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Published Date: 05/09/2017

Since launching the world’s first volume production hybrid, the original Prius, in 1997, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has become synonymous with economical and green hybrid cars. Toyota vehicles have a worthy reputation for reliability, and their designs have become increasingly bold and attractive. Let’s take a look at how hybrid versions of the Auris and latest Prius compare.

A body style for all lifestyles

Now in its fourth generation, the Prius is as popular as ever amongst green-minded motorists, from families and business fleets to Hollywood celebrities. Its radical, eye-catching and futuristic styling continues to win many fans and the Prius is now available in plug-in hybrid as well as 7-seater Prius+ guises, the latter blending the best attributes of MPV, estate and crossover to offer a great solution for families or other load-lugging drivers.

The Toyota Auris is thoroughly modern but more conservatively styled, appealing to a wider spectrum of motorists with its sharp, solid and sporty aesthetics. Hybrid technology is very much part of the Auris ethos and a spacious Touring Sports estate forms an important part of the range, with no style sacrificed in pursuit of genuine practicality.

Conclusion: Both the Auris and Prius offer practical estate versions, but for drivers who prefer modern style that looks more mainstream rather than futuristic, the Auris is an excellent choice.

Interior strengths

Toyota’s long-renowned hallmarks shine through inside each of these cars, which feel solidly constructed and safe, rich in the latest infotainment technology and driver aids, thoughtfully practical, comfortable and relaxingly quiet. Both Auris and Prius dashboards incorporate feature-packed touchscreens and displays to help drivers enjoy the hybrid experience, while many driver functions are automated as standard or optionally, and children or adults will love the twin DVD player package available for the Prius Plus+ in Excel Plus trim. Leather seats and other luxuries can be specified to suit varying budgets through the different trim levels and options lists.

Size-wise, the hatchback variants of Auris and Prius measure 4,300mm and 4,540mm in length respectively, while the Auris Touring Sports’ 4,595mm length compares to 4,645 from the Prius+, which is the only seven-seat option. The model with the largest boot is the Auris Touring Sports with 530 litres compared to 505 from the Prius+ in 5-seat mode.

Conclusion: If you need as much boot space as possible, choose the Auris Touring Sports – unless seven seats are a must.

Relaxed driving awaits

One of the significant plus points about hybrid cars is that they are the perfect antidote for today’s often busy roads, with their near-silent operation in electric mode combined with smooth delivery from the latest automatic gearboxes.

The Toyota Auris’ hybrid engine combines a battery and electric motor with a 1.8-litre petrol engine, producing a total of 136bhp. Emissions and fuel economy from the hybrid Auris hatchback start from as low as 79g/km and 80/7mpg, while the Touring Sports’ figures range from 92g/km and 70.62mpg combined.

The Prius also encompasses a 1.8-litre petrol engine, which this time is a 122bhp unit. Combined fuel economy as frugal as 94.1mpg and combined CO2 emissions as clean as 70g/km are remarkable from the Prius hybrid hatch.

The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version takes eco motoring to another level, with upto 283mpg and 22g/km CO2 within reach, while the larger Prius+ 7-seater still performs strongly with 64.2mpg and 95g/km CO2 credentials, making all these Toyota cars very credible choices for environmentally friendly driving.

Conclusion: For the ultimate in green motoring from your Toyota, go for the plug-in hybrid Prius with excellent statistics and strong real-world usability.

In numbers…









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Emissions (CO2, g/km)





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0 – 60mph in…. (seconds)











Toyota fully deserves its reputation as the world’s leading manufacturer of everyday production hybrids that are as frugal and clean as they are attractive. The Auris in hatchback or Touring Sports guises is the more conventionally-styled of the two, while the Prius and in particular the plug-in hybrid model present a formidable argument for adopting and enjoying a green and thoroughly relaxing style of motoring.


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