This year saw Toyota update its British-built hatchback and Touring Sports wagon. The new Auris enjoys a refreshed design that adds presence and prestige, together with an upgraded cabin and new comfort and safety equipment features.

The hybrid remains at the heart of the range, having established itself as the leading powertrain in the line-up, accounting for around half of all Auris sales in Europe in 2014. Nonetheless, the new model heralds the arrival of new and improved petrol and diesel engines, developed with a focus on efficiency and performance.

Styling wise the Auris has also received some changes. There’s a new front and rear bumper that gives a lower and wider look, with new front headlights comprising LED day-running lights and darkened rear light clusters.

Auris is powered by a range of different engines; two petrol, one diesel and a petrol-electric hybrid. There’s an entry-level 1.33 petrol with 99bhp, a 130bhp 1.6 petrol and an 89bhp 1.4 diesel (now uprated for better emissions and fuel economy), together with a petrol/electric hybrid. The revised engine line-up also sees the introduction of a 1.2T turbo petrol unit. It’s a completely new motor and produces 114bhp and 185Nm of torque, while emitting 112g/km of CO2 emissions. In operation it proves to be a smooth performer, thanks to having four cylinders rather than three and serves up respectable performance. The slick six-speed gearbox is also a pleasure to use.

Auris’s ride and handling has now been improved, too, with the new steering system delivering a far more responsive feel than before, although there’s still a fair amount of body lean around tight corners.

Inside, the cabin quality has also been improved, with the use of more premium quality trims and finishes. The driver’s instrument binnacle has a stronger, more sporting design with tubed tachometer and speedometer dials either side of a new 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-information screen, while the centre stack instrumentation is set within a more curvaceous dashboard.

It’s a spacious car, with generous levels of head and rear legroom and a 350 litre boot, extending to 1,200 litres with seats folded. Another bonus is that unlike some class competitors, the seats fold completely flat. Another useful feature is that the rear seat backrests recline to allow for greater rear passenger comfort. The Auris also accommodates three rear passengers more effectively than most of its competitors, due to having a totally flat floor.

The Auris range starts with Active, followed by Icon and Sport. New for 2015 are Business Edition and Design models, which sit in between base level Icon and top-of-the-range Excel.

Active models miss out on some luxuries, but still get key essentials such as air-conditioning, electric front windows, remote locking and a CD player; Icon trim adds alloy wheels and a DAB radio, while top-spec Excel models features auto lights and wipers and a leather-trimmed dashboard.

The Toyota Auris has always been a well-made and affordable hatchback. 2015 revisions have now brought better driving dynamics and equipment levels. 

Tech spec:
Toyota Auris Business Edition 1.2T 5 door hatchback
Price: £19,095
Engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl turbo petrol
Power/torque: 114bhp/185Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 10.1 seconds
Top speed: 124mph
Economy/CO2: 58.9mpg/112g/km