I had driven the Toyota C-HR, that was launched in SA in February 2017. A compact SUV, or more popularly known as a cross-over, it was a trendy, edgy addition to the segment. Cue end 2018, and a newcomer arrives, called the Luxury version, and now the tally stands at four models: Standard, Plus, Plus CVT and Luxury. The Luxury will be the range topping model, and adds a cut above, in terms of styling, comfort & safety.
The first thing that strikes you about the C-HR is how solidly it is built, no tinny sounds when opening & closing doors. They give off a solid thud. It comes with a bi-tone colour, which pops nicely. The black roof, roof pillars and side mirrors, have the two-tone effect which really looks good. The black upper section can be combined with four other colours for maximum effect.
The C-HR is no shrinking violet, and is a car that is noticed, some will love her, and some might not, but be sure of one thing, you will talk about her. Daytime Running Lights (DRL) with a contour-hugging light guide complete the exterior package. Stylish 18” alloy wheels are fitted to Plus and Luxury grade models. The Unique smoked rear tail lamps and full-LED head – and fog lamps are fitted.
Coming with luxury leather seats that are heated if need be, and with extra lumbar support is a plus. Keyless entry always does it for me, and I love the freedom of push-button start, no keys.. The mirrors fold down on exit, and park distance control & REVERSE camera is a must in busy Jozi traffic. And to go one further, which I must say I did not test, is the Intelligent Parking Assist, which measures distance and form, and basically parks the car for you.
I liked the soft touch leather above the dash, which gives an air of luxury. It has a great infotainment system, with good graphics and a touch screen. Apple Carplay & Android connectivity is taken care of, and it has a USB interfaceand Bluetooth streaming. Occupants can also choose to mirror cellphone apps – providing access to a vast array of music and navigation options such as Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud (device dependent). Lastly , built in Navi is standard.
The 1.2 litre drive train remains unchanged. It is a good engine that has a host of tech like: VVTi-W (Variable Valve Timing – intelligent Wide), direct injection, flexible engine cycle switching (Otto vs Atkinson), 10:1 compression ratio and smart- heat management.
It delivers 85kW and a constant torque curve of 185 Nm between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. It will push the Toyota C-HR from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds and the top speed is set at 190 km/h. All of this is achieved despite a strong focus on fuel consumption and CO2 – the manual car achieves 6.3 l/100 km on the combined cycle, and delivers just 141g/km of CO2. CVT models deliver 6.4 l/100 km and produce 144 g/km.
In spite of this, I felt that at altitude the C-HR lacked a bit of power, but if you drive it harder, it gets there well enough.
The Luxury model is exclusively mated to a CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission), which is not everyone’s cup of tea, and on occasion it hunts gears, but not enough to be annoying. It has drive and manual mode, so you can suit yourself with ratios from the six-speed transmission. The drive is smooth, thanks to a good suspension.
Safety is a hallmark with Toyota, and the C-HR comes with a plethora of safety features namely: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill Assist Control (HAC), ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
All C-HR models feature driver and passenger airbags, whilst the Luxury model ups the airbag quotient to a total of 9 with the addition of driver knee, curtain and side airbags.
Warranty and Service
All C-HR models come with an expanded 6-service/90 000 kilometre service plan and 3-year/100 000 kilometre warranty. Service intervals are 15 000 kilometres.
Model Lineup and Pricing
C-HR 1.2T – R 336,000
C-HR 1.2T Plus – R 365,500
C-HR 1.2T Plus CVT – R 377,000
C-HR 1.2T Luxury CVT – R 422,100
Summing up my time in the Toyota C-HR, it is a delightful crossover, with a solid, edgy & Luxury feel about it. Which is what they seem to have been aiming for. It is a lot of car. Go and drive it.