Ever thought about buying an SUV, but decided against it because you couldn’t justify having to manoeuvre a fuel guzzling housebrick through the city, and don’t have 17 kids you need to shuttle to and fro? Well, Toyota has thought about you! We present to you, the Toyota C-HR; a “Compact SUV”.

We were loaned one in Hornet Yellow, which would be our preference of the colour range.

Sized somewhere between a Corolla and a Kluger, I found it wasn’t too big, but big enough to still be practical.

It’s powered by a surprisingly zippy 1.2L turbo motor, with the choice of a 6 speed manual or 7 speed automatic CVT transmission. You’ve also got the option between FWD and AWD, between both the standard and higher-spec “Koba” models.

I really like the fact you can pick between optional, custom configurations, like a black roof or choose from a selection of colours for sideskirts, side mirrors and other body accents.

With leather accents mixed in with the fabric interior, it feels quite plush and futuristic without being tacky and overdone.

It’s packed with all of the technology, without the bank-busting price tag. Features and driving aids abound: 6.5″ infotainment display with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, reversing camera, rain sensing wipers, automatic high beam dimming, push-button start and smart entry system that senses you when you approach the vehicle and activates the courtesy lights. The “Koba” variant also comes with heated front seats.

However, some of the features that we were more impressed by were the Toyota Safety Sense+ aids that come standard on all variants. Rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring are especially helpful given the blind spots created by the large C-pillars, as is lane departure assist, which gives an audible alarm as well as minor steering adjustments, where it senses you crossing marked lines.

Perhaps the most comprehensive was the pre collision detection & adaptive cruise control. Once cruise is set, you’re able to chose from 3 pre-set distance markers, and the vehicle will always maintain that set distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, then bring you back to the set speed once it is safe to do so. Under controlled conditions, we tried this in a 50kph city area, and found that with all of the above set, with another vehicle in front, it was actually able to bring us to a complete stop when the vehicle we were following stopped, without any pedal input. While we don’t recommend trying this, was a fun exercise!

It’s also a lot larger on the inside than it appears.

In case the boot isn’t big enough, to make it more useful, the back seats fold down and can be folded in a 60/40 arrangement.

We’re actually big fans of it’s striking, edgy styling. The additions of LED running lights, progressive front indicators and C-HR logo courtesy light that projects from the side mirrors is also nice touch.

Toyota has obviously stepped up the game, compared to other vehicles in the same range like the Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-3 and Honda’s HR-V.
We envision working professionals, and small families snapping these up. Having said that, we’re very much looking forward to seeing car enthusiasts get their hands on one and what they’ll do to it!

Thank you to Toyota Motor Corporation for the ability to test out the C-HR.
Find more info on the range hereĀ 

Words and photos by Adam Vlahos – FB | Instagram

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