Toyota offers plenty of crossovers. But now it's making one of its lower-roofed models more rugged as well.
The model in question is the Auris Touring Sports, the extended wagon version of the model we know in America as the Corolla iM (and previously as the Scion iM). Toyota has sold more than one and a quarter million Auris models across Europe since the introduction of the first-generation model in 2006, with last year's record total exceeding 144,000 units.
The Japanese automaker is keen to keep that success going, so it's announced an array of enhancements to the Auris for 2018 – chief among them the introduction of the rugged version you see here.
Called the Freestyle edition, the model introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show follows the trend set by the likes of Volvo and Subaru by giving the road-going wagon more of a go-anywhere appearance. That includes black wheel arches, side skirts, and grille, aluminum-finish underbody protection, tinted rear glass, bright silver door mirror caps, and its own unique set of 17-inch wheels.
Otherwise it's the same as the standard Auris estate, right down to the 59 cubic feet of cargo space and the array of gasoline, diesel, and hybrid engine options. The hybrid in particular ought to prove a popular choice, considering that a good two thirds of Auris customers already choose the electrified version over conventional ones.
The Toyota Auris Touring Sports Freestyle will be offered in Europe starting in December as a limited-edition model, though production and pricing figures have yet to be released.