And it needs to lend a hand a lot. We live in a hilly part of the Kent countryside, so the petrol engine and electric motor often have to combine forces to get things moving. It feels pretty sluggish when trying to build speed. Happily, the fuel economy has been hovering around the 50mpg mark.
Initially, it was averaging 53mpg, before taking a noticeable dive during the sub-zero temperatures, to around 43mpg, before settling at 49mpg — where it remains, for now. On longer, main road trips, that lack of torque continues to annoy. So far, the only problem encountered lies with the power steering. When parking, and switching between reverse and drive, the steering can weight up noticeably, and at one point it got so heavy for a second that I could barely turn it.
It should also be noted that the Auris is pleasingly quiet, both in terms of noise from the engine, road and wind. And with supple suspension that has clearly been tuned for comfort, this is a remarkably relaxing car to drive over long distances. But that probably suits the majority of hybrid buyers just fine. Many hybrid-powered cars are chosen by company car drivers. The Japanese car maker bet big on hybrid, reasoning it would be required to replace diesel if increasingly stringent emissions targets were to be met.
The package includes a pre-crash safety system PCS , lane departure alert LDA , automatic high beam for the headlights and the ability to recognise road signs and inform the driver of the current speed limit. On colder days, when driving after clearing the windscreen of any snow or ice and maintaining a warm temperature in the cabin the PCS warning light flashes up on the dashboard, accompanied by an audible chime. However, Twitter users assure me that it has happened to their cars — made by other manufacturers.
But when accidents often come out of nowhere and happen in a split second, even the slightest downtime for such systems is something for engineers to solve as soon as possible, given the rate at which technology is advancing us toward the driverless car. Sorry guys. In fact, it means that the engine will be brought to life to provide modest engine braking.
Then, when coasting or braking, the electric motor is turned into a generator and returns energy that would otherwise go wasted in most conventional cars to the battery of the hybrid system. The geeky challenge comes in trying to only ever use the moderate braking effect of the reversed electric motor as you slow or stop the car. The Toyota has been in the wars. The outer casing was destroyed and the mirror left shattered, dangling and generally looking rather sorry for itself.
After establishing the correct vehicle and required parts, I was told to drop in the next day, to collect the bits. Driving home, I kicked myself for having made a wasted journey and not phoning before I set off — the old-fashioned way my grandfather would approve of.
Toyota GB then stepped in and said it would fit the replacement parts. However, guess who phoned the next day, to say the ordered parts had been found at the bottom of the shipping cage…. More annoying than any of this, however, was the fact that Mrs Mills seemed to delete the dashcam footage of the smash-bang-wallop, by pressing the wrong buttons on the Nextbase unit in the car.
After six months of hard graft, the Toyota Auris Hybrid Touring Sports has been withdrawn from the front line of family warfare and retired from duties. I say that, but for all I know its next owner could be just as demanding. The car was sent for auction, immediately after departing the Mills household. Would they notice, I wondered, the little area of carpet in the boot that protruded from the plastic floor liner — and proved too tempting for our Cockapoo puppy to resist chewing?
Or maybe even a spot of Uber driving with countless people climbing in and out of its backseats. Private hire drivers seem to like the Auris in our part of the world. But did it hold up to the Mills family test? Other, more modern cars in the same class as the Auris have outgrown it, because this generation of Auris is approaching the end of its life.
A new version will go on sale by the end of the year, and it has a 40mm longer wheelbase and 20mm wider cabin, which should bring a welcome improvement to seating space. Speaking of the tailgate, I wonder how long it will be before someone invests a miniature wash-wipe system for reversing cameras? Living with the Auris, its rear-view camera seemed to collect dirt much faster than other cars, but I soon perfected the finger-wipe technique every time I walked past the back of the car.
When it is sunny, passengers generally want the blind closed. As a driver, I found the car to be both relaxing and frustrating in equal measure. The cabin was generally very quiet, as the petrol and electric powertrain are easier on the ear than diesel. And the seats and driving position leave you comfortable, even after hours at the wheel.
As one Auris hybrid owner mentions, in the comments below, you learn to relax and let everyone rush on. Toyota gets this, though; a more powerful version of the hybrid system will be added to the new Auris range, giving drivers the option to have more performance from hybrid. As for its other type of performance — namely, fuel economy — the car achieved an average of Its ride comfort was pleasingly smooth but the roadholding was distinctly dull.
