Featured Should I consider a Corolla (Auris) Hybrid instead

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by alanclarkeau, Jun 23, 2016.

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  1. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    3 months after Prius Gen4 was released in Australia, there are still almost none in dealerships - none have appeared in my city, I think there is 1 across the other side of the next city (1 hr away), 2 more 2 hrs away.

    I spoke with a salesman at a reasonably close dealership I hadn't contacted before today - he said he didn't think they'd be stocking any, they'll order them in if taxi owners want them, but he didn't think they were targeted at private buyers. Hmmm, I'm not sure if that was his opinion or the boss, but I crossed them off my list.

    BUT - just this week, the Corolla Hybrid was released, and a few examples have arrived in dealerships already. It looks like it is a Gen3 dressed up in Corolla clothes. It is reasonably well equipped, but there is no autonomous cruise or lane assist, blind-spot etc like on our Prius. It appears a little smaller, and has a temporary spare tyre. It is about $7000 cheaper than Prius. It is roughly about the same price as one of the superseded Gen3 Prius in a few dealers. Fuel use isn't quite as good as

    Corolla here has a better residual value than nearly anything on the market, so from a financial point of view, it should be good.

    I didn't have time to drive the example I looked at today, but it looked a reasonable package - I've got to consider if I am willing to forego autonomous cruise, HUD etc.

    Has anyone had any experience with a Corolla hybrid, particularly in comparison with a Prius (Gen 3 or 4). Thanks
     
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  2. booke02

    booke02 Active Member

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    Check which engine it has - is the the 1798cc that is used in Gen 3 or or the 1498cc from the Gen 2?
     
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  3. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    1798cc - the specs read the same as the Prius Gen 3 brochure - 73kw/142Nm as the Gen 3.
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I would venture to say you're much more familiar and educated to the realities of a Corolla/Auris hybrid than most North Americans. You seem to have an excellent handle on what it's all about and what the differences between itself and a Prius would be.

    Only you can really ascertain if you would be unhappy with some of it's compromises in relationship to a Prius.

    I'm not versed or familiar with consumer life in Australia. But I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't be possible to get a Prius, regardless of one dealerships representatives seeming attitude. If I really wanted a Gen 4 Prius, I'd be willing to drive an hour or 2 easily. Phone calls would be even easier and potentially cheaper. In short, if I wanted a Prius I wouldn't necessarily give up on the idea of getting one,

    A quick google search tells me Australia has a population of over 23 million. Maybe sadly and surprisingly, a similar search reveals only 3 official Toyota Dealerships. I'd still call each one with exactly what you want and see about the reality of making it happen. If getting one, or even looking at one, really is an insurmountable reality, then I suppose factoring in the evident availability of The Auris Hybrid needs to be recognized as a factor.

    Good Luck, with the search and eventually the decision.
     
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  5. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    It is worth noting that the Corolla/Auris hybrid does have an independent rear suspension, unlike the Gen 3 Prius.

    It has a shorter wheelbase than the Gen 3/4 Prius, though, as well (2600 mm instead of 2700 mm). This will obviously translate into less rear seat room, and the whole car is shorter (less cargo room). That may be a positive or a negative depending on your planned usage of the car.
     
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  6. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Thanks guys - it is just a thought - something I hadn't considered. I threw some figures into a quick spreadsheet, the Corolla, being cheaper, but uses Premium fuel and more of it, probably higher residuals at trade-in time - there's probably not much in it. Next week, things will ease up for me and I'll have a couple of days when I could do a trip to the country to check out a Prius.

    I've just noticed one of the country dealers has both a Prius and a Corolla Hybrid, so that might be the best to head to, drive them both at the same time.
     
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  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Why would it use premium fuel? It is the same drivetrain as in the gen3 Prius.

    We don't get the Auris hybrid in the US, but it has been popular in Europe. It and the Yaris hybrid are why Toyota hybrid sales there have grown.
     
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  8. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    TOYOTA's Australian owner's manual specifies 95 octane Premium for Gen3 as does this new Corolla which uses the same drivetrain - it says that if unavailable, regular fuel can be "temporarily" used on occasions. Gen4 has an advantage in that it specifies 91 octance regular unleaded fuel.

    Thanks, I realise the Auris is popular in Europe and UK, and the Corolla, which is essentially the same car, is our best selling car.
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Now I'm curious what Toyota recommends in Japan for the gen3. In the US, it is regular, 87 AKI, which appears to be the same octane as in Australia. Your premium is in between our midgrade and California premium, 89 and 91 AKI.

    Most likely, there is no difference between the engines in the different markets. If it can go 'temporarily' on regular in Australia, it has knock sensors, and Toyota just lets the ECU dial back the timing for the US. Unless there is some other difference, like minimum detergent requirements, between US and Australian regular, the car should be fine running on it its entire life. I f you don't mind the slight loss in power. Economy may also drop, but whether that is bad depends on the two fuels' price difference.

    Just mention it because you would get a larger response to your question on a more Euro centric board. They've been getting the hybrid version for at least as long as the Prius c has made out.

    The Corolla sounds like the better deal if the size difference doesn't matter. A question I have is how soon do you need to replace your current car? If there is no rush, I'd wait until you have a chance to see and test drive both. I'd also suggest considering a used gen3. hkmb here is also in Australia, and recommends getting cars from the auction in your market.
     
