From £16,8147

Toyota is renowned for its ability to produce reliable and hassle-free cars, and the Auris is unlikely to be an exception to that rule. Servicing should be relatively inexpensive and Toyota's aftercare is usually exceptional.

Its residual values are forecast to be lower than that of some rivals, such as the Skoda Octavia, so as a long-term bet you may be better off looking elsewhere.

The Toyota's Touch&Go sat-nav is an option worth having, as well as the space-saver spare wheel

The Auris hatch won credit at the turn of the year for its appealing pricing, though, and the estate – and the hybrid in particular – is equally aggressive. In mid-spec Icon trim, it can be had from less than £22k.

And it’s not as if you’re stuck with meagre standard equipment, either. The bog-basic Active-grade Auris gets air-con and electric front windows, and the Icon trim adds a DAB radio, a touchscreen multimedia system, Bluetooth, a reversing camera and the dual-level load bay floor.

Beyond that, moving up to Design or Excel trim brings 17-inch wheels. They affect the hybrid’s CO2 performance but they don’t do so enough to change the all-important BIK tax rate. At the top end, you get keyless go, cruise control, automatic wipers and lights and heated front seats as standard.

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We put a hybrid Toyota through a fuel economy cycle where it returned 53.5mpg overall. That might disappoint those unused to the realities of hybrid ownership, but it's still very competitive and at least 10 percent better than we'd expect from a like-for-like diesel overall.

The other engines, the 1.33-litre petrol, 1.2-litre petrol, and 1.4- and 1.6-litre diesels, are reputed to average up to 51.4mpg, 52.9mpg, 65.7mpg and 80mpg respectively. These, again, are competitive figures.

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