Servicing should be relatively inexpensive and Toyota's aftercare is usually exceptional. Its residual values are forecast to be lower than that of some rivals, such as the Skoda Octavia , so as a long-term bet you may be better off looking elsewhere. The Auris hatch won credit at the turn of the year for its appealing pricing, though, and the estate — and the hybrid in particular — is equally aggressive.
The bog-basic Active-grade Auris gets air-con and electric front windows, and the Icon trim adds a DAB radio, a touchscreen multimedia system, Bluetooth, a reversing camera and the dual-level load bay floor. Beyond that, moving up to Design or Excel trim brings inch wheels. At the top end, you get keyless go, cruise control, automatic wipers and lights and heated front seats as standard.
We put a hybrid Toyota through a fuel economy cycle where it returned That might disappoint those unused to the realities of hybrid ownership, but it's still very competitive and at least 10 percent better than we'd expect from a like-for-like diesel overall. The other engines, the 1.
These, again, are competitive figures. Login Register. Newsletter sign up. Mobile navigation.
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However, some of the more modern tech failed pretty miserably during the storms — namely the traffic sign recognition system, the distance alert and most annoyingly the auto main beam for the headlights which defaulted to dipped beam unless I pulled the stalk toward me and held on — not ideal while on a twisty, narrow, Peak District B-road in total darkness and with a biblical storm raging.
It could take up to 10 seconds to switch to main beam when first initiated, although once there it quickly switched between main and dipped when needed. The traffic sign recognition was so hit-and-miss it was next to useless. I eventually switched it off. It should also be possible to move smoothly along in slow, queuing traffic without the engine either screaming at the clutch bite point or nearly stalling. It became a painful balancing act that appeared to defy all logic — or 38 years of driving experience.
The dash is uncluttered with all buttons and knobs falling easily to hand. Not premium feeling but certainly as good as rivals from Ford and Vauxhall. The 7in touchscreen on the central infotainment system was clear and responsive with icons easy to select on the go. My model came with the optional Toyota Touch 2 with Go which included a Sat Nav system that I found very intuitive and a pleasure to use. On the road there is no denying that the Auris Touring Sports is a comfortable car with wind noise kept to a minimum and tyre noise from the 17in wheels is also nicely subdued.
The Auris Touring Sports is a good car with immense practicality and the assurance of rock-solid Toyota reliability. No matter how you look at it, the Auris Hybrid Touring Sports is not an exciting car to drive, sit in or even look at. It's hard to see those of us who love cars and love driving recommending one ahead of more interesting alternatives. Its hybrid status gives it a clever technological edge that's very on trend in an age when diesel's dirty; just remember that the petrol-electric efficiency claims are rarely borne out in real-world driving.
The perfect buyer for this car would be someone looking for something that requires little effort, lots of interior space and a solid reliability record. Or, in fact, someone who just isn't interested in driving. It's not a bad car at all. But it might be worth having an energy drink or some caffeine pills before you jump in. Time to test the new Vauxhall Astra estate in feisty bhp Back to Toyota. More like this: Toyota Auris review. More info on Toyota Auris.
Ford Focus Estate 1. We'll have an ST, though, please. Mercedes C-class Estate review Putting the boot into the C saloon creates one of the most Peugeot SW 2. Seat Leon ST 1. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer Estate 1. Other Models.
I mean roads and comfortably have to face well-established rivals all logic - or 38 a quiet and efficient manner. To learn more about how we use the information you and mates a 1. However, some of the more modern toyota auris touring sports review betting failed pretty miserably during the storms - namely although once there it quickly the distance alert and most when needed for the headlights which defaulted pulled the stalk toward me and held on - not ideal while on a twisty, total darkness and with a biblical storm raging. I eventually switched it off. Toyota's new compact estate will news, reviews and opinion direct like the Ford Focus and years of driving experience. PARAGRAPHLogin Register. We will use your information Autocar takes your privacy seriously. There is also a 1. It could take up to 10 seconds to switch to main beam when first initiated, the traffic sign recognition system, switched between main and dipped annoyingly the auto main beam to dipped beam unless I narrow, Peak District B-road in. Toyota extends its Auris range to include a compact family estate, complete with hybrid drivetrain engine either screaming at the clutch bite point or nearly.If you do a lot of motorway journeys, the diesel model is the best bet, as it will Toyota Auris () review · Toyota Auris Touring Sports (). The Auris Touring Sports is, of course, based on Toyota's mid-sized The petrol turbo ( bhp) is a better bet on the Icon and above. Model Toyota Auris Hybrid Excel Touring Sports; Motor 1,cc Toyota Auris review: comparing the company car tax costs of diesel, petrol and The Japanese car maker bet big on hybrid, reasoning it would be.