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Toyota New Zealand has launched its daring new C-HR compact sports utility vehicle, which looks set to leave the segment’s ‘me too’ designs in the dust.
C-HR is a thoroughly European design, with the coupe-like, five-door body poised powerfully on muscular flanks, and extroverted 'diamond architecture' providing a mix of sharp lines and smooth curves.
Integrated rear door handles, streamlined A-pillars and a sharply angled rear, present a distinctly new styling direction from Toyota, further extending its already broad market appeal.
The trendy C-HR sits on 18-inch alloy wheels, which create the perception that the car is on the move, even when it’s stationary.
“It will appeal to early-adopters and buyers who want an edge over the status quo – something maybe a little more exciting that tempts them outside their comfort zone,” says Spencer Morris, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Services & Product Planning.
With a limited supply from the factory and high worldwide demand, Toyota New Zealand has gone for a single high-specification model, available in both front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD).
“Every market in the world has strong customer demand for this car,” says Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Sales.
“It looks dramatic and delivers a stunning drive; it’s an eye-catching car on the road and even when parked, plus its compact size makes it an inspired choice for urban lifestyle use.”
Five hundred potential buyers had already registered for a test drive prior to the launch, says Steve.
Introducing a state-of-the-art powertrain, C-HR is powered by a new 1.2-litre, turbo-charged petrol engine with its peak torque of 185Nm developed from 1,500 to 4,000rpm for instant throttle response. C-HR achieves a maximum power of 85kW at 5,200-5,600rpm.
Spencer says buyers should not be fooled by the 1.2-litre turbo engine, which offers the best of both worlds – economy and performance.
“The C-HR engine is ‘torquey’ and flexible, yet quiet and smooth. It’s a fun car that’s enjoyable to drive,” he says.
Both the FWD and AWD models come with a Constant Variable Transmission (CVT) that has a sequential shift mode providing seven simulated manual gears, allowing control similar to a traditional transmission.
The AWD system can direct anywhere between 0 and 50 per cent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. C-HR also features eco, normal and sport drive modes that vary throttle sensitivity, steering weight and CVT performance.
Toyota’s new global architecture chassis provides a lower centre of gravity for better weight distribution. This, paired with advanced suspension to limit body roll and body movement (typical of traditional crossovers), results in a more driver-oriented vehicle and an enhanced driving experience.
Spencer says that C-HR drives like a dynamic hatchback, but with all of the SUV properties that drivers covet. “This model offers ease of handling through the most challenging of corners, and an agile, fluid response that is both linear and consistent.
With electric power steering, C-HR offers precise response and fun-to-drive dynamics combined with its superior SUV visibility,” he says.
There are large-diameter stabilisers front and rear, and the trailing wishbone rear suspension combined with rigid steel ball joints contributes to a crisp driving experience.
C-HR comes equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense package, which features a full suite of driver-assistance and active safety features including all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, a pre-crash safety system with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure alert with steering assist and sway warning functions and automatic high beam headlights. Additional safety features include a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, seven airbags, reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.
As a result, C-HR boasts a 2017, five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
Attention to detail sees C-HR’s interior offer a premium feel that is equally eye catching, a fitting accompaniment to the standout exterior design. “C-HR has a commanding driving position, with the main instruments and controls angled towards the driver to provide a cockpit-like feel without affecting their visibility,” says Spencer.
A leather-trimmed steering wheel with gloss black ornamentation, an Optitron instrument cluster that complements a 4.2-inch colour multi-information display, gloss black and gunmetal grey dashboard ornamentation, a chrome and leather trimmed shift lever and chrome door handles, soft-touch arm rests in the front, and a black headlining with diamond motif all contribute to a modern, high-quality setting.
A 6.1-inch touch screen audio display includes satellite navigation with SUNA traffic updates. The leather-trimmed steering wheel has audio, phone, information display and safety system controls. Ultramodern 'Cool blue' back lighting is used for all instruments and controls. The luggage area can be extended with the 60:40 split folding rear seats.
ARE YOU C-HR? WE ARE ENCOURAGING OUR FANS AND SOCIAL FOLLOWERS TO DEFINE C-HR.
We are gifting a brand-new C-HR to New Zealand*. You can go where you like with it and do what you like with it. We’ll be kitting out a C-HR with cameras that will record all activity inside, a 360 roof-mounted camera, and links to social media where the content can be viewed and shared. But the catch? To keep driving it, you have to keep things interesting. Search #YOUARECHR to find out more.
*Terms and conditions apply, see our website for more information.