Toyota plans to unveil the new version of its Auris hatchback at the Paris Motor Show next month, but for now the car is only sold in Europe and Japan. However, should Toyota consider selling the revamped Auris in the U.S. as a replacement for the aging Matrix hatchback?
The Auris is based on the same chassis as the Euro-market Toyota Corolla, but hasn't been sold in the U.S. because it would overlap too much with the slightly larger Toyota Matrix hatchback. As the new Auris is growing slightly, and the American-market Matrix is several years old and currently has no planned successor, this could be a good opportunity for Toyota to port its compact hatchback over to our market.
The updated Toyota Auris looks much sportier than before, adopting the same wide split front grille and angled headlights seen on models like the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon. Some trim levels receive blacked-out B-pillars to give a floating roof appearance. Overall, the new Auris is 2.2 inches lower than before, and the ride height is lower, to improve aerodynamics and handling. At the same time, the Auris grows 1.2 inches in length to create more interior and cargo room. Interior materials are supposed to be of a higher quality, with soft-touch elements and an optional leather-trimmed dashboard.
European buyers will be able to choose between gasoline four-cylinder engines displacing 1.3 and 1.6 liters, and a 1.4-liter turbodiesel. There also will be another Auris Hybrid with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive. It now offers more cargo space, as the battery pack has been moved below the floor of the hatch area. The company expects about a third of buyers to opt for each propulsion option -- diesel, gasoline, or hybrid.
Would the new Toyota Auris fit into the company's U.S. lineup? Given that the Matrix hatchback is quite dated and has old technology, it would make sense to replace it with the much more modern and fuel-efficient Auris. Moreover, at 168.3 inches, the new Auris is only 3.6 inches shorter than the 2012 Toyota Matrix. What do you think: should the new Auris come to America as a replacement for the Matrix?And if this car were sold here, would you buy it? Let us know in the comments section below.