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The second generation Toyota Auris first went on sale in 2013 after an unveiling at the 2012 Frankfurt Motor Show. Primarily sold in Europe with either a hatchback or wagon body, you can also buy it in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s known as the Corolla Hatchback.

This year’s Geneva Motor Show sees the Auris given a mid-life facelift where it also debuts something very interesting other than the usual aesthetic changes – a new 1.2 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine.

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The new direct injection turbocharged 1,197 cc engine produces 116 horsepower from 5,200 to 5,600 rpm and 185 Nm of torque between 1,500 to 4,000 rpm. It has a compression ratio of 10:1. Fuel consumption is rated at 4.7 litres per 100 km while emissions is rated at 109 g/km of CO2. It uses a water to air intercooler system. In the Auris, it’s mated to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT automatic.

The engine also has VVTi-W, which allows the regular Otto cycle to switch to an Atkinson cycle under low loads. This new technology is seeing increased availability – it’s also found in the new Toyota 2.0 litre engine in the European market Camry facelift and Lexus 2.0 turbo and 5.0 litre V8 engines.

Other engine options include 1.33 litre and 1.6 litre Valvematic petrol engines, 90 hp, 205 Nm 1.4 litre and 112 hp, 270 Nm 1.6 litre D-4D diesel engines, and a hybrid variant that features a 1.8 litre Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

The Auris Hybrid is the engine that sells the most, commanding over 50% of European Auris sales in 2014. We’re not surprised – it consumes just 3.5 litres per 100 km and emits just 79 g/km of CO2 emissions.

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The facelifted Toyota Auris sports a redesigned front grille and a lower bumper with a slightly wider intake. Revised headlamps are also featured, now powered by LED. On the rear, the tail lamps now feature light bars which present a more premium look.

On the inside, a new touchscreen infotainment system is coupled to a set of mildly reworked centre console layout. A revised instrument cluster and circular outer air-con vents round off the changes to the interior.

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Under the metal, Toyota made suspension and steering revisions designed to improve ride comfort and handling, including the design of the coil spring, shock absorber, upper insulator, bound stopper and stabiliser bush. The EPS steering has been tuned to further build steering weigh as vehicle speeds rise, giving improved feedback above speeds of 60-80 km/h.

Soundproofing has been enhanced through the adoption of additional sound absorption materials within the cowl outer silencer, the instrument panel and the transmission tunnel. An outer tunnel silencer has also been added to minimise transmission noise. Additional sealing in the front fender, dashboard inner silencer and door area further reduces the transmission of engine, road and wind noise into the cabin.