MOTORING

Toyota's C-HR stands tall in a crowded mid-sized crossover segment

Coupe High-Rider establishes a new direction

Trish Whelan

Reporter:

Trish Whelan

Toyota's C-HR stands tall in a crowded mid-sized crossover segment

TOYOTA'S brief to its design team was to create a modern and sensual car that would target customers looking for individuality - it should be an extension of their own personalities.

It had to stand out in the Toyota range and establish a new direction in the mid-sized crossover segment.

Well, they’ve certainly done that with their new C-HR crossover which combines a powerful lower body and raised ground clearance with the slim and sleek cabin profile of a coupe. A weird mix that kind of works. The wheel arches project prominently at all four corners giving the car a wide and powerful stance.

My car looked particularly well with a white exterior and dark privacy glass. At first glance, this newcomer looks like a three-door hatch as the rear door handles are cleverly integrated into the C pillar.

BTW, the letters C-HR stand for Coupe High-Rider and the car is positioned between the Auris and the RAV4 in the Toyota range.

The main interior feature is the high 8-inch display audio touch-screen with the brand’s Multi-Media 16 navigation system. It’s angled towards the driver for ease of viewing. As this touch-screen is a stand alone feature, it means the upper dashboard is lower in depth and this actually helps with driver visibility. The various surfaces include leather-like, smooth Nappa grain and technical grain.

The glovebox is located low on the dash and is of a decent size. I particularly liked the pale blue ambience lighting in door bins and cupholders.

The two-tiered front seats combine a sporty upper section with a more supportive lower area. You note the differences by the use of different textures and patterns. I found the driver’s one to be extremely comfy and supportive of my back.

There’s good space up front but taller people seated behind an equally tall person in front will struggle somewhat for knee room, and will have to watch their heads when getting in and out, due to the car’s shape.

Boot space is a decent enough 377 litres. There was no spare tyre, just a puncture repair kit.

Three trims are offered, Luna, Luna Sport, and Sol. My review car was the latter.

The entry Luna trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, dual/auto air con, Touch 2 with 8-inch screen, a reversing camera, front fog lights, and auto wipers. The Luna Sport adds 18-inch alloys, bi-tone roof, privacy glass, heated front seats, folding side mirrors and smart entry. The top Sol adds the Simple Intelligent Park Assist, sat nav and partial leather seats.

Customers can also specify heated seats, a smart entry system, privacy glass, special upholstery including part-leather seats, Toyota’s Simple Intelligent Park Assist, alloy wheels and Bi-tone metallic paintwork. The car also gets a tailor-made JBL premium audio system with 9 speakers.

Toyota Safety Sense comes as standard across the range and includes a Pre-Collision System that includes Pedestrian Recognition, Adaptive Cruise Control, Len Departure Alert with steering control, Auto High Beam and Road Sign Assist (the latter not on the entry grade).

My car was the 1.2, 116bhp turbo petrol which was first seen in the Auris. Annual road tax is €280 and the claimed combined fuel return is 5.9 L/100kms; 1,300kg towing.

For those who’d like more power there’s a full Hybrid with a 1.8 engine and 122bhp; €180 p/a road tax, and a claimed return of 3.8 L/100kms. But beware hybrid prices are more expensive from €29,350-€32,950. Petrol ones are from €26,895 - €30,950 depending on the grade selected.