Toyota's Aussie-made V6 sedan has been given a nip and tuck as it struggles in the showroom sales race
THE Toyota Aurion has been given styling tweaks and equipment upgrades following a significant update of the car it’s based on, the Toyota Camry. In tackling the Mazda 6, Honda Accord as well as fellow Aussie sixes the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, the Aurion's price and kit has been sharpened to maintain its appeal.
The reason the Camry has been given a significant change is due to Toyota's Calty design studio in California, which style the four-cylinder model. "In the US the four-cylinder and the V6 are sold in the same body style," Toyota Australia told Wheels. That left a heavily revised Camry, but not an equivalent Aurion, essentially a V6 Camry with unqiue Aussie styling and nameplete. "Calty led, and we followed ... there was never a plan to do more than a facelift for the Aurion."
The Aurion's exterior changes are minor compared to the Camry's major styling changes ahead of its launch in October this year, reflecting the Camry's greater importance as it outsells the Aurion six-to-one.New headlamps that incorporate LEDs for higher-spec Sportivo and Presara models, as well as restyled bumpers and grilles across the range are the extent of the changes, with new alloy wheel designs hardly enough to write home about. There's an additional new colour Indigo, while for Sportivo models, there’s s new body kit that’s not quite as gaudy as the current version, with a much smoother design.Inside, the Sportivo now has a smaller-diameter leather-wrap steering wheel with paddle shifters, and power front seats, as well as a new fabric seat covering that's somehow 'sporty', according to Toyota. All models have redesigned trim patterns, while the cabin's also been treated to more lashings of chrome.Mechanically, the 200kW 3.5-litre V6 remains unchanged – and is a proven unit across the board, as it's also found under the bonnet of the Toyota Kluger, as well as Lotus Exige and Evora sports cars – but the Aurion comes with a new 'pre-load' differential to help power delivery to the front wheels and improve drivability. Essentially, this is a mechanical limited-slip diff, helping reduce wheelspin for better take-off and also reducing torque-steer. It's standard across the range. Aurion sales in 2015 are down 10.6% on this time last year, despite the market overall growing by 3.5%. In the large car segment that the Toyota sedan competes in, its 956 sale year-to-date are dwarfed by the Commodore (10,551 YTD) and slow-selling Falcon (2029 YTD).
The Aurion AT-X remains at its $36,490 starting price, with the Sportivo also holding station at $40,990, while the flagship Presara rises by $500 to $50,440. The 2015 Toyota Aurion is in showrooms now.