2017 Toyota C-HR Australian-spec revealed | video

14 September 2016
 by 
, CarsGuide

Swoopy new Toyota C-HR compact SUV will come to Australia in two grades from next January

The compact SUV space will score a shot in the arm in early 2017, with Toyota flagging a more upmarket positioning for its new, radically shaped C-HR (short for Coupe - High Rider).

Toyota has revealed more pics and details of the Australian-spec car today, which was first unveiled in concept form at last year's Geneva Motor Show.

The tiny five-door crossover SUV is a very late starter in a field that currently includes the Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, as well as the Audi Q3 and BMW X1

It'll launch in Australia with two variants; an entry level known simply as the CH-R and the higher-end Koba.

The extrovert C-HR is unlike any production Toyota that's come before it, and it will be offered in eight colours.

Early press information indicated that the base model would be known as the Active; this would have raised the issue of usage, with Hyundai currently using the Active name for a range of its cars, including the i30, Tucson and Santa Fe

However, Toyota Australia's manager of public relations Mike Breen confirmed to CarsGuide.com.au that while the Active moniker is used as a grade name in other markets, it had inadvertently been added to Australian literature from early development documents, and it would not be used for the C-HR locally.

Based on Toyota's newest compact vehicle platform known as Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), both models of the C-HR will powered by an 85kW/185Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, backed by a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT)

The base model will be offered with a manual in front-wheel drive form, while the CVT will be available for both grades.

The Koba will also be offered in all-wheel-drive form in CVT only.

Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the C-HR is more than just a new SUV.

"C-HR is a car for people who want something special - those who desire the innovative dynamism and emotional appeal that a traditional SUV cannot offer," Mr Cramb said.

"It has four doors and a hatch, but it's not a hatchback; it's compact while having a large interior and room for five; it has a high driving position, yet it's not a boxy off-roader."

Despite not having a compact crossover in its range, Toyota's seven-strong range of SUVs makes it Australia's number one seller across the category.

It's a riot of creases and curves, with semi-hidden rear door handles, prominent arches, deep side sills and huge rear light clusters.

The extrovert C-HR is unlike any production Toyota that's come before it, and it will be offered in eight colours, including a wild-looking yellow, an ice blue/green and vivid red.

It's a riot of creases and curves, with semi-hidden rear door handles, prominent arches, deep side sills and huge rear light clusters. The front is more conservative – but it's a vastly different look from cars like the RAV4 and Corolla.

The interior pics reveal a simple, low key yet stylish dash and console, with a 6.1-inch central screen mounted on top of the dash which contains what looks to be a similar Toyota-branded multimedia unit that's fitted to cars like the Corolla and HiLux.

The instrument binnacle houses a traditional two-bezel instrument array, with a small central colour digital screen between them.

A centre console bin, leather-gaited gearshift, electronic hand brake and door mounted power window switches are also visible. Toyota says that the C-HR's controls are angled slightly towards the driver, as well.

The C-HR will come standard with automatic emergency braking, pre-collision system with autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering control, automatic high beam and a reversing camera across the range.

The Koba will also score larger 18-inch rims, keyless entry, heated seats and tinted glass.

While Toyota is best known for reliable, albeit staid products like the Camry and LandCruiser, it has pushed the design boat out a couple of times over the last decade – with mixed results. 

The boxy, practical five-seat Rukus, based on the US market Scion xB, failed to fire locally, despite – or perhaps because of – its polarising shape, but the equally overt FJ Cruiser proved to be a surprise hit.

We will bring you more on the C-HR, including a walk-around video, at the Paris Motor Show from September 29.

what do you think of the radical styling of Toyota's C-HR crossover? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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