Hybrid drive: Toyota Auris – new savings master in the golf class

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Toyota Auris – new savings master in the golf class

Hybrid drive: Toyota Auris - new savings master in the golf class-hybrid

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At first glance, the Auris HSD is indistinguishable from the conventional model.

Source: Toyota / Harald Dawo

Hybrid drive: Toyota Auris - new savings master in the golf class-drive

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Only the lettering on the right at the rear and …

Source: Toyota / Harald Dawo

Hybrid drive: Toyota Auris - new savings master in the golf class-savings

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… the slightly lower body make the HSD recognizable.

Source: Toyota / Harald Dawo

Hybrid drive: Toyota Auris - new savings master in the golf class-savings

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In addition, the hybrid comes with low-friction tires as standard, which help to save fuel.

Source: Toyota / Harald Dawo

Hybrid drive: Toyota Auris - new savings master in the golf class-toyota

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With the Auris HSD, the full hybrid concept with gasoline and electric motors is entering the compact class.

Source: Toyota / Harald Dawo

The new Toyota Auris HSD has a consumption of 3.8 liters. The first compact hybrid car on the German market scores with fine technology.

uThe Toyota Group has now produced over 2.5 million hybrids, including the Prius, which is by far the most successful vehicle of its kind worldwide. Now the Japanese are going one step further and are bringing this technology into the compact class for the first time.

The compact car produced in Burnaston, England, is based on the sophisticated hybrid architecture of the third generation of the Prius. A 1.8 liter petrol engine (99 PS) and an electric motor (82 PS) combine in the Auris to produce a system output of 136 PS. The so-called Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) ensures, at least in theory, a consumption that has not even been achieved by diesel engines in this class. The Auris consumes 3.8 liters of gasoline on average, which at 89 grams per kilometer also ensures a record level in the compact segment for CO2 emissions.

Similar to the Prius, the technology also works with the Auris in practice without any problems. Thanks to the full hybrid concept, the 4.25-meter-long compact car can even drive short distances exclusively on electric power, but the nickel-metal hydride battery only has enough power for a maximum of two kilometers. Otherwise, the electric motor supports the gasoline engine especially when starting and accelerating with additional torque, so that the performance is on the level of a 2.0-liter diesel. With the exception of the top speed, however, because here Toyota regulates, similar to the larger Prius, from 180 km / h.

However, the Auris HSD would not be a vehicle for high-speed travel either. In addition to city traffic, his specialty is clearly controlled gliding, whether on country roads or highways. Acoustically, however, driving may not be fun, as the continuously variable CVT transmission, thanks to the well-known "rubber band" effect, always gives the driver the feeling that there is too much noise and too little power for the respective speed.

This is especially true if you choose the power variant from the four available driving modes. Here the Auris responds much faster to gas commands, but the typical serenity of hybrid driving is lost. The exact opposite can be achieved by pressing the Eco button. Here, the maximum savings effect is achieved through delayed response, which in turn minimizes driving pleasure.

Since the third of the buttons below the gearshift lever is only intended for brief electrical operation, for example for a quiet start in the morning in a residential area, the fourth, i.e. normal driving mode, is usually the best choice. By the way, you can follow the energy flows in the system in the multi-function display. Is the battery charging or is energy being drawn from it? This is more than just a gimmick, it rather supports the restrained driving style that you need to even come close to achieving the specified consumption values ​​in practice.

While the hybrid system does not allow itself any weaknesses within the scope of its technical possibilities, the brakes leave a rather ambivalent impression due to their poor controllability and the synthetic feedback. The Auris Hybrid shares another weakness with its sister models: the seating position is always too high, even when the driver’s seat is in the lowest position. Hybrid buyers have to make a small compromise when it comes to the trunk: Since the batteries require space, the available trunk volume is reduced from 354 to 310 liters compared to the normal models.

In terms of price, Toyota has placed the Auris Hybrid at the same level as the 2.0-liter diesel. The basic “Life” model for 22,950 euros includes 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, electric windows, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, LED daytime running lights and a leather steering wheel. For a surcharge of EUR 2,000 there is the Executive version with 17-inch wheels, rain and light sensors, cruise control, reversing camera and keyless entry system. Xenon lights, leather seats, navigation and parking aid are on the option list.

Compared to the larger and slightly better equipped Prius, you save 2,500 euros with the Auris HSD. In addition, Toyota calculates that by eliminating some components such as clutch, starter, V-belt or alternator, the maintenance costs are at the level of the one class smaller Yaris.

Nevertheless, the Auris is not primarily a vehicle for bargain hunters. Rather, it will most likely be drawn to drivers who want to drive the sophisticated technology in a less conspicuous packaging than what the formally completely independent Prius offers. With the Auris Hybrid, the only thing you can see at first glance is the sticker attached to the rear that this is a special vehicle.

Only at second glance does the specialist recognize the lowered body and the smooth-running tires, which contribute to the consumption, which is 0.1 liters below that of the Prius. For Germany, Toyota expects that every fifth Auris buyer will opt for the hybrid version in the future, which would mean around 2,800 sales in the first full sales year 2011. In Burnaston, Toyota has set up a production capacity for a total of 30,000 Auris HSDs per year.

Despite these numbers: The Auris Hybrid is not (yet) a vehicle for everyone. Anyone who buys it has to get involved with this special drive. Otherwise you will neither have fun nor achieve the promised consumption values. However, if you are looking for a fine piece of technology in the compact class and want to be at least a little ahead of your time, you will be well served with this new Toyota.

From September 18, the Auris Hybrid will be available from dealers in Germany only as a five-door model.

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