Ricochet News

The Toyota C-HR is one incredible crossover!

By Graeme Lund - May 5, 2017
The Toyota C-HR is one incredible crossover!

Crossovers are one of the fastest growing and most competitive segments of the local car market. Thus, Toyota’s designers, always at the cutting edge of technology, must have left a few drops of blood - maybe a limb or two, from sharpening their design pencils on the oh-so-edgy C-HR.

For years, Toyota held the benchmark for reliability. Their 70’s slogan was ‘Everything keeps going right’ and in the face of appalling design and engineering from some of their European rivals, this slogan held true.

But, today, thanks to robotics and incredibly sophisticated quality controls, there are few badly designed and engineered cars on the road. So, Toyota may still produce the most reliable cars, but it is no longer an obvious distinction and will take an American-style assimilation of statistics to prove.

On the other hand, Toyota was never famous for designing beautiful cars. Small turning circles, comfortable seating and indestructible vehicles – no problem; but now, when every other car manufacturer is also making reliable cars, Toyota, to maintain their place at the top of the sales chart, needed to do something else very well.

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Enter the new generation Fortuna, RAV 4 and, most visibly, the C-HR with its beautiful, contemporary and sophisticated design. Great, but how do they drive?

Well, I was lucky enough to test drive the C-HR over a 24-hour period a few weeks ago. The design and reliability were small change compared to the billionaire drive of this amazing vehicle. I loved it! I know it’s a cliché to say “I didn’t want to give it back”, but really, I didn’t.

The height, sitting position, ergonomics and unbelievable sturdiness and smoothness of the drive are incredible. Take any of the top luxury models on the market and they will be hard pressed to match the C-HR for drive quality.

When I first heard that this vehicle only had a 1.2 litre engine, I was disappointed, but, believe me, there was no disappointment after I hit the freeway or some of the steeper hills on my test drive.

Its relatively small engine is a turbocharged 4-cylinder unit that pushes out 85 kW and 185 Nm. Power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. The C-HR has a reported consumption of just 6.4 L/100 km.

It took me all of 20 seconds - the quickest ever, to connect my cellphone to the Infotainment Centre that has a colour display and climate control as standard.

If I had a smaller family or no family at all, then this would have been the car for me.

To test drive a C-HR, call Algoa Toyota on 041 393 2000 or visit 347 Cape Road in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth.