Toyota’s Auris comes with an all-new look and hybrid goodness

The Toyota Auris, also known as the Corolla iM in the United States, has had a strong run, as has even been hailed as the first mass-produced Toyota to offer hybrid drive in Europe. Now, for the 2019 model year, Toyota introduces the third-gen Auris and a whole new line up of powertrains to go with it. It comes with a stylish new look on the outside, following Toyota’s new design language, and taking the shape of a proper hatchback as opposed to that old, mini-wagon look. Meanwhile, the interior remains a complete mystery but that’s the name of the game, right?

2019 Toyota Auris Exterior

  • Longer wheelbase
  • Lower roof
  • Lower cowl
  • Sleeker and more attractive
  • Some Camry DNA
It’s a very attractive package all of the way around

The 2019 Toyota Auris is a huge departure from the second-gen model. Toyota must have taken the old, wagon-line model and threw it out of a 10-story window. With that old beater out of the way, Toyota’s engineers could put together this sleek, stylish hatchback. Up front, there are cues borrowed from the new Toyota Camry, as you’ll see with the much-larger grille up front. That hovering lower lip and those tiny, round fog lights are a nice touch too. And, somehow, Toyota managed to make those long headlights look really good – it’s the LED design inside the lights that make them stand out. Furthermore, the 3D look up front is just appealing and is a huge aggressor against anything in this niche.

The A-pillars and windscreen are long, which allows for a slightly curved roof and a fairly longer front end. The beltline actually sits kind of high, which makes for smaller side glass but that upper body line that gets progressively higher from front to rear is a really nice accent. Meanwhile, around back, the Auris almost reminds me of the old Megane, in that it’s got a bit of a bubble butt. Where Toyota did things right, however, are the body lines that wrap around the rear quarters. Not to mention the way the rear wheel wells appear to sit lower in the rear than in the front.

The rear taillights mimic the headlights in design but with a flatter appearance and the rear fascia looks almost like a cutout from the 2018 Camry, with a pair of reflectors in the corners. It’s a very attractive package all of the way around, and because it’s a hybrid, Toyota was able to integrate those cute little exhaust outlets in the corners.

Is the 2019 Toyota Auris Bigger than before?

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The 2019 Auris is actually a little bit larger. Toyota increased its length by 40mm (1.57 inches.) All of that extra length goes into the wheelbase, giving the car a longer, sportier look and ditching the wagon-like appearance. The roof also sits 25mm (0.98 inches) while the cowl height has been dropped by 47mm (1.85 inches.)

2019 Toyota Auris Interior

2018 Toyota Camry High Resolution Interior
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Note: 2018 Toyota Camry pictured here.

As of now, the interior of the new Auris is a complete mystery. Toyota hasn’t said a word about it and refused to let us look inside while it was on display at the Geneva Auto Show. In fact, Toyota was so anal about keeping the interior a secret that the windows were even dark tinted to prevent and sneak peaks. The chances are that Toyota will model the interior after that of the new Camry. It’s not really all that far off from the driver-focus style we expect for the Auris, and the overall design would make a really good successor to the interior of the outgoing Auris. For now, however, take it all with a grain of salt as that may or may not happen. Either way, Toyota won’t disappoint in this regard.

2019 Toyota Auris Performance

  • 1.2-liter conventional engine
  • 1.8-liter hybrid
  • 2.0-liter hybrid
  • up to 177 horsepower
  • Lower center of gravity
  • Built on TNGA Architecture
  • Increased fuel efficiency
2019 Toyota Auris Exterior
- image 772424
The 2019 Auris is only available with one conventional engine or two different hybrid powertrains

Toyota is really pushing its hybrid drivetrains with the new Auris and has decided to drop the handful of engines it offers in the Auris previously. As such, the 2019 Auris is only available with one conventional engine or two different hybrid powertrains.

What Engine does the 2019 Toyota Auris Have?

The Toyota Auris is actually offered with the choice of three different engines. One the conventional, non-hybrid front, there’s a 1.2-liter mill. On the hybrid front, there’s a 1.8-liter engine or a 2.0-liter with a little more power.

What Kind of Horsepower Does the Auris Make?

