IT BREAKS THE MOULD

The all-qual­ity small SUV de­parts from Toy­ota styling

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - MOTORING - CRAIG DUFF MAZDA CX-3 S TOUR­ING AUTO, $33,018 DRIVE-AWAY MIT­SUBISHI ASX XLS, $34,990 DRIVE-AWAY

VALUE

The C-HR breaks the con­ser­va­tive Toy­ota mould and is aimed at buy­ers seek­ing a bit of style. A six-speed man­ual is the de­fault gear­box; the con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion fit­ted to our test car adds $2000 and choos­ing all-wheel drive will cost another $2000. Run­ning costs are about the low­est in the in­dus­try, with ser­vices ev­ery 12 months or 15,000km for a to­tal cost of $585 over three years. Claimed fuel con­sump­tion is a fru­gal 6.4L/100km but it re­quires pre­mium un­leaded.

COM­FORT

The qual­ity of the in­te­rior is a high­light with smart plas­tic treat­ment, high­lighted by the di­a­mond-es­que fin­ish that adorns most avail­able sur­faces, from the door in­serts to the

TOY­OTA C-HR PRICE $33,325 drive-away

SAFETY

5 stars, 7 airbags, auto emer­gency brak­ing EN­GINE 1.2 litre 4-cyl turbo, 85kW/185Nm TRANS­MIS­SION CVT; FWD

THIRST 6.4L/100km speaker grilles. The 6.1-inch screen isn’t classlead­ing and lacks An­droid/Ap­ple smart­phone mir­ror­ing. The front seats are set high, for­ward vi­sion is ex­cel­lent but the rear­ward view is re­stricted by the ta­pered roofline. Rear space is good enough to han­dle two adults, pro­vid­ing they’re not claus­tro­pho­bic: the front-on view is blocked by those high-set seats and the curved rear door lim­its the rear win­dow size. It takes ap­pre­cia­bly more ef­fort to lift and shut the tail­gate than is typ­i­cal in this seg­ment.

SAFETY QUICK GLANCE

Ac­tive driv­ing aids help jus­tify the price Toy­ota has iden­ti­fied what sells in the small SUV seg­ment and built the C-HR ac­cord­ingly. It may be the last to mar­ket but it de­serves to be one of the first picks.

pre­mium. All ver­sions are fit­ted with au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, blind spot and lane keep­ing alert, rear cross traf­fic warn­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, front and rear park­ing sen­sors and re­vers­ing cam­era. Seven airbags are stan­dard. ANCAP rates it as a five-star ve­hi­cle.

DRIV­ING VER­DICT

The ride is su­perbly well com­posed, whether around town or on the high­way. There’s no jig­gling over bumps or crash­ing over sharpedged ruts and the steer­ing has sur­pris­ingly good feel. Driv­ers will en­joy tak­ing this SUV through the turns, pro­vided they can keep the 1.2-litre turbo on the boil. Per­for­mance is ad­e­quate at best and there’s a brief hes­i­ta­tion from the CVT when you coast to a near-stop then reap­ply the power. Sports mode makes lit­tle dif­fer­ence.

AL­TER­NA­TIVES

A sim­i­larly out-there de­sign – and more power – aim to lure the im­age-con­scious but the price re­flects the fact it doesn’t have the C-HR’s driv­ing aids or in­te­rior fit and fin­ish.

The Mazda is a real ri­val in terms of the way it han­dles and comes with a bet­ter in­fo­tain­ment set-up and most of the ac­tive driv­ing aids.

Front-drive with CVT, lacks the ac­tive driv­ing aids but am­ple con­ve­nience fea­tures in­clude heated leather seats and auto lights and wipers.

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