Auris is sporty and stylish

Over the years many South Africans have fallen in love with the Toyota Run X hatch.

Over the years many South Africans have fallen in love with the Toyota Run X hatch.

Well, now it's time to start a new affair with the recently launched Auris X range and to be spoilt for choice by having six derivatives to choose from.

From the base model, simply called the X, through to the top of the range XR, there is a nice range of specifications to keep the most discerning of motorists happy.

All the vehicles are linked to a use-friendly 6-speed gearbox, which is unconventionally positioned halfway up the dash. It takes a little getting used to but I'm sure that within a couple of days of flicking through the gears it will become second nature.

A major feature on the new Auris X range is the use of optimal drive technology that was first introduced last year on the Corolla range.

Reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are pluses, while an increase in power is an added bonus.

The various power plants used on the six models include a 1,3-litre engine (7i 4 kW and 132 Nm); a 1,6-litre engine (97kW and 160Nm); as well as a 2.0 litre diesel (93kW and 310Nm).

The Auris X range definitely has a sporty appearance to it, with a wider stance and newly styled bonnet, front bumper, front spoiler and tail light cluster that makes it stand out from its predecessor.

Cloth is the standard trim across the range apart from the top-end XR, which comes with leather as standard.

But it doesn't really matter whether you opt for the entry-level model or something in between, they all come with a number of comfort features.

Air conditioner, multi-function information display, radio-CD-USB port, ABS, EBD and air bags are among many standard features.

A model that definitely caught the eye at the launch last week, though, was the Sport X.

Decked out in a full body kit including front and rear skirting and customised carpets, it looks the part and is bound to be a hit with the younger generation.