Toyota will launch the second-generation Auris at next month's Paris Motor Show.
In an unusually candid description of the thinking behind the new model, Toyota said, "New Auris is the latest model to reflect Toyota's determination to engineer cars that are more appealing and dynamically engaging to drive, while building on its long-established reputation for quality, durability and reliability."
In other words, Toyota accepts that the dull-as-ditchwater current Auris simply did not cut it in Europe. Funnily enough, we remember Toyota saying something similar when it introduced the first Auris to replace the last Corolla. However, the Auris was clearly a Japanese idea of what counted as dynamic, as the Auris's good on-paper specification completely failed to translate into a car that was interesting to drive.
The next model will be offered as a hybrid, a diesel and a petrol. Toyota says that sales will be split equally between the three types of engine, as it believes hybrids have now entered the mainstream.
It is lower, but more spacious than the outgoing model and offers one of the largest panoramic roofs in the segment. Toyota promises a much higher quality cabin, which has traditionally been a Toyota failing – compared to a Golf, the old Auris looked and felt rather cheap. Rear seat legroom has increased by 2 cm, and luggage space is up to 360 litres. The hybrid version also has a repositioned battery, so that it no longer loses out on boot space.
The new car will appear in the UK in early 2013.