Favourite new Toy
TEST DRIVE TOYOTA C-HR
ANUARY,’ goes the old song by Pilot, ‘sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me’ - well not this year with Toyota’s new C-HR breezing into showrooms for the start of 2017.
First let’s deal with the name given to Toyota’s first purpose-built crossover. C-HR stands for ‘Coupe High Rider’ and is a mid-sized Sports Utility Vehicle designed to take on the big beast of this particular jungle - the Nissan Qashqai.
Toyota claims the C-HR has the strongest body shell in its sector – but it will be the distinctive exterior look that initially grabs the attention of potential buyers.
It gains full marks for standing out from the crowd with a diamond shaped theme and the futuristic feel of a concept car. There are wheel arches that could take your eye out, a purposeful lower body and raised ground clearance. The coupe part of the equation comes with the seek cabin profile and rear door handles hidden up near the roofline while slim wrap-around lights add to the appeal.
Inside the modern feel is maintained with blue highlights running from the doors to the dashtop framing Toyota’s Touch 2 multimedia system and eight-inch tablet-sized screen which gives access to the digital radio and on-line services.
There’s plenty of room up front and while things are a little tighter in the rear, there’s still enough room for two adults to be accommodated comfortably and a third at a push.
The rear seats split 60/40 while boot space is a tidy 370 litres. It’s not the biggest but the well shaped load area swallows shopping and luggage with aplomb. Built at Toyota’s factory in Turkey, the C-HR can be specified with the Japanese motor manufacturer’s latest hybrid power train which has earned its spurs under the bonnet of the fourth-generation Prius.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine model I drove isn’t as fuel efficient as the hybrid’s average of 74.3mpg, but isn’t too shabby with an average of 44.8mpg. If you are company car driver the hybrid’s allure will definitely be increased by CO2 emissions as low as 86g/km - reducing the annual income tax bill.
Those favouring the 1.2-litre turbocharged internal combustion engine – hooked up to a CVT automatic transmission and fourwheel drive – get from 0-62mph in a shade over 11 seconds on the way to a top speed of 111mph producing emissions of 144g/km.
Toyota predicts hybrid versions will be responsible for 75 per cent UK sales with the three trim levels on offer – starting with Icon, moving up to Excel and concluding with the range-topping Dynamic – being equally popular.
The entry-level model is well kitted out having adaptive cruise control, climate control and automatic lights and wipers. The mid-range Excel adds bigger 18-inch wheels, sat nav, heated front seats and part leather finish while the range-topping Dynamic boasts electrically adjustable heated door mirrors with folding function, parking sensors and rear camera.
All models feature a raft of safety features including lane departure alert and a pre-collision braking system. A five-year, 100,000 mile warranty also adds motoring peace of mind and the price-tags are competitive with the Icon powered by the 1.2-litre engine kicking things off at £20,995.