Toyota has yet to disclose what the conventional, 1.2-liter gasoline engine produces, but the 1.8-liter hybrid mill offers up 120 horsepower while the 2.0-liter hybrid mill will deliver some 177 horsepower.

How Does the 2019 Toyota Auris Drive

Toyota has lowed the car’s center of gravity, created a more rigid body by use of high-strength steel and went with a multi-link rear suspension system. This will improve overall handling and drive quality throughout the powerband and on most road conditions. Futhermore, Toyota promises up to 50-percent all-electric travel in “everyday commuting” and, in the case of the 2.0-liter powertrain, you even get wheel-mounted shift paddles.

2019 Toyota Auris Pricing

2019 Toyota Auris
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Toyota has yet to announce pricing for the 2019 Toyota Auris, but you can expect it to run anywhere between €15,000 and €25,000 throughout Europe. Here in the U.S., that computes to anywhere between $18,000 and $30,000.

2019 Toyota Auris Competition

Volkswagen Golf

2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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The Volkswagen Golf is a huge competitor for the Auris and, with the Auris’ new looks, it can compete with Volkswagen’s resident hatch. Truth be told, the new Auris looks a bit sportier than the golf and will offer up more power as long as you go for that 2.0-liter hybrid mill. The Golf, when equipped with a 2.0-liter TDI delivers 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque while the 1.8-liter petrol engine delivers some 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. On that end of things, the hybridized Auris should be incredibly more efficient than either of the aforementioned Golf engines.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf.

Ford Focus

2015 Ford Focus High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 543215

Ford’s resident hatch in this segment is the Ford Focus, and it comes to the plate with the stench of a 2.0-liter on its breath. In the base models, the SE, SEL, or Titanium, you’ll find 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque under the hood. None of them are quite as sporty as the new Auris and, we’re willing to be they aren’t as fuel efficient either. If you move up to the ST line, you’ll get a 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The ST does have more stylish cues so it may fall more in line with the look of the Auris and it will clearly be quicker thanks to that significantly higher out. Pricing for the Focus starts out around $17,415 and climbs to as much as $22,545.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus

Conclusion

2019 Toyota Auris Exterior
- image 772425

Hands down, the new Auris is the most attractive car that Toyota has showcased this decade, and it will likely share its styling cues with the Corolla iM here in the States. We haven’t seen the interior but after checking out the exterior and it’s hard to imagine that it would fall below impressive. Toyota’s move to include mostly hybrid drivetrains is commendable and you could even say it’s trying to force the issue issuing the non-hybrid model a small, likely underpowered engine. In the end, the new Auris will likely be a big seller in Europe with the new looks and you can bet is overseas cousin, the Corolla iM, will be too.

  • Leave it
    • * Underpowered compared to some models
    • * interior is still a mystery
    • * no option for a plug-in hybrid

References

2015 Toyota Auris High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Auris.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

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Read more Toyota news.

Press release

The new, third-generation Toyota Auris makes its world debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, sporting a more dynamic design and offering the option of a brand new 2.0-litre full hybrid electric system in its powertrain line-up, marking the start of Toyota’s dual hybrid strategy.

Toyota has always prided itself on listening to its customers and responding to their feedback. In particular, after 20 years of hybrid leadership and more than 11 million global sales, including more than 1.5 million hybrid vehicles in Europe, the company has been keen to learn from them how it can further improve its technology and make it more attractive to more people.

This experience has helped prompt Toyota to offer its core models with a choice of two hybrid electric powertrains: one providing the traditional benefits of fuel efficiency and a relaxing drive; the second building on these strengths with greater power and more dynamic driving characteristics.

As announced by Toyota Motor Europe on 28 February, Toyota Manufacturing UK’s Burnaston plant will be the exclusive centre for European new Auris production, with TMUK’s Deeside factory supplying the majority of engines for the model. This announcement follows the investment of £240 million at Burnaston to prepare and equip the plant for Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) manufacturing.

In 2010, the first generation Auris became the first high-volume, core Toyota model in Europe to benefit from hybrid drive; now it will be the first core model in the region to offer a choice of hybrid electric powertrains.