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  10. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Have you considered becoming a taxi owner?
     
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  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Ha - I retired from a high pressure job - I don't foresee work in any form coming up again.

    Besides, being retired is too busy to fit work into.;)
     
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  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    I'm curious as to why it requires premium fuel. Is the refined fuel that's sent to Australia different? Or is it because of the climate? Or to please the oil companies (you'll buy less but you better require your cars to use the more expensive stuff to offset our losses!) <-- yeah that's totally a conspiracy theorist, umm, theory :D.

    Yeah the Gen 4 genuinely gets the rated mileage. I know Australians have been getting the low 4s in the Gen 3 and they can probably get in to the mid 3s with the same driver. I think one of the Australian magazine reported as high as 5.0L/100km in Sydney traffic but otherwise in the extra-urban driving conditions, it's typical to see the low 4s or high 3s.

    How much fuel does AUD7,000 get you?
     
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  13. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    I'm even wondering if it's something like different Toyota marketing groups handling the different models?

    Like, was the Gen 3 and the Auris Hybrid handled by Toyota Europe, and the Gen 4 by Toyota Japan?

    A 95 RON requirement in the Gen 3 and Auris Hybrid would make sense if they came from Toyota Europe, where 95 RON is the lowest they can get.

    Annoyingly, I couldn't find octane requirements on toyota.jp - the Prius Alpha should say.
     
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  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    In the USA, there are different Toyota Regional Groups whose only responsibility is to get the cars from the shipping port to the dealers. More than a few of us suspect Southeast Toyota doesn't really care to promote efficient Toyota vehicles and especially the Prius: (1) throw 'eye candy' on every one at the port to inflate port charges; (2) lethargic shipping with wrong car in wrong areas; (3) blind to local dealer gouging in Prius popular areas, and; (4) tone-deaf to buyer requests. Just going over the Alabama-Tennessee line is a different region and attitude.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  15. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I thought that maybe some UK or Euro comments might have come re the Corolla (Auris there) - I'll see if I can find a UK Toyota blog.

    I'll go for a drive next week to visit an out of town dealer which has a Prius, there is a choice of 2 dealers, one with a red Prius, the other with silver Prius in the same area, and one looks like he's also got a Hybrid Corolla too.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that Prius is the more focussed hybrid, and more what I'm looking for, but I'll try to see them side by side. Prius is bigger, (except for the glovebox, from reports), and yes, the Corolla has an independent rear suspension in the Hybrid version. Corolla misses out on Autonomous Cruise, lane change warning, HUD too.

    I tried to find out about the premium/regular issue a couple of months back - but no real luck re Australia, except someone said that our octane measurements were different from USA. There was quite a lot of discussion on PriusChat about which fuel for Gen 3, but mostly re USA at the time. I did read on a local blog one person saying they'd only ever used regular fuel and had had no problems

    Yes, over 5 years, it's likely to be only $1000 extra for Premium 95 and the higher fuel use of the Corolla (or Gen3) - Unleaded is $1.21/litre, 95 is $1.33/litre, (98 is $1.39/litre, diesel is $1.22 per litre).
     
  16. booke02

    booke02 Active Member

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    The Prius was designed as an energy-efficient car. Not just the power train, but everything else in and around the car. The Auris/Corolla is a standard car which has had its gas engine replaced with a hybrid engine. So, yes, the Prius is more focused. But the Auris has the advantage of being a smaller car, which could attract some folk.
     
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  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The posts AKI on the pump, which is the average of RON and MON. Regular is the same in both markets, and if the car can use regular on a temporary basis, it can use it all the time. I know the engine in my Sonic is designed for higher octane fuel, but GM says regular in the US because higher octane requirements loses sales. It does get better fuel economy on midgrade and premium.

    If you go with the Corolla, run some tests to see if there is a difference in fuel economy. It is possible that the cost per mile can work out the same if the car can make use of the higher octane fuel.
     
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  18. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Thanks. Now that you mention it, my wife and son had a FORD FOCUS that said:
    "The engine in your Focus has been
    optimised for operation on premium
    unleaded fuel (95 RON or higher). For all
    petrol variants it is also safe to operate
    the engine on standard unleaded fuel (91
    RON minimum), however if you choose
    to do so, you may notice some minor
    loss of performance, economy and
    increased engine noise.
    "

    My wife had owned it for 5 years before our son took it over - she had used regular fuel, never having read the manual - however my son read the manual ;). I just looked at FORD website for the current FOCUS specification - it states "91-98 RON". So it must be optimised for 98, but will adjust timing etc to still run acceptably on 91. There is a large TAXI depot near here (primarily Prius or Camry hybrids), I could ask them what fuel they use in Prius'.
     
  19. DonDNH

    DonDNH Senior Member

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    Totally agree. I'm busier now than when I was working; 2 granddaughters keep oneself fully engaged.
     
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  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Electronic controls and knock sensors are on everything now. I think you'd have to go out into the middle of the Outback to even find a gas station that might have gasoline too poor in quality to run in a Prius.

    The only modern cars that have actual higher than regular octane requirements are the high performance supercars. In the case of the European models, it is mostly because the regular available in their home country is higher octane than in the US and Australia.
     
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