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Toyota Auris T4 HSD

Price: £18,950, CO2 emissions: 89g/km

NO compact family hatchback can match the almost spotless eco-friendly score sheet of the Toyota Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD). With CO2 emissions of only 89g/km, the petrol-electric model has impressive green credentials that shame
its diesel-powered rivals here.

As with the firm’s larger Prius, the driving experience is unlike any traditional rival’s. Hit the starter button, press the throttle and the Toyota glides silently forward under electric power. When more performance is needed, the 1.8-litre petrol engine seamlessly cuts in, while the shift-free CVT transmission delivers smooth progress. However, the CVT does hold the revs high under hard acceleration. To really get the best out of the HSD, you need to adapt your driving style. It’s worth noting, too, that the bulky battery pack reduces carrying capacity to 279 litres.

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Rating: ****

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