HER WORLD OF MOTORING

The Toy­ota C-HR is a hid­den gem wait­ing to be discovered by ladies.

Torque (Singapore) - - CONTENTS - LYNN TAN

MY first im­pres­sion of the Toy­ota C-HR was based upon im­ages of the Toy­ota C-HR Rac­ing that took part in the Nur­bur­gring Chal­lenge in mid-2016. Com­pet­ing un­der the ban­ner of Ga­zoo Rac­ing, the C-HR Rac­ing was a race-spec ver­sion of the model that had yet to be launched at the time. Decked out in full rac­ing liv­ery with low­ered sus­pen­sion and GT wing, I couldn’t wait for the road-car ver­sion to ar­rive. While I was wowed by the way it looks, the C-HR’s boy-racer ap­pear­ance al­ways gave me the per­cep­tion that it would ap­peal more to men. It wasn’t un­til a re­cent test drive that I be­gan to re­alise that the C-HR may have some­thing for us ladies, too.

They say di­a­monds are a girl’s

best friend and the C-HR’s “di­a­mond ar­chi­tec­ture” ex­te­rior theme comes close to that. Like a well-cut gem­stone, its facets make the car stand out from the crowd. Com­ple­mented by curves in all the right places, tail­lights that pro­trude be­yond the body, and an up­ward slop­ing belt­line that meets the sweep­ing roofline which ter­mi­nates in a pro­nounced rear roof spoiler, there is that wind-blown hair ef­fect and, with it, a sug­ges­tion of speed. The speed el­e­ment is more im­plied than ac­tual and I do sense the strain in the 1.2-litre tur­bocharged engine (which pro­duces a modest 115hp of power and 185Nm of torque), es­pe­cially when ac­cel­er­at­ing slightly more en­thu­si­as­ti­cally from a stand­ing start or when trundling up­hill. The very au­di­ble whine from the Toy­ota’s 7-speed CVT doesn’t help mat­ters. But if you go easy on the throt­tle, the car gets up to cruis­ing speed ef­fort­lessly and smoothly, which makes for quite a re­lax­ing drive, so I don’t chew my nails off or tear my hair out.

The in­te­rior de­sign lan­guage is un­mis­tak­ably Ja­panese, and as with all things aes­thetic, re­ac­tions will be mixed.

But what can be clearly es­tab­lished is the pre­mium feel con­veyed by the use of soft-touch ma­te­ri­als, the way the 4.2-inch in­fo­tain­ment touch­screen is seam­lessly in­te­grated with the dash­board, and the con­trols’ ori­en­ta­tion to­wards the driver. Even the weight of the door panels has a ro­bust qual­ity and the doors shut with a nice thud.

The slightly el­e­vated driv­ing po­si­tion is just suf­fi­cient to bol­ster the driver’s con­fi­dence, but the ve­hi­cle still feels well-planted from be­hind the wheel – an at­tribute that many women driv­ers will ap­pre­ci­ate.

De­spite the small rear win­dows, vis­i­bil­ity is sur­pris­ingly not com­pro­mised. The seats are com­fort­able and the var­i­ous stor­age com­part­ments en­hance the cabin’s prac­ti­cal­ity. My daugh­ter the back­seat re­viewer also gave the C-HR a thumbs-up.

My eight-year-old praised the car for its spa­cious cabin and gen­er­ous legroom. The legroom is de­cent even for grown-ups.

I had ini­tially as­sumed that she would com­plain about not be­ing able to peer above the high win­dow sills, but in­stead, she com­mented that they made the cabin feel ex­tra cosy.

She did, how­ever, lament the lack of rear air-con­di­tion­ing vents, but that was soon for­got­ten when she spot­ted those unique rear door han­dles in­te­grated into the C-pil­lars. The equip­ment and fea­tures are also fairly com­pre­hen­sive for a car in this seg­ment. Both the Ac­tive and Lux­ury vari­ants come with dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, NanoE air pu­rifi­ca­tion, blind spot mon­i­tor, rear view cam­era and the Toy­ota Safety Sense P Pack­age that in­cludes dy­namic radar cruise con­trol and lane de­par­ture alert. The C-HR tar­gets the younger crowd and, in­deed, it is a car I would con­sider buy­ing if I was 10 years younger. While its over­all im­age prob­a­bly has a greater ap­peal to men, it pos­sesses traits that could at­tract women, too.

THE C-HR’S BOY-RACER AP­PEAR­ANCE GAVE ME THE PER­CEP­TION THAT IT WOULD AP­PEAL MORE TO MEN.

Milla Jovovich is a fe­male per­son­al­ity who ap­proves of the C-HR, ac­cord­ing to Toy­ota.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Singapore

© PressReader. All rights reserved.