With its CVT transmission giving lingering high-rev noise whenever pushed hard, this an unwanted stand-in for the tachometer superceded by a gauge disclosing the loading status on the battery pack.
Changing to Economy mode, via a switch right behind a stubby gear selector whose return-to-neutral method promotes confusion, softens the sound by dulling the accelerator response, along with performance. However for commuting, it’s acceptable – & the thrashing sounds put together an incentive to cool off and cut back on fuel.
You could perhaps drive in totally all electric manner, at as much as 31mph for 1.2 miles, but the engine is better left to fire up whenever the imaginative electrical brain sees fit, and that is nearly always in downtown jams.
A tough and highly uneconomical thrash through the hills developed 36.6 miles per gallon – an alternative economy-minded tester produced 57.7 mpg - so 60 miles per gallon-plus could be do-able.
But thrashing this specific Auris is an unrewarding ordeal, this hybrid variant having had removed the most recently-facelifted traditional machines evolved agility – blame Cd-decreasing lowered suspension, fuel-eking higher tyre-pressures and additional weight – & its steering is pretty lifeless also.
This is a car that’s more transport - if fascinating transport - than enjoyable drive, if one that proves civil at acceptable velocities (more so than the Prius) and tempts very efficiently with its drastically diminished operating costs.