independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Toyota hatches plans for tough 2013 market

TOYOTA has just rolled out its new-generation, small-family Auris hatch and a hybrid version of its Yaris supermini.

The Auris looks a lot better. They have sharpened it up considerably. Fuel consumption and emissions are down in the small-family hatchback.

There are three grades of spec – Terra, Aura, Luna – as well as Auris hybrid and Auris hybrid Luxury. And there are four engine options: 1.33l dual VVT-I, 1.6-litre petrol (with MultiDrive transmission), 1.4-litre D-4D diesel and Full Hybrid Synergy Drive (1.8-litre VVT-i petrol with 82bhp electric motor).

The new motor is noticeably lower (55mm) but there is no loss of space as such. There will be no 3dr but a smart-looking 5dr Tourer will be along next year. Prices start from €18,995 for the 1.33-litre petrol, with delivery and related charges extra. Senior figures believe the price will put a petrol car back on the agenda for some buyers who are putting up small mileage.

Toyota expects to take 10pc of the sector next year. Since 2007, as many as 14,703 Auris models have been sold.

Meanwhile, the company is claiming that its Yaris is the first full hybrid to go on sale in the supermini segment. It is also the first downsizing of the company's hybrid technology. This blends a re-engineered 1.5-litre petrol engine with a smaller, lighter, compact electric motor and battery pack.

The company says this means lower fuel consumption and good acceleration. Average fuel consumption is 3.5 l/100km – that in olden times would translate into around 80mpg – and CO2 emissions of only 79g/km.

It looks different from the others, with an exterior designed to show it as the flagship of the range. And it was quite peppy to drive in a short try-out in Dublin yesterday.

Prices start at €18,950, with delivery and related charges extra. Again the company says the hybrid price compares well with diesels in the supermini segment.

There are two specification grades – Hybrid and Hybrid Luxury.

Toyota also plans to bring in the seven-seater Prius + and Pro Ace commercial next year.

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