By Khulekani Dumisa
SUVs are aplenty in Mzansi and something like the C-HR is a bit refreshing. Taking on a coupe form, the updated C-HR (especially with a two-tone exterior colour) stands out. The updates are minor with some tweaks having gone to the front end with bumper having been widened and LED lights introduced across the range.
Interior and safety
The big change is inside with the addition of an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay- and Android Auto compatibility. Safety has been increased across the range with more airbags. There are now 6 airbags in the car. The top-spec Luxury model gets Toyota’s Safety Sense features such as blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, lane keep, pre-crash system, rear cross traffic alert.
The cabin feels spacious for four occupants and the interior quality is overall decent. However, the boot is on the compact side but you can fit in a medium sized suit case and a couple of soft bags. The rear seats fold down to extend your luggage space.
The efficient 1.2-litre engine with 85 kW and 185 Nm (paired with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT transmission) soldiers on. The 1,2 engine is basically frugal having asked about 7,2l/100km in our time with the car in the city. The CVT transmission is one of the better ones you’ll experience with the occasional drone sound when you rush the car. It’s not a performance car though and honestly should not be rushed.
The minor tweaks to the front have livened the car up. The introduction of a new infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto has also added to the quality interior. Being a true lifestyle vehicle, there are compromises such as a rather small boot that you have to live with. That’s just about it as the car rides well and is comfortable.
Finally, the Luxury spec is a tad costly at R486,000 but the generous standard feature list and Toyota safety systems such as lane keep, steering assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor and emergency braking almost makes up for it. Oh, the car, in top spec form, parks itself as well.
Alternatives are Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi Cross.
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