IT BREAKS THE MOULD
The all-quality small SUV departs from Toyota styling
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.
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
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.
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.
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.