The usu­ally con­ser­va­tive Ja­panese au­tomaker goes out on a limb with this at­ten­tion-grab­bing com­pact cross­over

Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

R345 000

T11,19 sec 85 kw/185 N.m 190 km/h OYOTA has had an­other mo­ment. It had one with the FJ Cruiser, an­other with the 86, and once again with this strik­ingly styled SUV cross­over it’s la­belled a Coupé-high Rider. With a hard-earned rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­able, well-en­gi­neered and con­ser­va­tively de­signed ve­hi­cles, these mo­ments are both few and far between, and hardly sur­pris­ing given the suc­cess this au­to­mo­tive gi­ant has en­joyed with its bread-and-but­ter line-up. Yet, pep­pered among this long ros­ter of stal­warts are mould-break­ers like the 2000GT, MR2 and Supra that, along with the two men­tioned ear­lier, have dis­played an atyp­i­cally play­ful side to this straight-laced au­to­brand. 7,44 L/100 km 141 g/km

It’s a par­tic­u­larly signi - cant move, too. Whereas these anom­alies have usu­ally been niche-seg­ment sportscars, this C-HR en­ters what is be­com­ing one of the most com­pet­i­tive au­to­mo­tive mar­ket seg­ments around: the com­pact cross­over/ SUV. And, when go­ing after vol­ume, Toy­ota’s usual de­fault is the com­plete op­po­site to this riot of ow­ing lines, sharp creases, rounded curves and at planes you see on these pages.

This new Sen­sual Speed-cross de­sign lan­guage has what Toy­ota calls a “di­a­mond ar­chi­tec­tural theme”, with de­tails that have been sculpted and cham­fered to rep­re­sent the facetted sur­faces of a pre­ci­sion-cut gem­stone. Call it what you will, but it cer­tainly makes a state­ment, with a nose and rear treat­ment dom­i­nated by big, bold head­lamps and pro­trud­ing rear lights. The cinched waist is a neat vis­ual trick, too, and both elon­gates the C-HR and ac­cen­tu­ates that au­da­cious front/ rear de­sign.

Climb in­side and the theme con­tin­ues with an asym­met­ri­cal, driver-fo­cused and multi-level fa­cia that’s bi­sected by a at plas­tic

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