Toy­ota C-HR

Damien O’car­roll reck­ons they for­got to tell the C-HR that Toy­otas are sup­posed to be bor­ing!

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Toy­otas are bor­ing, right? Sim­ple ap­pli­ances that get you from A to B with min­i­mal ef­fort, fun or any­thing ap­proach­ing style, ex­cite­ment or out­ra­geous­ness. Well, it seems some­one for­got to tell the com­pany’s lat­est small SUV that, be­cause the C-HR is all about those last ones, par­tic­u­larly the out­ra­geous­ness. As part of Toy­ota’s new, bolder styling push, the C-HR is a small SUV that hits the seg­ment head-on with reck­less aban­don to con­ser­va­tive norms. On the out­side, that is, be­cause un­der­neath that wild, po­lar­is­ing ex­te­rior is a con­ser­va­tive pow­er­train. Due to high global de­mand, Toy­ota is bring­ing the C-HR to New Zealand as one high-spec model, avail­able in ei­ther 2WD or AWD form. The C-HR sits on the Toy­ota New Global Ar­chi­tec­ture (TNGA) plat­form and is the sec­ond car to be based on it, fol­low­ing the new Prius. Power comes in the form of a 1.2-litre four­cylin­der petrol turbo en­gine 1that pro­duces 85kw of power and 185Nm of torque. The en­gine is only avail­able with a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sions and Toy­ota claim an av­er­age fuel con­sump­tion of 6.4L/100km and emis­sions of 149g/km of CO2 for the 2WD model and 6.5l/100km and 151g/km for the AWD model,. The C-HR comes stan­dard with 18-inch al­loy wheels, LED head­lights, front fog lights and tail­lights, power fold­ing heated door mir­rors, a 6.1-inch touch­screen six-speaker au­dio sys­tem. satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, Blue­tooth phone and au­dio stream­ing, rain sens­ing wipers, dual zone cli­mate con­trol, and a leather-trimmed steer­ing wheel with cruise and au­dio con­trols. In terms of ac­tive and pas­sive safety and driver as­sist features, the C-HR is fully loaded in­clud­ing; seven airbags, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert, trailer sway con­trol, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, a re­vers­ing cam­era, pre-crash safety sys­tems, lane de­par­ture warn­ing, steer as­sist and radar cruise con­trol The C-HR is 30mm longer, 35mm wider and has a 40mm longer wheel­base than a Corolla, which makes it one of the larger en­trants in a seg­ment that in­cludes Mit­subishi ASX, Holden Trax and the car that Toy­ota have tar­geted the C-HR at - the Honda HR-V. This ap­proach also in­cludes pric­ing, mean­ing the C-HR is at the high end of price in the seg­ment, the FWD model lands at $37,990 and the AWD $39,990. But you do get qual­ity for that and the in­te­rior of the C-HR is al­most as wild as the ex­te­rior, with a modern and high qual­ity feel. Com­fort­able seats and soft-touch ma­te­ri­als make the C-HR’S in­te­rior a very pleas­ant place to spend time, but the au­dio head unit has all the ap­peal of a cheap af­ter-mar­ket job when com­pared to the slick, in­te­grated ver­sion over­seas mod­els get. On the road the C-HR has a pleas­antly com­pli­ant ride, with subtle hints of a sporty firm­ness in just the right mix. It cruises at open road speeds with the com­po­sure of a ve­hi­cle sev­eral sizes larger and when turned into a cor­ner, re­sponds with im­pres­sive speed, ac­cu­racy and com­po­sure. It is some­thing of a dis­ap­point­ment then that the en­gine and trans­mis­sion can’t re­ally de­liver the dy­namic ex­pe­ri­ence that the chas­sis would seem to be ca­pa­ble of. While the en­gine is smooth, revvy and nicely ea­ger, it lacks the punch nec­es­sary out on the open road, although around town it is per­fectly suf­fi­cient. While Toy­ota may have upped its styling swag­ger and has the en­gine game nailed, it re­ally does lag in the CVT de­part­ment. Never a great trans­mis­sion for keen driv­ers, other com­pa­nies – par­tic­u­larly Subaru – have proven that a CVT can be a pleas­ant trans­mis­sion, ef­fec­tively erad­i­cat­ing flare and other CVT sins. While Toy­ota has made progress, its CVTS still take more from the en­gine than they add, mean­ing that, while the CVT is per­fectly good around town, it leaves the C-HR at a bit of a loss on a wind­ing, hilly road. But then, de­spite their mem­ber­ship of the broader “SUV” fam­ily, cars like the C-HR are des­tined - and de­signed for – purely ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments, and it is here where the C-HR will be at its best. While it is one of the pricier op­tions in the seg­ment, it is ex­tremely well built, comes loaded with stan­dard equip­ment – and stands out from the crowd.

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