Used car buyer's guide: Toyota Auris hybrid
AT its launch in 2010, the Toyota Auris hybrid's importance lay less in the HSD (or Hybrid Synergy Drive) technology it carried – that was simply borrowed from Toyota's existing Prius – and more in the fact that this was the first time we'd seen such a futuristic powertrain so affordably and un-showily deployed in an ordinary family hatchback.
Virtually identically to its conventional petrol and diesel siblings, here was a car that didn't shout its owner's green credentials from the rooftops. Here was the first real stage of the Toyota masterplan: to take hybrid motoring mainstream.
No more optimistic premium pricing based on buying into celebrity-driven notions of eco-friendliness. This was hard-nosed hybrid motoring confronting the diesel establishment head-on.
Sales weren't exactly stratospheric, but there are some very well looked-after used examples on the market.
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Very little goes wrong with the Toyota Auris HSD. Look for the usual parking scuffs and scraped alloy wheels. Check the wear on tyres for signs of suspension misalignment and that the car has been regularly oil serviced. Otherwise, there's not really much else to worry about.
The interiors have proven hardwearing, although the one moan existing Auris owners repeat about their cars is that the complex dashboard mouldings can creak and rattle.
This model Auris was launched after Toyota's sticky accelerator pedal recall, so nothing to worry about on that score.
The Toyota Auris HSD is a genuinely smart used car buy. In fact, it's one of the best used purchases a family buyer can make. It's reliable, clean, economical, practical and safe, with a cabin that still feels fresh and modern.