Toyota Auris Touring Sports Excel Hybrid 1.8 CVT.
Step by Step.
Do you become a grumpy old bugger in your late 40’s or were you always one & didn’t know it ? Whilst in my local gym, I happened to catch GMTV the other morning & was depressed to see yet another ‘Boy Band’ reunion. New Kids on the Block, except that the kids in question are now in their 40’s & one or two of them look like they spent most of the past 20 years partying. Please please I thought, I know you may be skint but why do you have to reform & sing the same old songs, to make some money, why not write something different, something new, see what else you’re good at ?
One car manufacturer who have tried to do something new for a number of year is Toyota. Despite the prevalence of diesels in the European car market, Toyota have stuck steadfastly to their petrol Hybrid technology & the latest example of this is the Auris Touring Sports, which is the carmaker’s take on an estate version of its family hatch. Pitched against the likes of the Golf & Focus Estates as well as the Megane Sprts Tourer, Kia Cee’d Sportwagon & the soon to be launched Skoda Rapid Sportback, the Auris is designed to offer more space than the Auris hatchback plus the same hybrid powertrain that’s fitted to both the Prius and Lexus CT 200h. Toyota is hoping to sell around 4,000 estates per year in the UK, with 70 per cent of these going to fleet customers. And, unsurprisingly, 45 per cent of total sales being the hybrid.
As previously stated, Toyota hopes to attract the SME fleet customer to the Auris & in order to do this the range has to tick the BIK boxes. This is where the Auris does well, with CO2 emissions of 85g/km on Icon-spec cars with 15-inch alloys, and 92g/km for my top-spec Excel models on 17 inch alloys. The claimed combined is staggering 70.6 mpg, with Mr heavy footed averaging just about 50 mpg. This means that if you lease an Auris, your company car tax bill and fuel costs will benefit, while Toyota claims that the hybrid system’s fewer moving parts mean cheaper maintenance as well. Toyotas reliability may have been dented in recent years with a succession of recalls, but I firmly believe that Toyotas fast response to such set backs has probably done them more good than harm & the UK Toyota dealer network is one of the best when it comes to customer satisfaction.
At £23,245 the Auris Sports Tourer is competitively priced & sits in a sector where the competition is very similarly priced as well as being similarly specced & practical. What the Toyota offers though is something the others have not got, which is Hybrid technology. If you can live with the CVT gearbox, you’ll discover a car that’s easy to drive, easy on your pocket & easy to appreciate. Please tell Donnie Wahlberg & Co that Take That have at least moved on & under the guidance of their chief designer Gary Barlow, are showing all the other ex boy bands where to go.