The Toyota Aurion is a midsize car, also classed as D-segment or large family car in other vehicle classification systems. It is a front-engine front-wheel-drive four-door sedan derived from the XV40 and XV50 generations of the Camry but marketed as a separate model.
It was one of the models manufactured at Toyota Australia’s manufacturing plant in Altona from 2006 until 2017. The Aurion succeeded the Avalon and the XV30 Camry, selling over 111 thousand units from the Australian production facilities alone. In some markets, it wore the badges Toyota Camry and Daihatsu Altis. The moniker 'prestige' Camry also differentiated it from the regular Camry.
1st Generation: XV40 (2006-2012)
Back in 2000, Toyota Australia launched the Avalon, a car designed for the upmarket large car segment. However, the Australian market gave it a bland reception and instead opted for Avalon’s competitors, like Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, and even the smaller Toyota Camry.
Toyota teamed up with automobile designer Nick Hogios to design a new car that would appeal to the Australasian market. Hogios used the company's new design language called 'vibrant clarity' and applied the theory of 'perfect imbalance' on Aurion. The name Aurion means 'tomorrow' in Ancient Greek and aligned with Toyota's slogan at the time – Can't wait for tomorrow.
In the Australasian and Middle Eastern markets, the Aurion replaced the Avalon and sold alongside the Camry. In most East and Southeast Asian regions, the Aurion arrived as the Toyota Camry.
At its launching, the Aurion showed instant appeal with its contrasting curved surfaces, creased bonnet, sunken front grille, and aerodynamic rear. Underneath this refreshing exterior and restyled interior, however, was Camry XV40’s underpinning courtesy of Toyota’s K platform, aka Camry platform.
It would be incorrect to think of the Aurion as merely a dressed-up Camry. Though built on a Camry chassis, it enjoyed a new suspension system specially designed for Australian terrain. It also came with an exclusive 3.5L V6 engine which was not available to the Camry XV40 at the time.
Aside from the V6 power plants, I4 options were also available for most markets. Listed below are the engines that powered the first-generation Aurion:
- 3.5L 2GR-FE V6 petrol engine (200 kW, 336 N⋅m) paired with a 6-speed U660E automatic
- 3.5L 2GR-FZE V6 supercharged petrol engine (241 kW, 400 N⋅m) paired with a 6-speed U660E automatic
- 2.0L 3ZR-FE I4 petrol engine (102 kW, 189 N⋅m) paired with a 6-speed manual or 4-speed U241E automatic
- 2.0L 1AZ-FE I4 petrol engine (100 kW to108 kW, 190 N⋅m) paired with a 4-speed U241E automatic
- 2.4L 2AZ-FE I4 petrol engine (127 kW, 224 N⋅m) paired with a 5-speed U250E automatic
- 2.4L 2AZ-FXE I4 petrol hybrid (140 kW) paired with CVT P311 automatic
In Australasia, the Aurion competed in the same market segment as the rear-wheel-drive Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore. It edged competition for its excellent performance, fuel efficiency, and safety features. Toyota Australia launched Aurion with the 3.5L V6 engine (200 kW and 241 kW) and equipped with the below spec levels:
- AT-X – entry-level package including air conditioning, airbags, power mirrors/windows, power steering, ABS, brake assist, engine immobiliser, traction control, and trip computer, among others. It won Australia’s Best Large Car award twice (2006 and 2007).
- Sportivo SX6 – introductory sports variant which includes a sporty body kit, fog lights, sports seats, leather steering wheel, and 17-inch alloys
- Sportivo ZR6 – higher-spec sports variant with features that include dual-zone auto climate control, same alloy wheels and body kit as the SX6, leather steering wheel, leather-accented trim, rear parking distance control, and reversing camera
- Prodigy – aka Aurion Touring in New Zealand and the Middle East. In addition to the base offering in the AT-X, this package offered power front seats, dual-zone air conditioning, leather upholstery, fog lights, parking sensors, and 16-inch alloys, to name a few.
- Presara – aka Aurion Grande in New Zealand and the Middle East. This top-of-the-range luxury package featured power seats, power sunroof, leather steering wheel, push-start engine operation, SatNav, and reversing camera.
- Touring SE – launched in 2007 as a special edition. It arrived with a rear spoiler and an upgraded AT-X interior. It reappeared again in 2008 and 2009 with a few added trims, notably, 17-inch wheels instead of the 16-inch.
- White Limited Edition – offered in 2011 with only 250 units produced. It took from the Prodigy but wore white paint and unique alloy wheels. It featured the body kit of the Sportivo variants and had a black-and-off-white interior theme.
- TRD 3500S and 3500SL – released from 2007-2009, these variants were the only models that used the supercharged 241-kW V6 engine. Their features include red Alcantara leather seats, black Alcantara bolsters, performance brake package, sports seats, sports suspension, rear spoiler, and sports body kit, among others.
2nd Generation: XV50 (2012–2017)
It's interesting to note that in Japan, Toyota began producing the Japanese Camry XV50 (seventh-generation Camry) based on the Aurion. This Aurion-based Camry made its debut in 2011.
Parallel to the production of the Camry XV50, the Aurion XV50 also started rolling off the assembly lines in 2012. Toyota Australia released it in April 2012 continuing on the same trim level designations as in the first generation, namely, AT-X, Sportivo SX6 and ZR6, Prodigy and Presara.
For the first year of the second generation, Toyota Australia built 1500 units of the Touring SE. This special edition was based on the upgraded AT-X but added a sports grille, fog lamps, sports pedals, steering wheel with audio controls, and a rear spoiler. The two Sportivo trims were still available at the start but later merged in 2015.
Three years before the end of its production, only three trims remained: AT-X, Sportivo, and Presara. The remaining trims received a few revisions and facelifts. The same engines powered the last generation through the last Aurion produced. In Australia, production ceased at the Altona assembly plant in 2017. The imported Camry XV70 succeeded both the Aurion and Camry XV50.