2019 Toyota Auris Shows Up in Style in Geneva to Stir the Compact Hatch Segment

When Toyota announced a design revolution some time ago, we didn't really take it too seriously, and for a good reason. On the one hand, there was the statement of a company official, and on the other, there were years after years of bland models that couldn't make your heart jolt even if you touched them as they were hit by lightning.
2019 Toyota Auris 16 photos
Photo: Guido ten Brinks/SB-Medien
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Besides, if Toyota's understanding of an exciting design is the new Prius, then we'll pass. We're better off with our lunch in our stomachs, thank you very much. And then came the C-HR crossover, which kept the busy surface theme from the Prius, but managed to wrap it into a nice car that was actually nice to look at.

The Japanese manufacturer's model making all the headlines at this year's Geneva Motor Show will undoubtedly be the sports car marking the revival of the Supra moniker, but we feel the 2019 Auris deserves just as much attention. And that's because it's quite easy to make a cool sports car, but tremendously more difficult to pull it off with a compact hatchback.

That means the designers of the new Auris are in line for a commendation. The hatch manages to keep the vibe of the previous model making it unmistakably Toyota, but at the same time bringing its looks up to date in a seemingly effortless way (which we assume was anything but).

Beyond skin deep, Toyota chose to ditch diesel and opt for two hybrid versions instead. The old version - the one that's also available on the Prius and C-HR - uses a 1.8-liter gasoline engine with a 122 hp output will be the more affordable option. The new setup - detailed by Toyota just a few days ago - uses a 2.0-liter engine with 180 hp, promising a much sportier attitude - a fact highlighted by the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Built on the new TNGA platform (also underpinning the C-HR crossover and a variety of other future Toyota models), the 2019 Auris is 40 mm (1.6") longer than the outgoing generation, with all of them going into the vehicle's wheelbase. It's also shorter and with a lowered center of gravity, making it a better drive.

We can't tell whether this new model will help boost Toyota's sales in this segment or not, but if it doesn't, it certainly won't be because of its looks. The decision not to include a diesel option in its lineup might seem hazardous, but given the direction things are headed, you could say Toyota is more of a visionary than a risk-taker.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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