Toyota is attempting the impossible: to make its Golf challenger more interesting. The new-for-2010 Toyota Auris receives a facelift inside and out, engineering tweaks to nudge CO2 downwards and a sportier model to lure in younger drivers. Good luck, Toyota…
Forgive us for sounding harsh, but CAR has never seen eye to eye with the Auris, dubbing it the ‘magnolia’ of the hatchback segment when we first drove it in 2007. It’s an undeniably accomplished vehicle, just that one that has had its pulse removed.
That’s what the facelifted 2010 Auris aims to fix: inject some interest, some reason to buy this rather than the default Golf/Focus/Astra hegemony.
So what exactly is new on the 2010 Toyota Auris?
Three- and five-door Auris models are pepped up with a new front end, whose headlamps, bonnet, grille and bumper are all revised to inject some character. The new Auris SR packs sportier accoutrements in a bid to attract younger buyers and three new colours (none of them beige) are added to the paint palette. While we don’t expect you to be salivating as you read this, we recognise there’s a dose of restrained Avensis style now applied.
Inside, the new Auris’s cabin is pepped up with soft-touch materials, the centre console is new and the Lexus-alike Optitron dials have a new cool white hue.
And changes under the bonnet?
Toyota says its new Optimal Drive – the Japanese take on BMW’s Efficient Dynamics – have trimmed CO2 down to 125g/km on the 1.4 D-4D, and a new stop-start system is ushered in on the 1.3-litre petrol.
Although few exact details have been published yet, Toyota says the suspension has been retuned ‘to better suit European roads and driver preferences’.
The new Auris SR model is powered by Toyota’s 1.6 Valvematic petrol engine, its warmer pretensions indicated by new 17in alloys, privacy glass, smoked light lenses and a roof spoiler – all for £500 more than the bread and butter TR, which will likely account for 80% of UK sales.
Hmmm, my pulse is still in freefall!
Fret not. The most substantial change to the Auris range is the addition of a hybrid model – the first UK manufacted mass-market petrol-electric model. Click here to read more about the Auris Hybrid.
>> Is this enough to save the Auris from the Boredom Box? Click ‘Add your comment’ and sound off