- Max Speed
The ‘Sports' badge on the Toyota Auris Hybrid wagon is profoundly, emphatically misleading. There's 132bhp and 105lb ft of torque - barely enough to drag its 1,465kg unladen mass.
Of course, it's not meant to be sporty. But there are more problems, namely the CVT 'box. It keeps the four-pot spinning at high revs, which is loud and never quite feels like it's making good use of the torque. The compensating virtue is that occasionally it'll run on silent electric power in town.
Handling's no better. Despite company boss Akio Toyoda demanding that his cars are more fun, the steering is dim-witted and vague, and it feels heavy and burdened through corners. Which is a shame - on paper, this is a decent proposition. It does 60mpg real-world, emits just 92g/km of CO2, and it's an exemplar of good packaging.
The batteries are hidden under the rear seat so there's 1,658 litres of space with the bench flat. The floor's 10cm lower than the hatch's too, and there's no annoying lip to heave stuff over.
Useful. But flawed. Get a Skoda Octavia 1.6-litre TDI Estate instead. There's more room (1,740 litres with the seats down), it too does 60 real-world mpg, and in top-spec trim it's £995 cheaper.
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