FUNKY TOYOTA: Toyota's new CH-R urban crossover is now available in South Africa. Image: Quickpic
Cullinan, Gauteng - Wheels24's Janine Van Der Post is driving Toyota's New urban crossover in Cullinan, the Coupé High Rider (C-HR).
The C-HR is the automaker's first model in SA to use its new 1.2 litre turbo engine.
Toyota says the engine "uses advanced technologies that allow the engine to change from the Otto-cycle to the Atkinson cycle under low loads".
Power output for the 1.2 T is 85kW/185Nm with 0 to 100 km/h claimed sprint time of 10.9 seconds. Top speed is set at 190 km/h.
The C-HR offers drivers a trio of drive modes (Normal, Eco and Sport), Toyota says the modes tailor the powertrain characteristics to suit varying conditions.
Van der Post's initial impressions of the new car:
On paper and images I wasn't impressed with the new C-HR's looks, but once I've seen it in person, it's a really stylish offering.
The 'diamond theme' is carried throughout the car, from the triangular reflectors on the rear bumper, the diamond patterns on the materials and side sills and the mirror. There are even diamond-shaped door panels.
I wasn't keen on the CVT gearbox, but it's one of the better ones I've driven. Gear changes are seamless, and there's no hesitation or searching for the right gear. The 1.2-litre turbocharged engine is a first for Toyota, and honestly, I think they have a winning formula.
It's charming to drive, pleasant behind the wheel, is sturdy on the road and offers great performance from low revs, and fuel efficiency from its little engine.
It fills the gap for Toyota for those customers coming from a sedan into the mini SUV segment. It's only available in front-wheel drive, and there's no diesel variant on the cards either. It is positioned below the RAV4.
After driving the five-speed manual version, the CVT auto is definitely the derivative of choice. It feels livelier than the manual, albeit the same power figures of 85kW. The manual is still pretty decent, whether you're driving through the city, or on longer open routes. Both models are more than adequate of overtaking with 185Nm of torque.
The car is available in six body colours, of which two is brand new: Cosmic Blue and Aztec Green - my personal favourite, just because it's so different and refreshing.
The C-HR goes up against the Mazda CX-3, Honda CR-V, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai's new Creta.
And finally this is how much the CH-R costs:
Toyota C-HR 1.2T - R318 500
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Plus - R345 000
Toyota C-HR 1.2T PLUS CVT - R356 000