The wraps have come off the locally-made second generation Toyota Aurion, revealing a new take on the large car which is bigger than its predecessor but lighter, more efficient and with more standard features.
Toyota is using the "attainable luxury" catch-cry for the new Aurion, which launches this month and comprises five models, starting at $36,490 for the AT-X which undercuts its Holden and Ford rivals.
The range tops out at $49,990 for the Presara variant.
The new Toyota Aurion will do battle with the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon in the large car market which has been on a downward slide in sales terms for the last few years. In the first three months of 2012, the large car market has slumped 21% compared to this time last year, down from 19,701 sales in 2011 to 15,555.
With a quieter interior and larger seats, Toyota says the second generation Aurion will deliver better ride and handling qualities than its precursor. Weighing 1525kg, its around 15kg lighter than before and has a fuel consumption figure of 9.3L/100km, down from 9.9L/100km.
Tighter fitting panels are also being spruiked, whose tolerances have dropped from 5mm to 3.5mm, "the domain of a very few true luxury cars," claims Toyota.
Toyota's executive director of sales and marketing, Matthew Callachor, says the updated exterior design and improvements in manufacturing will elevate the Aurion's standing in the large car segment.
"The new styling, detailed improvements to the car in many areas and further improvements in manufacturing tolerances have all been absorbed. It was highly desirable to present Presara beneath $50,000," he said.
"It has become a line Toyota has drawn beneath which it is possible to present a proposition of attainable-luxury. The true barrier is most likely the luxury car tax threshold – but $50,000 is a strong statement."
Toyota is confident the new Aurion is in a strong position to take on Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore in terms of value for money, claiming "a price advantage of between $745 and $3,500 over the entry models of its two major large car competitors".
Thanks to: Car Point