The Star Malaysia - Star2
WITHOUT any doubt, Toyota’s C-HR (Compact-High Rider) is the most attractive compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) in its segment and it’s been the talk of the town ever since it was launched in Japan in late 2016.
The sheet metal adds a muscular disposition to its already compact dimensions.
Overall, there’s very little overhang allround, its frontal design gives it an aggressive look and the rear-end has a futuristic design to it.
Aside from its good looks, the C-HR comes with a hefty price in its segment - RM137,300 on-the-road without insurance, and praise should be accorded due to the inclusion of added safety kit such as seven airbags, blind spot monitoring system, rear cross traffic alert and tyre pressure monitoring system as standard.
Not to mention, there’s a host of convenience that entails it and include items such as Follow Me Home function, automatic headlamps and wipers, DVD Player, Wi-Fi, internet browser, voice recognition, HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, dual zone automatic climate controls, one-touch power windows, electric parking brake and automatic brake hold function.
Inside, the keyless entry with push-start system proves to be effortless. The handles are touch sensitive to activate and deactivate the central-locking system and the push-start button is located to the right of the steering column for added familiarity.
The cabin is generally soft on the eyes as it is to the touch with the addition of some gloss-black accent panels for some sophistication.
At the front, the cockpit is driver-centric that have simplistic, intuitive controls and are easily in reach.
The inclusion of that stubby brushed-aluminium gear knob feels ergonomic and premium in the hand while providing a sporty disposition.
At the rear, or rather the ‘dark end’ of the cabin due to the lack of window real-estate, there is an adequate amount of head and leg room, which seems to have encroached into the boot’s territory, leaving it with 318 litres (expandable to 1,112 litres) of space.
Combined with the significant amount of bolstering from the leather-upholstered seats, it all adds up to an inviting comfort-oriented cabin that provides for a somewhat commanding view up front.
While at idle, the engine runs quietly smooth and ride comfort takes on the same qualities to soak up the ‘impurities’ our roads have to offer for a rather refined ride.
Although this SUV comes equipped with a continuously variable transmission, power delivery feels adequate and buttery smooth.
Not to mention, its pickup from standstill doesn’t feel rushed and only at higher engine speeds will the engine’s scream permeate its way into the cabin.
While at speed, wind noise becomes apparent off the large wing mirrors as the suspension provides a re-assuring drive when getting thrown around corners with a controlled amount of pitch and roll.
The steering feels precise in the hands with a good amount of ‘bite’ coming from the brakes and the 17-inch wheels with 215/60 series tyres gives it a planted feel for a confidence-inspiring drive.
But the C-HR isn’t without a few chinks in its armour.
Although the driver has a good amount of forward and side vision, peering out the rear left-hand side proved to be problematic with the thick C-pillars and getting in and out will require a minute amount of hop.
Also, the rear window port is limited in height due to the amount of rake it possesses from its intricately designed rear end.
During reverse-parking duties, the reverse camera’s video feed with static parking lines on the 7.0-inch colour touchscreen has a little lag to it. A little nit-picky, but it needs to be mentioned none-the-less.
Aside from that, it still makes for a very usable vehicle that will fit nicely into anyone’s lifestyle as they fall in love with the
premium fit, finish and ride.