When Toyota came out with the C-HR concept, I was intrigued but the overall design. Make no mistake, its a good looker and from a far, the package looks like it can work very well. I think its the spaceship-like shape and how everything just looks futuristic. It really has a different look to it and currently, I don’t think anything in the segment can match it for style. It’s definitely bold, to say the least.
The interior is completely driver focused with more than enough room for tall drivers. The interior feels like 10x better than anything found in the current lineup as per Auris/Corolla and this means good news for the brand. It’s really a lekker place to be. Towards the rear, things can get a little tight with the small rear windows that from the outside give a couple like styling appearance. You know what, it pulls it off, even if the rear door handles do look a little funny. Our model on test was the top of the range model, so naturally, it had all the bells and whistles, from dual zone climate, one touch windows and a very good yet Toyota like multimedia system, which incidentally I only really figured out on my last day of test. Somehow, even for an IT like minded guy, trying to select different albums from a USB stick, needs more concentration than I bargained for.
So under the bonnet, we have a 1.2 Turbo petrol making 87kw and 185nm. This is matched by a smooth shifting 6 speed manual with I-MT, their Rpm matching system, which can be activated or deactivated. I guess if you want a throttle blipper when you down gear, its a cool feature, but I decided to leave it disabled. Now, I’m all for going with smaller engines and good C02’s but why Toyota decided on this engine and not the conventional 1.6 naturally aspirated engine is beyond me. They even had better matching Diesels that would make this car even better. I just don’t like the 1.2 that they’ve put to work here. Don’t get me wrong, it does the duty just fine, but feels lethargic and does not really offer brilliant economy anyway… So thing brings me back… where is that 1.4 diesel engine again? Overall my economy ended around the 8l/100km, which I suppose is not terrible, but its not wonderful either. Toyota do claim a 0-100kph time in just under 11seconds which should give you an idea what outright sprints are like.
The overall dynamics is nothing short of brilliant for a vehicle in this segment and it mostly feels like a hatchback when taking it through the turns, instead of a crossover and even as a crossover, the driving manners and comfort is really good. It just continues to drive straight, even on badly corrugated roads, something that very few front wheel drive vehicles can attain.
There are very few cars in this segment that look this good and has such a well-designed cabin. It’s a pity that the rear section is a little tight and the boot is ridiculously small, but on the upside, it does feature a full-size spare. But if you are city slicker who like to get out on the weekends and consider yourself a light packer, the C-HR should be on your short list. Even if you aren’t, go drive it anyway.
For up to date pricing, check out www.toyota.co.za
Drives like a hatch