THE new Toyota Auris hatchback will appeal to both the head and heart when it arrives next month.
That’s the view of the Japanese company, which believes a host of new features - from the car’s styling to the position of the driver’s seat - will prove irresistible to buyers.
British-built, and with prices from £14,495, the Auris will be launched in a four-grade line-up of entry level Active, through Icon and Sport to the flagship Excel trim.
It will also be offered as a full hybrid as well as with petrol and diesel engines.
Longer and more spacious than before, the newcomer has a an overall height 55mm less than the outgoing model, meaning it sits lower than any other mainstream rival.
Principal among the changes are the new face of Toyota grille and the sharp-edged appearance of its headlights and LED daytime running lights, while the side windows extend back behind the rear doors.
At the rear there’s a wider opening tailgate, wrap-around combination lamp design plus new bumper style and Toyota is using the Auris to introduce its Skyview panoramic roof.
The use of smart packaging has improved the driving position and added 20mm to rear seat knee room and 90mm to the load space length, while all hatchback versions will get more luggage capacity – 360 litres with the rear seats in place.
And placing the battery pack beneath the rear seat also ensures that the hybrid has the same load space as other models in the range.
Toyota says that efficiency and dynamic improvements have been made to the Hybrid SynergyDrive system, and the line-up will also feature 1.4-litre diesel and 1.33 and 1.6-litre petrol engines.
The petrol and diesel models all use a six-speed manual transmission with Toyota’s Multidrive S CVT offered as an option on the 1.6 Valvematic. Auris Hybrid uses an E-CVT automatic.
New Auris also marks a significant drop in the model’s average CO2 emissions, the figure falling 13 per cent compared to the previous model, to just 109g/km for the model range.
And every car will be equipped as standard with seven airbags, a new follow-me-home lighting system, Hill-start Assist Control, Vehicle Stability Control and LED daytime running lights.
Prices are from £14,495 for the Auris 1.33 Active rising to £21,745 for the Auris Excel HybridSynergy Drive model.