Toyota Auris Hybrid

| March 14, 2013 | 0 Comments




This time last year, my football team Chelsea were on a poor run of form & even the clubs diehard fans were wondering what had gone wrong as they struggled to stay in touch with a Champions League qualification top four spot, eventually finishing sixth. Twelve months later & Chelsea are on a run of poor form, currently languishing in fourth place in the Premier League. However, last year despite their bad results, Chelsea FC miraculously managed to win both the FA Cup & Champions League & in doing so, qualified for the Champions League where they made a swift exit in 2013. They are though still involved in two cup competitions ( just ) & could very well go on to win them both if they have some more extraordinary luck as they did in 2012. The reason I am telling this tale is that you should never say never, particularly when it comes to sport, as luck as much as skill is involved in a team winning any competition or making the correct choice to be successful.
This analogy could well be directed at a number of the worlds car manufacturers, who left with a difficult choice of whether to build diesel, petrol, EV or Hybrid cars for the European fleet market, have all moved in different directions where currently diesel accounts for the majority of sales.
One of these brands Toyota, who are currently the largest car manufacturer by sales in the world ( just ), have gone down the multi fuel route & are producing diesel, petrol & Hybrid cars, all of which have a certain appeal with the latter starting to sell in greater numbers, 87, 271 Toyotas in Europe to be precise, with a further 23,566 Lexus Hybrids sold. Other manufacturers, particularly those from Germany are still thinking about Hybrid & I’m sure that Toyota would admit that at some time in the past they too would have thought long & hard about building Hybrid cars.
An example of Toyota hedging their bets is with their lovely looking new Auris. Engines are a choice of 98 bhp 1.33 & 130 bhp 1.6 litre petrol, 89 bhp 1.4 litre diesel or the petrol/electric hybrid system carried over from the old model. I have driven the 1.4 diesel model & really liked it & I have to say that I drove the Hybrid version & liked it just as much as it has all of the diesels good points with the added bonus of a faster more responsive engine & of course no gear stick or clutch to engage.
Driving both back to back gave me the opportunity to compare fuel economy between the two & to try & understand better how the BIK on each would affect the drivers monthly car tax payments.
The Auris hybrid is claimed to average 74.3 mpg on the combined cycle. With my heavy right foot, I averaged just under 47 mpg. The Auris diesel when I drove it averaged 50.6 mpg. The Auris Hybrids 87g/km for CO2 emissions will land you in the 10% BIK bracket, the diesel with CO2 emissions of 103 g/k in the 13% bracket. The Hybrid is more expensive costing £19,995 compared to the diesel at £18,495, but there’s not a lot in it.
It is easier perhaps to compare the Auris as a whole to other C Sector cars where it comfortably defeats the Korean cee’d & i30 as well as the French C4 & Megane as well as Vauxhalls Astra. It is more than a match for Hondas new Civic as well but put it up against the Focus & Golf in diesel guise anyway & it’s not quite as good. But here’s the crack. The Hybrid Auris because it’s a Hybrid, is as good, which might sound like a contradiction in terms. But it’s not. Hybrid cars offer the driver an alternative the best of which to my mind anyway is easy driving. Stuck in a jam on the motorway & a diesel is a real pain, the same in traffic in town. The Hybrid however is like an automatic & a joy in these situations, which let’s be honest when you’re on your way to a meeting means that if you arrive late you arrive relaxed.
So in conclusion ,if you eat up the motorway miles in a diesel, you may not like the idea of a Hybrid company car. My advice is to test one.  But, as the old adage goes, never say never & with Hybrid sales increasing in Europe year on year with Toyotas Hybrid range leading the way, I firmly believe that the German brands will follow suit. Watch this space.
A Juan Mata 4/5.

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Category: Toyota

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