The C-HR is Toyota’s newest compact SUV boasting bold looks, class leading technology, big space and reliability. This is a completely new car built on Toyota’s TNGA platform and from concept to reality this is one creation that Toyota did not skimp on! They really pushed the design envelope making a small four door SUV look like a two door sporty hatchback on steroids.
The proportions of this car are visually mind bending, sometimes it looks small and other times it looks like a large soft rider. Sharing Toyota’s new headlight design that is a theme running through all of its current models and most notably the new Rav4. You may of noticed that the humble Rav4 has grown bigger in its current form making way for the C-HR to fit right into the stables at Toyota.
The model I was testing was the All Wheel Drive C-HR Koba. The first thing I noticed about this car was its interior space! It’s deceptive to say the least! It has a high viewing angle for the driver with a large windscreen and big side windows giving the driver a super panoramic view of the road. It almost feels as large inside up front as an XF Falcon!
The interior is very distinctive with its silver highlights and high gloss glitter surrounds. The C-HR not only has LED tail lamps but also LED headlamps which are super bright! So bright that you will constantly think you have your high beams on.
Yet when you venture to the back seat things change drastically! The lack of light caused by the small rear side windows creates a very dark and claustrophobic feeling. Although they are great if you want to stop young kids sticking their heads out the window!
For adults in the back there is adequate room despite the need to lean forward to see out the window.
Gone are the days of an ashtray in every arm rest. Todays ashtray is the cup holder! Toyota has made sure that there is one within reach everywhere inside the C-HR.
You can see Toyota has focused on the driver with a premium seat, complete with height adjustment and electronic lumbar support, which really helps on a long trip. The C-HR feels fun, light and agile to drive.
The 1.2 litre 4 cylinder turbo engine has been the main talking point around this car across the internet…
So I decided to take it up some big hills.
Having owned a Honda Beat with only 3 cylinders at a whopping 660CC I know a thing or two about low powered cars and the internet whinging was clearly coming from people who drive Holden Commodores. The fact that the C-HR is only pushing out 85kw and pulling 1510kgs sounds like it could be a struggle, yet I’m here to tell you that this little eco engine goes well for what it has to accomplish.
Driving around Mansfield and all the way up Mt Buller was a big test for the little engine. I drove up to Mt Buller in the pouring rain with no problems! Yeah the CVT gearbox is a bit slow at times but all CVT autos have that delay. Once you put the car into sport mode you can alleviate at least 70% of that delay and pull out a bunch more response from the little engine.
As any boy racer would do I looked for the intercooler and turbo straight away! Were both hidden ? Was I going blind?…Yes the car has hidden the turbo behind the engine against the firewall! So no quick turbo upgrades! The intercooler well… Toyota decided to save space and go for a fancy water-cooled exhaust manifold instead of a traditional intercooler.
So if you intend to modify the C-HR the only quick fix would be a tune/remap, more boost, and a bigger exhaust system. Although for this type of car people will more likely go for aesthetic over power. We can only hope that Toyota brings over some of the proposed TRD kits for the C-HR into Australia.
A recent speedhunters article featured a C-HR with a set of airbags and some great wheels this really shows just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with the C-HR.
The car itself has some spectacular line. It looks fast, sleek and sophisticated. Those sneaky rear doors help to make the car look smaller than it really is and they give it a coupe style appearance with attitude.
The Koba has many awesome features just like a new mobile phone! You have lots of things at your disposal yet it’s only when you need that specific function that you discover the feature that can help you.
Basically this car does heaps of things I never knew it did! Auto high beam, Lane Departure Alert, PreCollision Safety system, Active Cruise Control and the main feature that was the most helpful; the blind spot indicators!
So what is the C-HR? Is it a mini-SUV? A small soft rider or a high-riding coupe? It’s all of those things and more.
With a sprinkle of Lexus and a dash of inspiration from Honda the C-HR is made to turn heads.
Will cashed up hipsters trade in their old VW Golfs for a funky family fun mini-SUV? Lets hope so because Toyota has thrown everything at the C-HR! They have packed a lot of technology into this car yet most of the technology seems to be focused on safety.
However I think millennials would rather Apple Carplay and Android Auto over extra parking sensors or emergency braking systems. As the mobile phone continues to move towards human symbiosis complete and seamless connectivity is at the forefront of all young peoples minds.
For that reason I find its strange that Toyota has skimped on the entertainment system in the C-HR. Overseas C-HR models have been pictured with a sleek flat panel media system yet the Australian version gets a clunky Chinese unit that is not very user friendly.
The audio/media system in the car is really the only thing that Toyota needs to work on; otherwise the C-HR is a great little car. Fun to drive, easy over speed humps and rough roads and it genuinely handles well for a car of this type.
The cabin has great noise cancelling and the drivers seat can be raised or lowered which is amazing for child sized adults like myself.
The real party piece of the C-HR is its unmistakable design! It really stands out among it’s competition especially with the amount of dress-up options available. There are even three different trim styles to choose from; Icon, Excel and Dynamic. Not to mention the wide range of accessories you can add in the mix.
The C-HR is very comfortable and easy to live with and it really is a cut above the rest. Toyota has taken a risk making such a bold, mini SUV but I think they have pulled it off and I cannot wait to see more of these on the road. Thanks to Toyota Australia for giving us the opportunity to test and review the new C-HR.
Thanks for reading,