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MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Toyota Auris GB25 1.8 Petrol Hybrid Automatic

Click to view picture gallery“Here today, and here tomorrow —
  that’s Toyota, who’ve been building
  cars in the UK for twenty-five years.
  To celebrate, they
ve produced the
  special edition Auris hybrid GB25...”


THE AURIS IS THE TOP-SELLING Toyota hybrid in the UK and Europe, with more than 70% of Auris customers plumping for the popular petrol-electric hybrid.

In fact, Toyota has just passed the 200,000 mark for petrol-electric hybrid sales to UK customers, in models ranging from the Yaris supermini, the Auris mid-sized hatchbacks and estates, the larger Prius derivatives, the C-HR crossover, and the RAV4 SUV.

Those buying an Auris have a wide choice of powerplants: 99PS 1.33-litre petrol, 116PS turboed 1.2 petrol, 90PS 1.4 turbodiesel, 112PS 1.6 turbodiesel, and the 136PS (134bhp) 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid combo powering the GB25.

The special edition Auris Hybrid GB25 has a distinctive bi-tone exterior paint finish combining a contrasting black roof, front grille and door mirror casings with a choice of Tokyo Red, Pearl White or Aspen Grey bodywork. Its special status is marked out by a '25-years building in Britain' badge that incorporates the Union flag.

The special edition
Auris Hybrid GB25 has
a distinctive BI-tone
exterior paint finish
combining a contrasting black roof, front grille
and door mirror casings
with a choice of Tokyo
Red, Pearl White or
Aspen Grey bodywork.
Its special status
is marked by a ‘25-years
building in Britain’
badge, incorporating
the Union flag...”
In keeping with the latest mild exterior styling tweaks to the Auris, the GB25 variant has revised front and rear ends to give it a more muscular look and to provide a touch more kerb appeal. There is a more prominent front bumper with a full-width lower grille housing deep pods for the fog lights; a stronger looking rear bumper emphasises the width of the car.

There are also new LED daytime running lights at the front; the rear LED light clusters use 'signature' indicator guide technology. A shark-fin roof aerial crowns the exterior re-styling although the Auris still doesn't stand out from the crowd of similar-sized hatchbacks you'll find in a car park.

Inside, the re-styling includes a general improvement in quality with the use of soft-touch grained materials for the dash with a more integrated design for the instruments. There's a stronger and sportier looking instrument binnacle with 'tubed' speedometer and rev-counter dials either side of a 4.2- inch TFT multi-information driver's display.

The air vents, door handles and gear selector lever have a higher quality appearance, adding to the move to a more premium interior environment. The soundproofing has also been improved in the bulkhead area and additional sealing has been added around the door areas to minimise road and wind noise.

The cabin of the GB25 special edition is distinguished by black leather upholstery with a quilted finish for the backrest and cushion, with contrast silver stitching that also features on the armrests and fascia.

Its 'special edition' status also gets it automatic AirCon, power windows, push-button start, leather steering wheel and shift lever trim, rear privacy glass, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels.

The standard-fit Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system uses a seven-inch touchscreen set centrally in the fascia panel and co-ordinates functions including the six-speaker audio system with DAB radio, Bluetooth (for hands-free phone operation and music streaming) and rear-view camera. If you need directions, the Toyota Touch 2 with Go SatNav system is a 750 extra-cost item.

The efficiency potential
of the Toyota 1.8-litre
petrol-electric full hybrid
powertrain is well known.
The combination of
petrol and electric power
not only helps keep
ownership costs down
and reduces the
environmental impact of
day-to-day driving
through low CO2 and
NOx, but it also does
away with
range anxiety
that
s still a bugbear of
pure electric cars...”
Also fitted is the Toyota Safety Sense package which provides active systems that can help prevent an accident happening, or at least lessen the consequence if an impact does occur. Its features include a Pre-Crash Safety system with autonomous emergency braking, Automatic High Beam for the headlights, Road Sign Assist, and Lane Departure Warning.

The efficiency potential of the Toyota 1.8-litre petrol-electric full hybrid powertrain is well known; the combination of petrol and electric power not only helps keep ownership costs down and reduces the environmental impact of day-to-day driving through low CO2 and NOx, but it also does away with the 'range anxiety' that's still a bugbear of all-electric cars.

Another plus point is that, unlike pure electric cars that have to be charged from the mains, there's no downtime for the Auris hybrid.

However, the Auris doesn't get the plug-in facility that Toyota offers for some other models in their petrol-electric hybrid range and which improves real-life fuel economy considerably as well as increasing the electric-power-only driving range from just three miles to at least 10 times that.

The Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system's 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine and electric motor together generate maximum power of 134bhp, giving the Auris a 0-62mph acceleration time of 10.9 seconds along with a top speed of 112mph.

The petrol-electric hybrid technology offers, in some circumstances, a quiet and relaxing drive; it's also easy to use push the start button, engage drive, press the accelerator and off you go.

I found it nicer to drive on local journeys, in and around town, and at speeds up to 50mph on country roads in all of these conditions the petrol-electric system seemed to harvest battery power more effectively. Longer high-speed runs on motorways can be harder work for the powertrain and CVT auto transmission as there's limited opportunities to replenish the battery pack to deliver power-on-demand for acceleration and to maintaining higher cruising speeds.
Under hard acceleration the engine can become noisy and feel sluggish exactly the opposite for local driving when it proved to be quiet and responsive.

Depending on the
driving conditions, the
fuel economy varied
between 40 and 74mpg
with an overall
average of 60.2mpg.
This was slightly better
than a smallish capacity
turbo petrol engine
although not as good as
a turbodiesel — but with
fewer emissions than
either of the traditional
powerplants...”
Depending on the driving conditions, the fuel economy varied between 40 and 74mpg with an overall average for my week-long testing of 60.2mpg. This was slightly better than a smallish capacity turbo petrol engine although not as good as a turbodiesel but with fewer emissions than either of those conventional powerplants.

Officially this model will return 72.4mpg in the Combined Cycle with CO2 emissions of 91g/km (other versions with less spec and smaller wheels can be as low as 79g/km). The 91g/km figure means that the first year's road tax is 110 and 130 thereafter.

In urban traffic the hybrid's stop-and-start performance is seamless and the system runs almost silently when using only the electric motor for relatively short distances of a couple of miles before the petrol engine kicks in.

The hybrid can run purely on electric motor power from start-up and at speeds up to around 44mph. To maximise efficiency the system automatically switches to electric power whenever possible (indicated by a green EV light illuminating in the instrument panel). Users who like to change the tempo can select from EV, ECO and SPORT driving modes.

Major 'likes' are that the Auris is built in Britain, is 'clean' emissions-wise, incurs low taxes and has low running costs, and is easy and economical to drive in urban areas.

Unless you live in a different world you'll be aware that the demand for cleaner and greener cars (and vans, lorries and buses) is growing, fuelled by world legislation to reduce emissions. With their petrol-electric hybrids, Toyota has been on that UK road since the year 2000, and this latest British-built Auris hybrid is yet another step along that greener path. ~ David Miles
.
Toyota Auris GB25 1.8 Petrol Hybrid Automatic | 24,045
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 10.9 seconds | Test Average: 60.2mpg
Power: 134bhp | Torque: 104lb ft | CO2: 91g/km

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