Toyota Auris Hybrid (2013-2019) review
|Car type||Fuel economy||CO2 emissions||0-62mph|
The Toyota Auris is a small family car that was replaced by the Toyota Corolla in 2019. Up until that point, the Auris was the Japanese manufacturer’s answer to family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra, albeit with a unique selling point of hybrid power.
Toyota has since expanded its line-up to focus mainly on what it calls ‘self-charging’ hybrid technology, with the bulk of its cars using a combination of petrol power, a supplementary electric motor and a small battery.
The Auris is no different; its powertrain is broadly similar to that in the Toyota Prius – the same 1.8-litre petrol engine, motor and battery, mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Despite its ecological credentials, strong build quality and decent value, the Auris struggled to capture the attention of buyers when it was new – a glut of talented rivals meant it lagged behind the competition. The good news is that it now makes a particularly sensible used buy, especially as a more readily available alternative to the in-demand Toyota Prius. If you’re in the market, be sure to read our guide to buying the Auris secondhand.
While the Prius competes against the Hyundai Ioniq and the C-HR fights the Kia Niro for sales, the Auris Hybrid appealed to those who wanted a 'normal' family car with impressive fuel economy, without resorting to diesel power. It also promised zero-emissions motoring in urban areas – at low speeds and for very short distances, anyway. Its role in Toyota’s range has been more ably taken on by the Toyota Corolla, an altogether more accomplished all-rounder.
The Auris is still a good car by most objective measures. Decent fuel economy, strong build quality and a comfortable drive work in its favour, and while it’s not exactly fun to drive, the Auris is a very sensible choice as a used car today.
The Auris is best considered as an alternative to the usual family-car suspects if you live and drive in a city: those who make a lot of trips into town will benefit most from the electric motor. Such users may also enjoy the no-nonsense nature of the Auris, and are certain to appreciate the generous standard equipment fitted to every model. There were four trim levels when new, each of which could be chosen in hybrid form, and the Icon Tech represented the best value for money when new – it's the model to go for if you're looking at used examples too.
As the second model in the pecking order, it added sat nav to a kit list that already included air-conditioning and a seven-inch infotainment display with DAB radio and a reversing camera. While its interior design does as little to stir the soul as the car's exterior styling, the Auris was extremely well assembled from materials that seem well suited to the rigours of daily life. It was no class-leader for interior space or load capacity, but the more versatile Skoda Octavia failed to offer a hybrid engine at the time (although it now has a plug-in hybrid option).
Families, meanwhile, will be reassured by the standard Toyota Safety Sense package of autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, automatic headlights and road-sign recognition. A five-star Euro NCAP crash-testing rating wins points, too, and Toyota's reputation for reliability was backed up by a five-year/100,000-mile warranty. Running costs should generally be low, although service intervals are only 10,000 miles apart.
While it's not what you'd call a compelling package, the Auris is still worth a look if you want a dependable, comfortable car that makes a minimal impact on urban pollution. Cars like the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In and Toyota's own Prius Plug-In offer greater all-electric range, but are also rather more expensive to buy.
For a more detailed look at the Toyota Auris hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.