Toyota Auris HSD
Saturday 04 September 2010
Top speed: 112mph
0-60mph: 11.4 seconds
CO2 emissions: 89g/km
Best for: Those seeking a low profile
Also worth considering? Ford Focus ECOnetic; VW Golf Bluemotion; Honda Insight
If you've ever been lucky enough to have been in a position to order a new car, then you'll be familiar with the options list, the place where you can spec up your car to your heart's content – bigger wheels, metallic paint, leather trim, that sort of thing. However, the box that you won't have been able to tick is the one marked "anonymity". For that you really need to order a Toyota Auris.
I'm not quite sure what "Auris" means, but if I were told it was the Latin for anonymous I would happily believe it. The new Hybrid version of the Auris is slightly less anonymous, what with its extra front and rear spoilers and special low profile (appropriately) wheels and tyres, all stuck on to help with fuel economy, as you'd expect from a medium-sized hybrid. That, after all, is the whole point of this advanced-but-heavy technology; a petrol engine supplemented in parallel by an electric motor, using energy stored in batteries to maximise efficiency and, in some circumstances, performance. The beauty of the Auris lies beneath its unprepossessing skin.
All going well, you may be able to top 70mpg in your Auris Hybrid, although I was never able to match this claim, just as I have never been able to match the claims made for other hybrids, such as the Honda Insight, the Auris's most direct competitor, and the Auris's specialised sibling the Prius. There is a very strong argument for all Hybrid customers to take a look at the more conventional geared-for-economy models such as Volkswagen's "Bluemotion" editions or Ford's "ECOnetic" variants of their mainstream cars. They make fewer concession to the new technology – so boot space is unaffected, for example – and offer fuel economy which is almost as impressive. Plus they are usually cheaper.
All that said, the Auris is a very personable little companion. It boasts all the traditional Toyota virtues, so it has delightfully light controls, including a dinky little gear lever for the automatic gearbox. And, in case you were wondering, I encountered no mechanical maladies on my test drives. The temptation, strange to say, is to treat the Auris like a performance car. All hybrids enjoy the advantage of low-speed torque thanks to their electric motors, which means they accelerate very briskly indeed to, say, 30mph. It may suit you that when you're flooring your Auris its highly developed state of anonymity means that no one else will notice.
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Ukip's official health spokesperson: 'Honestly, I have no experience in health whatsoever'
'Cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women'
Deliberately urinating before sex can increase risk of urinary tract infections
Doctors to trial 29-point checklist for elderly patients facing 'unavoidable' death
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...