If you had to list the most inspiring, desirable C-segment hatches around, it’s safe to say the Toyota Auris wouldnâ€™t feature very strongly. Despite being closely related to the worldâ€™s best-selling car (Corolla), the Auris has consistently failed to spark much desire. Well, Toyota has just released images of an all-new Auris, stating that itâ€™ll make its public debut at the Paris motor show in late September. The question is, will this new one change your mind?
Toyota calls the styling â€˜sharper, more distinctiveâ€™ which it is, but itâ€™s hardly any more attractive, a bit like the offspring of a Lexus CT200h and a Verso. Overall length is up by 30mm, but much more significant is the height, which is down by a full 55mm. Toyota claims aerodynamic and bodyshell stiffness gains, added to slight weight losses and a lower centre of gravity have made the Auris â€˜more appealing and dynamically engaging to drive.â€™ Only a full test drive will tell, but lower, lighter, stiffer are handlingâ€™s holy grail, so it bodes well.
Cabin design, quality and ambience, long a Corolla/Auris weakness, is a said to have been a key area of focus with higher grade, soft-touch plastics liberally applied. Judging only by the pictures, it is clear Toyota have completely rethought the interior resulting in a far more premium effect.
As this is a Toyota, practicality hasnâ€™t been ignored either. New Auris is said to be more spacious in the rear, with a larger tailgate opening, and a slightly bigger boot. High-end options include a panoramic glass roof appropriately called Skyview.
Powertrain options for Europe include an improved version of Toyotaâ€™s Hybrid Synergy Drive, a 1.4-litre diesel and 1.33 and 1.6-litre petrol engines. Yes, sadly still no mention of a turbocharged petrol version despite the wholesale adoption of forced induction by just about all of its rivals. So, the new Auris, very sensible, probably even mildly satisfying to drive, but certainly not inspiring or desirable.