2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid Tested by autoevolution

2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid 11 photos
Photo: autoevolution
2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid
The Toyota Auris was the first car on the market to be offered with three different powertrains - gasoline, diesel and hybrid - another great achievement Toyota unlocked about four years ago.
In 2010, a production version of the Auris Hybrid was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March, after which it entered production in May at Toyota Manufacturing UK plant in Burnaston, also becoming the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle in Europe.

For some reason, the Auris Hybrid was better received in Europe than its bigger brother Prius. Who knows, maybe European customers are still scared to be labeled as hipsters, or maybe they were attracted by the lower price...

However, the Auris reached its second generation now and the hybrid powertrain has been continued, making it even more desirable through design, comfortable interior and new tech.

Unlike the iconic Prius, the 2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid manages to hide its electric secret very well on the outside. The hybrid model looks identical with the gasoline or diesel versions - slightly bigger than the outgoing model, new Keen Look front with trapezoidal lower grille and thin upper grille continued by the squinting headlamps, a third window on the side and a redesigned rear end. The only things that give away its secret are the few hybrid badges, exclusive pearl white finish and rims, as well as the obvious lack of engine noise at small speeds.

Stepping inside, you’ll fell almost exactly as in the 2014 Toyota Corolla, with the dashboard and many other design elements constantly reminding you that. There are a few things different however, like the Prius-borrowed gear selector, side air vents and lower central console.

Speaking about the console, the Auris Hybrid comes with a 6.1-inch infotainment system with multiple connectivity, rear camera as well as the Intelligent Parking Assist system, which scans the side of the road for a suitable parking space and then takes the burden of steering the car into it. All you need to do is just work the pedals.

Overall, the interior is very sporty, offers much more space for rear passengers and also uses more quality materials. Other technology improvements are represented by the Smart Entry System, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, electric mirrors, LED daytime running lights, dual zone climate control, auto dimming rearview mirror, cruise control and more.

Opening the hood you’ll find the same 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle gasoline engine mated to an eCVT, which puts out a total of 136 PS. Technically, this is a perfect amount of power to use around the city all day long. However, if you want to achieve Toyota’s claimed 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpg) or even less in the city, you’ll have to use the electric power source at its best. This means to plan ahead your movements and avoid unnecessary accelerations, keep your foot light on the throttle and let the regenerative braking do its business as often as possible.

For some, this might be too bothering but many “greenheads” will see a great challenge in this keep-the-needle-on-the-green-zone task. Yes, if you want to stay in EV mode as long as possible, you’ll have to accelerate very lightly and don’t exceed the rev-counter’s middle green zone. If that occurs and the gasoline engine kicks in, just take the foot completely off the accelerator and then give it a gentle push in so it will re engage the EV mode.

Exiting the city for a medium-length trip, you’ll find the new Auris Hybrid decently stable and quiet, with plenty of power to use in an overtake for example. On the highway we also managed to achieve a very decent 5.4 l/100 km (43.5 mpg) by sticking to the road limits and not being too aggressive with the right pedal.

All in all, the 2014 Toyota Auris Hybrid makes a better deal for the European market, by retaining the Prius’ fuel economy but coming with a long list of features for less cash. So if you don’t necessarily need a bigger boot, the Auris Hybrid makes a very good solution for both city and open-road driving.

See more photos and read our fully detailed test drive here.
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