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Toyota’s wild child C-HR crossover driven in South Africa

7 March 2017, 11:44 am

The newcomer that was launched this week are laughing in the faces of Toyota critics who have accused the brand for decades of being deficient in stylistic abilities. This car is not a boring looking car and if its puffed out wheel arches, wildly creased panels and jutting light clusters are not tickling your inner fashion guru then its diamond-texture door panels, embossed headliner and hovering soft touch dash topper will.

Toyota has stepped way out of their comfort zone with this car and if the 86 coupe was a chocolate chip in the brand’s normal vanilla recipe when they launched it back in 2012, the C-HR is throwing a dash of pop rocks, wasabi nuts and extra sharp lime cordial into the mix.

It is surprisingly spacious for passengers given its deceiving exterior dimensions although the sloped back tailgate glass does impose on boot space. The same goes for a full size spare wheel that is demanding an elevated boot floor. The total luggage carrying capacity is 234 liters, and for reference is less than half of the space that is available in a Rav4.

The C-HR is getting ground clearance of 160mm so it is falling in nicely with the current crop of urban adventures, although front wheel drive means that any bush outings are better left to Toyota’s range of suitable 4x4 SUVs. With that said, the C-HR should be handling gravel roads rather well with its high profile 215/60/17tyres as well as wishbone back suspension.

What is interesting, the C-HR is based on a derivation of the Prius platform and not from the Auris that was expected to be. The hybrid edition is available overseas yet there are no plans for it to be locally introduced. It has been a long time since Toyota had offered a turbo petrol, especially in our market and while it’s hardly a mega boosted Supra engine that is under the hood, the C-HR’s latest 1.2T VVTi-W is doing a signal turn toward forced induction for the brand.

Even though the outputs of 85kW and 185Nm might sound a bit weak, in the real world it is performing surprisingly well. It is by far the smoothest revver in the current Toyota line up and the torque is piling on early to create a low rev as well as relaxed drivability. Fuel consumption is claimed by Toyota as low as 6.3 liters per 100km and acceleration is quoted at 10.9 seconds to reach 100km/h with a top speed of 190.

Currently we will get the C-HR in three spec levels starting with a base six speed manual. This edition is coming out standard with central color touch screen with a USB port, power windows, remote central locking, and an electronic handbrake with hold function as well as a simpler air conditioning system. The upper Plus is adding cruise control, rain sensing wipers, leather steering wheel, dual mode climate control, a color trip computer in the instrument cluster, a self adjusting rear view mirror and fog lights. The Plus is coming out with a choice of manual or CVT automatic transmissions.

Safety is being covered by standard ABS brakes with EBD as well as stability control although airbags are limited to one each for the driver and front passenger. Although a higher spec model might be introduced later on, Toyota SA can’t confirm when. Pricing for the C-HR is ranging from R318 500 – R356 000.

Read More: on IOL / Author - Jesse Adams / Toyota South Africa / C-HR


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