Toyota Auris hatchback (2018 )

  • Next Auris will be built in UK; promises big improvements over previous model
  • Will have two hybrid powertrains plus one conventional petrol engine
  • Parkers will be driving the new car later in 2018 - keep an eye out for the full review

The current Toyota Auris hatchback is a very worthy and rational purchase - particularly in hybrid guise - but not exactly the most exciting thing to look at or drive.

But that's all set to change now that a new Auris has been announced. Like the outgoing model it will be built in the UK, and should hit roads before the end of 2018.

Toyota Auris 2018 front end

It's going to be built on Toyota's scalable TNGA platform, which means it'll use the same underpinnings as the Prius and C-HR - cars that our test team rate very highly for the way they drive. 

Furthermore, it'll be the first to feature the Japanese manufacturer’s Dual Hybrid Strategy - a choice of two different petrol-electric powertrains, plus a conventional 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol.

Two types of Toyota Auris hybrid

As well as the fuel-sipping 122hp 1.8-litre combustion engine and battery-powered motor combination we’ve driven in various Prius and C-HR guises (including one we ran for six months), the new Auris will also feature a more performance-focused 2.0-litre unit with 180hp.

Toyota says there’s more to the new motor than a small boost in displacement – for a start it’s calling it the Dynamic Force Engine, which sounds like something from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The firm’s own press material promises an ‘energised drive’, plus paddles to shift the CVT transmission's simulated gears manually.

Toyota Auris 2018 side view

Trick engineering means it’s more efficient and torquier. Plus, when you press on Toyota promises that the hybrid system will keep engine revs down and draw more electric power from the battery, avoiding the old car’s noisy, lacklustre acceleration.

All of this sounds great – pick the 1.8-litre hybrid if you want the ultimate Auris fuel economy, or the 2.0-litre version if you want small bills but also like putting your foot down every now and again.

So, what about a diesel version? There won't be one. Aside from the Land Cruiser SUV, as well as its vans and pickups, Toyota has already confrimed that diesel-engined vehicles will disappear from its price lists before the new Auris even goes on sale.

Any other changes for the latest Toyota Auris?

As well as a more dynamic look, Toyota has announced a load of new tech that fits into its New Global Architecture.

Whether or not these innovations will make their way into the Auris is yet to be seen, but we certainly hope the new continuously variable transmission automatic will feature, thanks to its clever new launch gear and revised ratios, which means better performance at all speeds but especially from a standing start – a weak point in the old Auris hybrid.

There’s also a new six-speed manual gearbox, which can adjust the engine revs when changing gear to ensure smooth shifts, and an exciting-sounding E-Four all-wheel drive system for hybrid electric vehicles.

Will there be another Toyota Auris Touring Sports?

There's no word yet on an estate bodystyle (what Toyota currently calls Touring Sports) for the third generation of Auris. 

It remains to be seen whether there's a market for such a car alongside better-known models like the Peugeot 308 SW and Ford Focus Estate - especially given the proliferation of SUVs that claim to do much of the same job. 

Toyota Auris 2018 rear quarter view

We’ll be among the first to drive this new Toyota Auris hatchback, so check the Parkers site later in 2018 for the full verdict