TOYOTA Australia has uncovered the long-awaited facelift for its home-grown Aurion sedan, which features a cleaner new look and increased specifications across the board, and comes with modest price increases for some models.
The Aurion price rises $500 at base level, with the AT-X now costing $35,490 - which is still well under the pricetags of Ford’s Falcon XT sedan ($39,290) and Holden’s recently released – and more expensive – MY10 Commodore Omega sedan ($39,990).
The Prodigy and Sportivo SX6 both increase in price the most, by $1000, to $40,990 and $39,990 respectively, but there are no price changes for the Sportivo ZR6 ($42,990) and range-topping Presara ($49,990).
Visually differentiated by a new front bumper assembly, new LED tail-lights and fresh wheel designs across the range, the 2010 Aurion V6 four-door line-up continues to feature different front-end treatments across the range, including specific bumpers, grilles, air-intakes, headlights and (on all but the entry-level AT-X) foglight surrounds.
Better low-beam light distribution performance – for models with both halogen and high-intensity discharge (HID) globes – is claimed to improve safety, and while the AT-X comes with new 10-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels, the SX6 and ZR6 Sportivo variants gain new 17-inch split five-spoke alloys.
Toyota Australia senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said the cosmetic changes were designed to give the Camry-based Aurion a stronger, more distinctive look with a more premium character.
“The original Aurion face was a simple, yet bold, double-concave architecture,” said Mr Buttner. “The facelift design uses ‘X-Form’ architecture, bracketed by the chrome-framed foglamps.
“The lower grille is now a trapezoid shape, enhancing the stance of the car. The design increases the feeling of prestige with more subtle, flowing surfaces between the basic elements, blending rather than intersecting.
“The grille is wider, with freeform lines and secondary elements to each bar, adding more intricacy and precision. The functional areas of the headlamps are captured in twin C-shape pockets, with three horizontal ribs running through the indicators – a cue echoed in the rear lamps.
“The rear lamps have evolved from the twin round design and direct LEDs to a parallelogram design and striking diffused LED illumination.”
Mr Buttner said the removal of bodyside mouldings gave the Aurion a cleaner, more modern look, while the more aggressive Sportivo grades feature a larger trapezoidal lower air-dam.
“The (Sportivo) grille, which is an evolution of the original chequered-flag image, now has more technical, edgy feel. The rear lamps utilise a dark tinted chrome bezel with clear lens, creating a sinister look, moving it away from the other grades,” he said.
Revised interior colour combinations echo the more premium exterior direction, with Prodigy and Presara versions extolling a more “sports-luxury” feel via a new ‘linear satin’ woodgrain finish.
Interior upgrades include revised instruments that are said to look better and provide improved indicator and warning-signal clarity, while driver and passenger vanity mirror illumination is now fitted on all models.
The Ford Falcon G6 and Holden Commodore Berlina-rivalling Prodigy grade gains an electro-chromatic interior mirror, power rear sunshade and rain-sensing wipers.
The XR6 and SV6-targeting Sportivo ZR6 scores heated exterior mirrors – with the driver’s mirror now auto-tilting on reverse – while the Sportivo SX6 adds dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning.
All Aurions now offer a Bluetooth hands-free telephone kit and 3.5mm auxiliary audio input in the front centre-console box, while all but the base AT-X – Toyota’s answer to the Commodore Omega and Falcon XT – have a Bluetooth sound system.
The Prodigy and both Sportivo grades get a new ‘display’ audio system with 4.3-inch colour LCD display, reverse camera capability, six-CD changer, USB/iPod auxiliary input and Bluetooth phone kit with fascia-integrated microphone. The same system is available as part of a $500 option for the AT-X that also includes a rear-view camera.
The Presara's AVN satellite-navigation audio unit has been upgraded by the addition of two extra speakers (for a total of eight, including two dual-cone rear speakers) and a 3.5mm aux-in. The system costs $4500 as part of an option pack for the Sportivo ZR6 that also comprises a moonroof.
Rounding out the Aurion upgrades is the addition of a driver’s seat and exterior mirror memory function as standard on the Sportivo ZR6, plus Aurion-branded scuff plates for the top-shelf Presara and ‘Sportivo’ items for the SX6 and ZR6.
As we reported last month, the Aurion now achieves a maximum five-star crash rating from independent Australian automotive safety body ANCAP, following the fitment of a front passenger seatbelt reminder warning function.
There are no changes to the Aurion’s 200kW 3.5-litre petrol V6, which continues to return average ADR81/02 combined fuel consumption of 9.9L/100km with its standard six-speed automatic transmission.
The emergence of Toyota Australia’s facelifted Aurion follows a similar upgrade for its other Altona-made sedan, the mid-sized Camry, in August, as well as the release of Holden’s 2010 model year Commodore range with new direct-injection petrol V6 engines, including downsized 3.0-litre entry-level models, which return 9.3L/100km.