Time was when combining the words ‘compact’ and ‘estate car’, as is the case with the new Toyota Auris Touring Sports, in the same breath would have won you a similarly puzzled glance from a typical UK motorist as the concept of a ‘diesel Jaguar’ or a ‘Chinese MG’.

After all, what would be the point of a small estate? And who’d want one? Well, plenty would in this downsized, perfectly packaged, efficiency-oriented market.

It hasn’t escaped the notice of product planners that the market for wagon-converted C-segment hatches – Volkswagen Golfs, Ford Focuses and the like – has been steadily growing ever since the hatchback class became the core of the fleet car market.

There are now estate or pseudo-estate versions of offerings as different as the Skoda Fabia and Chevrolet Cruze, and of most affordable five-doors in between. They account for 25 percent of all C-segment sales in Europe, and three-quarters of that portion are sold to fleets. Although, this segment has seen a few disappear including the Seat Ibiza ST and the Renault Clio ST, so nothing is certain.

In order to muscle in on this segment, Toyota has released its Auris Touring Sports. It's offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines but, more notably, it's available as a hybrid. With a claimed average of 76.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 85g/km, it could well prove a tempting proposition for company users.

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Toyota range

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...

So is the new car an inspired bit of product planning or is it another also-ran?

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Toyota range

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...