Byline: BILL CAVEN
AS THE successor to the legendary Corolla, the Auris has had a lot to live up to since its launch.
And while it has gone about its task manfully, it's now getting more firepower to help it take on its rivals in the competitive medium-size family car sector.
Toyota have decided to broaden the appeal of the Auris by expanding the range of SR models and revising the TR line-up.
For starters, they're looking to exploit the appeal of the flagship SR180 version by adding other SR models that deliver similar eye-catching sports styling but at lower prices.
The accent is squarely on offering sporty, swashbuckling models that Toyota hope will help to attract younger drivers to the brand.
The new SR models come with either a 1.6 Dual VVT-i petrol engine or the superb two-litre D-4D 130 diesel.
Both engines give the Auris a 0-62mph time of just more than 10 seconds, which puts these SRs right at the heart of the "mild" sports hatch market.
But the lively performance doesn't come at the expense of fuel economy. The 2.0 D-4D is especially impressive, as it is good for more than 52mpg, and keeps CO2 emissions down to just 144g/km.
Sitting on a lower sports suspension and riding on 17-inch alloys, the SR also looks the part thanks to a rear spoiler and dark-tinted privacy glass.
Safety is high on the agenda, too, as the car is equipped with no less than nine airbags.
Standard spec includes climate control, a leather steering wheel with audio controls, front fogs, a six-speaker sound system and body-coloured door handles and mirrors. …