Hybrid power now leads the way for Toyota's Golf rival.

The Toyota Auris range has been streamlined for 2018, with diesel models completely removed from the line-up.

A Toyota spokesperson said the 1.4- and 1.6-litre diesels were being dropped as part of the company’s ‘long-term plan’, and that ‘the focus has always been hybrid’, although he admitted that the ongoing criticism of diesel ‘hasn’t helped’.

As a result, the 2018 Auris will be available with a choice of just two powertrains – the 1.8-litre hybrid and the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

It is expected that around three-quarters of customers will opt for the 134bhp petrol-electric hybrid model, which officially returns 78.5mpg and 82g/km CO2 emissions in its most efficient guise.

Read also:

As well as the loss of two diesel engines, Toyota has also pared down the model line-up by discontinuing the entry-level Active grade.

The new bottom-of-the-range model is the Icon, which comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera, front fog lights and automatic air conditioning as standard. Upgrading to the Icon Tech model, meanwhile, will add cruise control and satellite navigation to the specification.

Sitting above Icon Tech will be the Design variant which provides larger wheels, rear privacy glass and Alcantara upholstery on the sports seats, as well as front and rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers.

Crowning the range, however, will be the Excel, which comes with a more sophisticated navigation system, an advanced automatic parking system, heated leather seats and two-zone climate control.

The 2018 Auris hybrid is already on sale, with prices starting from £22,485 for the hatchback and £23,585 for the Touring Sports estate. The 1.2-litre petrol models will become available in January.