Hybrid model joins SA Auris rangeComment on this story
The latest Auris range is notable by its absence of a diesel model and right now there's no word on whether an oil burner will join the range at any stage.
That means that customers seeking a more economical engine option will need to take a closer look at new Auris HSD hybrid model that's just hit our shores.
Slotting between the Yaris HSD and Prius in Toyota's hybrid line-up, the Auris HSD starts just below the 300-grand mark and uses the same hybrid powertain as found in the Prius.
This entails a 1.8-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine mated to an electric motor, with the two systems being capable of working alone or separately. In fact, Toyota says it can drive for up to two kilometres (up to about 50km/h) on electric power alone.
The powertrain has a total system output of 100kW; maximum torque is rated at 142Nm for the petrol engine and 207Nm for the electric motor.
Claimed fuel consumption amounts to just 3.8 litres per 100km (the regular 1.6 Auris consumes 2.4 l/100 more) and its CO2 emissions level is among the lowest in the market, at 87g/km.
Ignore all that green stuff, however, and the HSD is also said to be capable of a 10.9-second 0-100km/h acceleration run and 180km/h top speed.
The HSD is also set apart from its Auris siblings by a double wishbone rear suspension system.
The Auris HSD is available in two trim levels, XS and XR and both can be told apart from the regular Auris range by a few unique styling motifs - like 'hybrid blue' badges, graphite lower grille/diffuser and bespoke alloy wheels.
Inside, some unique instrumentation awaits the driver, along with a hybrid blue brushed aluminium instrument panel finish.
A nice surprise for those that battle with parallel parking is the standard park assist system that identifies viable parking spaces and then manoeuvres into the allocated slot without any steering input from the driver.
Other interior features include climate control, touch-screen display, reverse camera and Smart Entry; the XR ups the ante with a panoramic glass roof, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and Ice Grey leather upholstery for the seats, which are heated up front.
All good and well, but all these amenities - not to mention the high-tech powertrain componentry - make the HSD significantly more expensive than the regular Auris range.
HSD XS - R297 900
HSD XR - R323 100