 17-inch alloys, which means a slightly higher CO2 figure of 92g/km and economy of 70.6mpg. Still, both options will fall under the lowest benefit-in-kind band, 10%, are free from Vehicle Excise Duty, qualify for 100% corporation tax first-year write-down and are exempt from the London congestion charge.

The lower medium segment is becoming a competitive battling ground for ultra-green models with Ford's Focus Econetic, Volkswagen's Golf Bluemotion and Seat's new Leon Ecomotive to name a few. However, the Focus and Leon still have the diesel surcharge for BIK tax, meaning a 13% band, while cost-per-mile figures for the Auris HSD look good - 38.4p against the Focus' 46.6 pence per mile and the Leon's 40.4p. The Auris' residual value falls between its rivals at 32.6% compared with 25.1% and 34.3% for Focus and Leon respectively.

Potential Auris HSD buyers might also consider same-brand rival the Prius. Sharing a 1.8-litre engine, it receives all the same benefits as the Auris. However, as Toyota says, the Auris will appeal to "user choosers", people wanting something "smaller than a Prius" and those who "don't want to strongly stand out" in the way a Prius owner might.

Toyota claims the Auris HSD provides an equal driving experience to any conventional 2.0-litre petrol or diesel, doing 0-62mph in 11.4secs and a top speed of 112mph. Setting off, there is instant surge from the electric motor, which is smooth yet responsive. Once the petrol engine kicks in, it's perfectly sufficient in power, although the growl from the variable auto gearbox is a little discomforting. Acceleration assisted by the electric motor means up to 134hp, while the motor can also run unassisted up to 30mph for 1.2 miles before the conventional engine kicks back in. Handling is as good as the conventional Auris with little roll and plenty of ride comfort.

By introducing HSD to the Auris, Toyota is trying to normalise the notion of hybrid to draw in the mainstream consumer. And this car is certainly an interesting proposition - those looking at cost let alone the environment should seriously consider the Auris HSD alongside its more popular rivals.

Toyota Auris HSD T4 1.8-litre hybrid
P11D price£18,895
Model price range£14,455-£19,200
Fuel consumption74.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 89g/km/(10%)
BIK 20/40% per month£32/£63
Service interval10,000mls
Insurancegroup 16
Boot space279 litres
Engine size/power1798cc/134hp
Top speed/0-62mph112mph/11.4secs
On sale July 2010
VerdictHSD gives Auris an edge
in this competitive sector


HSD gives Auris an edge in this competitive sector