The current Auris powertrain line-up consists of five conventional engines and one hybrid powertrain. However, reflecting the brand’s continued focus on hybrid technology, the new Auris will offer customers just one conventional engine – a 1.2 litre turbo petrol unit – and a choice of 120bhp, 1.8 litre or 177bhp, 2.0 litre hybrid electric powertrains.

The 1.8 litre system fulfils all the requirements that customers have come to expect from a Toyota full hybrid electric powertrain: silent, intuitive, responsive and self-sufficient EV technology with low cost of ownership, no need for plug-in recharging, excellent fuel economy, low CO2 emissions, and up to 50 per cent all-electric driving in everyday commuting.

The 2.0 litre system maintains these benefits and takes full advantage of the added ride comfort, stability, handling and driving enjoyment inherent in the new Auris’s Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. It will offer drivers an ‘energised drive,’ with more power and steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for a more dynamic, engaging driving experience.

Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA)

Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) represents the foundation for all of Toyota’s future powertrain and vehicle development. It marks a revolution in the way the company designs, engineers and manufactures vehicles, and is integral to the company’s mission to build ever better cars that are more stylish, more enjoyable to drive and even safer.

TNGA introduces new, defined guidelines for the positioning of different state-of-the-art components, which simplifies vehicle design in key areas. The impact of this approach is on items that are largely out of sight, so designers still had the freedom to give the new Auris a visually distinctive and individual look with a lower stance and more appealing proportions.

The new Auris’ TNGA platform guarantees a more rewarding driving experience thanks to a low centre of gravity, multi-link rear suspension, and a more rigid body shell through the use of high strength steel reinforcement in key areas. All these factors contribute to better handling and stability without compromising ride and comfort.

All Toyota’s new TNGA-based vehicles prioritise the highest active and passive safety standards. The new Auris is designed to meet the exacting standards of independent crash testing programmes and provide increased safety levels through the sophisticated functions and systems of the latest Toyota Safety Sense technology.

Design

“Our primary goal with the new Auris was to create the most bold and dynamic hatchback on the market, without compromising interior usability,’” said Simon Humphries, Executive General Manager, Toyota Global Design.

“Harnessing the low centre of gravity afforded by the TNGA layout, the vehicle is light and agile in the side view, yet as we move to the rear, the architecture transforms to create a solid, wide and low stance that is absolutely critical for the European market.”

Longer and lower than its predecessor, the new Auris adopts a significantly more dynamic design and more striking frontal styling. Overall length has increased by 40mm, all of which is contained within a longer wheelbase. Importantly, the overall height has been reduced by 25mm, while the cowl height is significantly (-47mm) lower than in the current model. The result is a sleeker shape and a more attractive, lower bonnet, which in turn improves safety by giving the driver a clearer forward view.

The new frontal styling is a further evolution of Toyota’s current design philosophies. Beneath the curved front edge of a flatter, clamshell bonnet, the narrow upper grille incorporates a central Toyota emblem and, at its extremities, new, all-LED headlight units with integral daytime running lights.

The frame of the large, trapezoidal lower grille projects powerfully forward of the bonnet’s front edge and the upper grille in a pronounced step, and is less pointed and more vertical than before. This results in a 20mm reduction in the vehicle’s front overhang.

The sides of the grille surround generate a catamaran hull shape at the front corners of the car, following a design principle that was also applied to the new Toyota Yaris. This emphasises the vehicle’s 30mm increase in width and its broad, sporting stance.

Beneath the grille, the frame divides to clearly define the lip of a front spoiler. The edges of the spoiler are angled upwards, creating an area which houses the LED fog lights. The grille’s mesh itself has a new, more articulate and refined design than the classic honeycomb finish.

The rear of the car is more rounded in plan form, strengthening the visual relationship between the front and rear of the vehicle. A 14-degree increase in the rake of the rear screen and a muscular hip above the rear wheel arch combine to make the overall appearance more compact, despite a 20mm increase in the rear overhang. A roof spoiler is fitted as standard on all model grades.

The rear all-LED lamp clusters feature light guides which emphasise the new Auris’s wide, planted stance. And the rear bumper styling echoes the frontal design cues and features a thin lower lip incorporating twin chrome inserts.

The new Auris’s design can be further emphasised with an optional bi-tone colour scheme, which combines the body colour with a black finish to the roof and pillars.

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