A JOURNEY to see a friend in a North Yorkshire hospital involving a fast run up the M1, very slow driving through roadworks on the M62 and then along a mix of slow and suburban and winding country roads proved to be an ideal test route for the new Toyota Auris hybrid, writes Bryan Longworth.
For this mix of driving conditions enabled the latest hybrid Auris with its 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor to show off its capabilities and return a fuel consumption of over 50mpg.
However, the 20 miles slow drive through those roadworks enabled me to frequently try the Auris in its all electric mode which meant zero emissions and no fuel consumption.
The hatchback has sleeker looks than the old model and is lower which might put off some of the older original Auris owners who may find it not quite as easy to get into and out of.
But on the other hand it could well have wider appeal to younger owners.
One good feature about the new model is that the battery unit is now under the rear seat which has created more space in the load area that will be welcomed by family owners.
This has also resulted in a dual-level load area with another stowage compartment under the main deckboard but there is no spare wheel with a puncture repair kit replacing this.
CO2 emissions are also reduced on the latest hybrid Auris - British-built at Derby with a five-year warranty - and this also means no road tax or congestion charges.
My test car was the Auris Hybrid Excel, costing £21,745, with CVT automatic transmission.
It has quite light steering with sound handling especially over some of those rather rough roads in North Yorkshire.
This model was equipped as standard with Toyota’s Intelligent Park Assist that was a really clever piece of kit that enables the car to be slotted quite easily into tight parking spaces.
The instruments are comprehensive and easy to see with one exception - the clock.
Overall I liked this latest hybrid Auris which should have much wider appeal because of its sleeker styling, excellent fuel consumption and very low emissions responsible for zero road tax that will really impress owners who are very conscious of what comes out of the exhaust pipe.
My verdict: A hybrid with wider appeal.
Engine: 1.8-litre petrol and electric motor.
Output: 98bhp and 80bhp
Top speed: 112mph.
0-62mph: 10.9 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 72.4mpg combined
C02 emissions: 91g/km.