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Five Toyota and Lexus Hybrids Not Sold Here...That Should Be

Hybrids don't have to be boring to drive. Toyota's overseas models show us this in excess.

By Jacob Brown | Photos By Jacob Brown | September 19, 2013

Toyota Auris

While we get the 2014 Toyota Corolla, completely redesigned and much larger, our European and Asian friends get the Auris, which is similar but not the same by any stretch. Called the Corolla five-door and wagon in some markets, the Auris rides on a 102-inch wheelbase, while the new Corolla has 106.3 inches between its front and rear wheels, mostly contributing to a massive back seat. Also different are the two cars' rear suspensions. Our Corolla gets a beam rear axle, while the Auris has an all-independent suspension.
This allows for better lateral stability and a stiffer suspension that still rides just as well as the Corolla, at least in the longer-length wagon variant we sampled. We found the Auris hatchback to be choppier over the road than we'd prefer, with less weight over its rear. The Auris Hybrid is a more sophisticated car, owing in part to its suspension and a 136-horsepower hybrid powertrain that we sampled that helps it achieve near-Prius fuel economy. Unfortunately, it's not coming to the U.S., at least in the form it's in. As a next-generation Toyota platform, expect parts of it to end up in U.S. Toyotas sooner or later. However, since we like big, cushy highway cruisers, expect our Corolla to stick to its course for the direction of Toyota's compact cars here.
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