Favourite new Toy

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

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.

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