Five-Point Inspection: Toyota Auris Hybrid Touring Sports

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

In North America Toyota is known for a couple signature vehicles. Over the decades they’ve sold legions of Camrys and more Prius hybrids than you might expect. Beyond these core products the company also offers a host of other models, from the full-size Tundra pickup truck to the FJ Cruiser sport utility.

But just because the company sells one particular nameplate in America doesn’t necessarily mean it offers that vehicle in other markets around the world, and vice versa. Drivers in Europe can purchase a Toyota Proace commercial van; we can’t do that. However, they’re denied access to the comfortable and stylish Avalon premium sedan.

You say potato I say kartoffel; you say tomato, I say томат. American motorists have access to the Corolla, a high-quality if devastatingly dull car. On the other hand certain European customers can opt for a surrogate of sorts: the C-Segment Auris. How does this compact car compare to segment leaders on this side of the Atlantic? We took a hybrid version of the “Touring Sports” model for a brief spin to find out.

Vanilla, chocolate and twist, the Auris is offered in a few different flavors. It’s available as either a hatchback or a station wagon (the Touring Sports version); beyond that there are some interesting options under the hood.

Adding sprinkles and hot fudge, several different powertrains are available. Drivers can go the conventional internal-combustion route by opting for either a gasoline or diesel engine, but in typical Toyota fashion they can also nab one with a fuel-efficient hybrid drivetrain.

Again, this amped-up auto targets the European market, which is the only region it’s sold in. Surprisingly it’s built in the UK; evidently the Brits produce more than just funny accents and TV shows.

The Auris Hybrid Touring Sports is powered by an economy-minded drivetrain. Half of this system is comprised of a 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Running on the Atkinson cycle, this engine puts out a rather measly 98 horsepower; lowered performance is a concession to efficiency.

SEE ALSO: 2012 Toyota Prius C Review

Making up lost ground is the other half of the powertrain, which is comprised of an electric motor and an energy-saving battery pack mounted beneath the car’s rear seats so it doesn’t eat up any interior space. Add it all up and this electrified drivetrain delivers a total of 136 horsepower.

When it comes time to top off the tank how well does this grocery-getting Toyota wagon fare? Well, the Auris Hybrid Touring Sports should deliver some pretty impressive consumption scores.

On the European test cycle, which is significantly different from our EPA regimen, this car is expected to burn between 3.6 and 3.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers of urban driving. That factors out to between 65 and 60 miles per ‘Murican gallon. Curiously its highway scores are identical. This is surprising because hybrids typically perform much better in stop-and-go around-town motoring than they do on the interstate. All told this car’s combined consumption score clocks in at between 3.7 and 3.9 liters per 100 clicks on the Euro cycle. Those numbers work out to between 63 and 60 MPG, respectively.

The electrified Auris wagon drives pretty well for a hybrid family car. It stays reasonably planted during evasive maneuvers or sharp corners. Overall it feels composed if not terribly sporty.

Its drivetrain is a massive improvement over the unit powering Toyota’s Yaris Hybrid, which feels like it was developed during the Stone Age. Additionally, the Auris absolutely slaughters the deplorable Yaris when it comes to dynamics; it’s worlds better than its little brother.

SEE ALSO: 2010 Toyota Prius III Review

The car’s 136 available ponies do their best to provide decent acceleration and for the most part they accomplish this. The romp from zero to 60 mph takes right around 11.2 seconds. While far from blistering it’s perfectly adequate for everyday driving, though we’d advise against racing for pink slips.

When you put the Auris in motion it’s perfectly capable of moving, but that’s not where this car was designed to shine; it’s meant to haul people and packages, not ass. Accordingly it’s got a decent rear seat and a positively massive cargo bay. At first glance it’s deceptively large for a C-Segment vehicle.

What does all this nougaty hybrid goodness cost? Well, it ain’t cheap. In Germany the car starts at €24,400, which is nearly $33,000 at today’s exchange rate. By comparison the Prius kicks off at just about 25 grand in America, the land of the free the home of value pricing. Even a loaded-up trim-level “five” model is less expensive than an entry-level Auris Hybrid Touring Sports, stickering for around 30 large.

Discuss this story on our Toyota forum.

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

More by Craig Cole

Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • RWS RWS on Nov 13, 2013

    Looks like a hybrid Venza. The EPA mpg will probably be about 40 or so here. I wish Toyota would come out with a Prius SUV.