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TOYOTA HAS NOT one but two important new models making their public debut at the Paris motor show: the Auris hatchback and the Verso MPV.


The Auris is a rival for the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. The British-built hatch will go on sale in the UK in December, with prices starting from £14,495 and rising to £21,745.


Buyers will have the choice of a 1.33 and 1.4-litre petrol engines, a 1.4 D-4D diesel and the Auris Hybrid, which combines petrol and electric power.


Four specification levels will be available. Active trim comes with automatic air conditioning, electric front windows and a four-speaker stereo. Icon grade adds 16-inch alloys, a six-speaker stereo, a DAB tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, electric rear windows, a rear-view camera, a leather steering wheel and gear knob and front fog lamps. Sport spec comes with 17-inch alloys, sports front seats, a sports grille, a rear diffuser and exhaust trim and rear privacy glass.Top-of-the-line Excel models get black velour seat upholstery with leather bolsters, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control (although not on the diesel), rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, electric folding door mirrors and heated front seats.


However, we’ve yet to see technical data for the car so can’t tell you the kerbweight or legal towing limit.


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The Verso is a thorough refresh of the existing model rather than a clean-sheet-of-paper design Toyota says more than 300 parts have been changed. The car’s styling has been brought up to date with Toyota’s recent models, handling is said to have been improved, noise levels reduced, and the 2.0-litre diesel is more economical than before. Inside, higher quality materials promise a more upmarket feel to the seven-seat cabin.


The towing capacity for all diesel versions is up from a disappointing 1300kg to a much healthier 1500kg. However, the exact UK spec and on-sale date has yet to be announced.