Toy­ota has glammed up its range with the new C-HR, and the re­sult is ir­re­sistible

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

AT first glance, the new Toy­ota C-HR com­pact cross­over SUV plays a cou­ple of tricks on eye.

Does it have two or four doors and . . . wow, looks re­ally cool, even lit­tle bit sexy . . . could it be Toy­ota?

The an­swers are yes (it’s a four­door) and yes, it’s car that will work es­pe­cially well on your op­tic nerve.

That sec­ond point is im­por­tant as Toy­ota aims to build shift brand per­cep­tion as vol­ume-seller of well­made, prac­ti­cal trans­port, with­out the gar­den-va­ri­ety rep­u­ta­tion that comes with much if its range.

The C-HR, re­leased in Aus­tralia in Fe­bru­ary, is a bold of­fer­ing fol­lows in foot­steps of the com­pany’s boxy Rukus, sporty 86 coupe and retro-in­spired FJ Cruiser 4x4 (now dis­con­tin­ued), which are any­thing but “meat pota­toes’’.

Nor is C-HR, with it’s eye­catch­ing “look-at-me’’ shape that screams in­di­vid­u­al­ity comes in a bright and funky range of colours and com­plex de­sign cues will draw loads of at­ten­tion from po­ten­tial buy­ers keen to stand out the crowd. It’s nei­ther Corolla nor RAV4,

per­haps that be a big part the pitch.

Pow­ered by 1.2-litre turbo-petrol four cylin­der pro­duc­ing 85kW and 184Nm of torque, the base spec C-HR comes with man­ual or con­stant vari­able trans­mis­sion and stan­dard fea­tures such as ac­tive cruise con­trol, LED day­time run­ning lamps, blind-spot warn­ing, elec­tric park-brake satel­lite­nav­i­ga­tion, halo­gen head­lamps with au­to­matic high-beam, 17-inch al­loy wheels, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, and more. It can be or­dered in two-wheeldrive or all-wheel-drive, the base model front-drive man­ual open­ing the bat­ting at $31,093 drive-away.

The top-spec Koba, which was our test car, gains other good­ies, in­clud­ing key­less smart en­try and start, leather ac­cented seats (heated

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