A star is torn
With demand for big cars in decline, do we really need another V6? Toyota thinks so
The variablevalve quad-cam V6 has unchanged outputs of 200kw/336nm (on 91RON fuel) — but fuel consumption has been reduced by 6 per cent to 9.3 litres/100km and emissions have dropped by almost 8 per cent to 215g/km.
That’s thanks in part to shedding 55kg in weight, but more so thanks to the smarter six-speed automatic and changes to the engine internals for reduced friction and the intake system.
The Aurion also uses a new column-mounted electric power steering system that— along with the suspension and several of the car’s electronic systems— has been tuned by local Toyota engineering staff to better suit local tastes.
Not the most adventurous part of Toyota’s regimen, but the new Aurion is not unattractive — however, it’s no pin-up.
That said, it’s not offensive either and hides its dimensions — the car doesn’t take up a great deal more roadspace but interior room has been improved by better design features, scrimping a few millimetres more head and knee room in the rear. In contrast to
most new models, Toyota has slimmed down the A and B pillars, the former being of great value in terms of driver vision. The boot — expandable by splitfold rear seat backrests— can swallow 515 litres of cargo, pipping the Ford and Holden.
The Aurion last won a five-star crash ranking from ANCAP. Among the battery of electronic functions is reversing camera, auto-dipping highbeam (on the upper models) and a brake-override function that prioritises the stopping system should brake and accelerator pedals be pressed simultaneously.
Toyota pushes the emotional aspects of the product.
It’s a tough sell because the styling is uninspiring, although that won’t bother those who must have a V6.
What the asking price gets is a well-equipped, comfortable and capable sedan. While the engine is unchanged, the clever automatic makes good use of the outputs. The power delivery is smooth and linear, but above all else is very quiet — Lexus-like in its level of noise suppression— with only wind noise prevalent at cruising speeds. And plenty of punch on offer for overtaking and a better feel for the road; it sits solidly with no compromise in ride quality. It’s matched by composure when being pushed, the electric power steering offering reasonable weight and assistance.
The not so unattractive Aurion Sportivo ZR6 (top), Presara (above), and the SX6 (below right)