A lot of this is down to the extra weight of the batteries and pair of motors. It’s a bit sloppy in corners, while it’s steering ultimately lacks feel.
It shares its power train with the Prius, and offers just the one engine. It’s an electric motor that combines with a 1.8-litre petrol to develop 168bhp. That’s decent, but it’s a shame that you can only pair it up with a CVT automatic gearbox. It’s a bit fussy. However, it does cut fuel economy and lets you rev freely.
On the flipside, it also makes the engine sound like you’re working it to death.
The engine itself does 0-62 in 10.9 seconds, which is a few tenths of a second slower than the Lexus CT Hatchback.
The Auris’ economy was always going to be good. After all, it was Toyota’s original idea with the Auris Hybrid to create a cheap-to-run car that’s good for the environment. As such, it can return 81mpg if you opt for the Active or Icon trim. That’s impressive, but all models return over 72mpg.
And although the car emits just 79g/km of CO2, that’s not enough to see it escape the London Congestion Charge.
Inside, the cabin is inoffensive and family friendly – but uninspiring. You’ll spot scratchier plastics here and there, and the overall quality falls short of the Lexus. However, it’s well-put-together and looks and feels solid enough.
We’re not sure why Toyota decided to place the digital clock so far away from all the other buttons and dials, though.
In terms of practicality, this hybrid version is just as practical as the standard Auris. There are plenty of cubbies to tuck your things away neat and tidily, and access is easy. There are no three-door models, and once you’re inside, leg and headroom is decent for all.
The boot is the same size as the standard Auris, measuring 360-litres. That’s a tad smaller than the Lexus, but it can be boosted to 1,200 by folding down the rear seats.
Lexus – £21,190 – £32,235
Auris – £21,000 – £25,800