My attention was brought to the new Toyota C-HR by two middle-aged gentlemen I met who waxed lyrical over their new purchases. About 30 minutes later I walked out of the Royal Cliff and was almost run over by a blue C-HR. I felt this had to be an omen.
My very first impression was that the blue marauder was a Nissan Juke, but there was the King Ranch logo of Toyota on the tail. However, similarities in size and bulbous bodywork put the C-HR firmly in the crossover category.
In many ways this has to be a ‘halo’ model for Toyota, better known as the manufacturer of motor cars with styling so bland you can lose your Toyota in the supermarket car park, amongst all the other Toyotas. However, the C-HR is anything but bland and makes the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke look old fashioned. Styling tricks, such as door handles in the C pillars certainly look avant-garde, even though Alfa Romeo had this about 30 years ago!
The interior looks somewhat claustrophobic with the high window sills at the rear, and it is really a 4 seater (or cramped 5 unless your passengers are all Thai).
Performance is satisfactory and could be considered the benchmark in this crossover class because it feels more like a hatch than a scaled down SUV.
I can see why the gentlemen raved about their C-HR’s. If Toyota have managed to combine their legendary reliability with a sporty dynamic they will have another winner. Well worth dropping by the Toyota showrooms.
Finally, did the C-HR nomenclature ‘accidentally’ remind one of the Honda H-RV or does C-HR stand for “Car – Hurriedly Revised”?