With a full reveal due at March’s Geneva Motor Show, Toyota has taken the wraps off their new Auris Touring Sports range – and the headline is the sector’s first full hybrid estate car.
A huge 530 litre boot has been added to the recently facelifted and relatively dinky Auris hatch to give it the largest seats-down load space in the compact family car class. The new, long roofline can be filled with Toyota’s Skyview panoramic roof too, to brighten up the inside.
With Toyota’s one-touch “Easy-Flat” folding rear seat system, a dual-level loadspace floor, two-way tonneau cover, roller-type luggage net, shopping bag hooks, aluminium roof rails and a 12V power outlet in the boot, the Auris Touring Sports is well kitted for load carrying and camping duties.
The range of engines is largely carried over from the Auris hatch, with 101hp “1.33” and 130hp 1.6 petrol engines and the 90hp 1.4 D-4D diesel, but it’s the hybrid that’s grabbing the headlines. Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive – a 1.8 litre VVTi engine attached to an electric motor – it returns remarkable CO2 figures of 86g/km, making this the greenest estate car money can buy.
There’s no compromise for space on the hybrid models either, as the vehicles are packaged to avoid encroaching on that practical 1,658 litre load space.
The Derbyshire-built Auris Touring Sports is due to go on sale later this year, following a full launch at the Geneva Motor Show
While its green credentials are evident, the Auris is going up against rivals like the near-70 mpg Ford Focus Estate TDCi – and until the particulate section of the Euro 6 emission regulations come into force next year, the hybrid vs. diesel battle isn’t one that’s going to be settled on paper. It may also find itself battling in-house competition from the seven seat Prius+ – but with Toyota targetting 5% of market share from the Auris Touring Sports, this strong-looker should be a success.