Test drive: Toyota C-HR (2017) - First driving report

With two engines, the C-HR is on: the 1,2-liter turbo gasoline engine and a 1,8-liter vacuum cleaner with electric motor support, as he already tinkers in the cute hybrid classic Prius
What does Toyota allow?

Coupe High Rider, C-HR, is the name of the latest addition from Toyota. This will serve the market trend for the SUV as well as the niche of the four-door coupes. According to the manufacturer, the vehicle is actually intended only for Europe, aims at a new clientele and it should polarize quietly.

“The C-HR is a car as an expression of personality, unlike others and a game changer for Toyota,” explains Fabio Capano, Director of Product Communication & Marketing Operations at Toyota Motor Europe. Perhaps the C-HR is a bit like a toxed Nissan Juke, too, but it's somewhat reminiscent of the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai. About taste can not be argued.

In any case, on the first exit with the 4,36 meter long crossover, it was evident that it attracts the attention of other road users. “It's not a niche model for us,” says Capano. Around 1000 pre-orders are on the table, and by January 21, 2017, Toyota plans to have sold 1500 vehicles. Over the course of 2017, 14 C-HR will be sold in Germany and 000 across Europe. That sounds ambitious.

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A sales share of around 75 percent is expected for the hybrid C-HR. Here is a combined with 13: 1 1,8 liter large inline four-cylinder combined with a nickel-metal hybrid battery and a permanent-magnet synchronous motor. 163 Nm of maximum torque and 90 kW / 122 PS system performance are available. That's enough for 170 km / h peak (factory specification) and an acceleration from standstill to 100 km / h in eleven seconds. It feels slower. The CVT transmission works largely unobtrusive, but when accelerating you want more propulsion and less noise.

As an alternative to the ecologically correct hybrid drive, interested parties can choose a 1,2-liter turbo in-line four-cylinder. With a nominal output of 116 hp, it is only marginally weaker, but at 185 Nm it delivers more torque to the drive wheels than the hybrid version. The maximum speed specified is 190 km / h. With this engine, the C-HR looks a bit livelier than with the hybrid drive, especially when it is combined with the manual transmission. The C-HR can only be ordered as a 1.2T with either front or all-wheel drive, and manual gear selection is available in addition to the Multidrive S called CVT transmission.

The C-HR is based on the new TNGA platform (Toyota New Global Architecture). Here it has a wheelbase of 2 millimeters, the vehicle itself is 640 meters in length and 4,36 meters in height. The roof-mounted spoiler takes some of the swing away from the coupé line, but the rear doors are well concealed - the door handles are only recognizable at second glance. With strongly flared wheel arches and distinctive lighting units (optionally with LED technology) at the front and rear, its lively framed air inlets and distinctive beads, the new Toyota has an independent appearance.

Toyota even gives the new the stuff to become a "style icon" that shapes the new face of the brand
Toyota even gives the new the stuff to become a "style icon" that shapes the new face of the brand

With the fashionable, emotional appearance, Toyota wants to appeal to new customers - travelers, fashion-savvy, early adopters - the car should come across as cool. The C-HR is completely unmoved when it comes to speeding around the corner on the street. The new structure helps: "The vehicle is 65 percent stiffer than the previous C platform and the center of gravity is 25 millimeters lower than usual in the segment," says Herwig Daenens from the Driving Dynamics department at Toyoto Motor Europe. The engine was installed lower and further back in the vehicle. The hybrid battery is now installed in front of the rear axle. There are new suspensions (front: McPherson struts, rear double wishbones) and a new steering.

In the city

In practice, the C-HR proves to be agile and compact in city traffic. The panoramic view is obliquely behind but considerably limited. On the highway, the direct and soulful steering provides excellent feedback. This allows the car to precisely navigate winding country roads. On the highway, he convinces with Stoic straight-ahead. So that is very successful. In addition, the drive remains acoustically discreet. Only at higher speeds growls the four-cylinder clearly. In the middle range, the small 1,2 Turbo hums pleasantly and sonorously. Well insulated are the wind noise. Thus, the C-HR can convince despite tight engine, even on longer routes.

A positive impression also leaves the interior of the new crossover. The front seats are well contoured, only in the shoulder area they could offer a little more lateral support. Drivers over 1,90 meter size want a slightly larger adjustment, and also a little more thigh pad would not be to be despised. Even a tilt adjustment would help here.

The cockpit is designed driver-oriented: The steering wheel is well at hand, the fittings are clearly drawn and the central display is slightly inclined to the driver. Three small switches at the level of the left driver's knee, however, are slightly out of place outside the field of vision. The gear lever and the hand are perfectly matched: the gear changes are made effortlessly over short distances. The quality impression and the material mix are also convincing: The plastics have a high-quality effect, colored accents connect left and right, there is piano lacquer that glistens in the sun and single chrome applications shine.

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In the back there is enough space for adults. Here, the sloping roofline limits the headspace only slightly. The three of them, however, it is quite comfortable. With 377 liters of volume, the luggage compartment is big enough.

Toyota offers a specially developed sound system from JBL for the C-HR to match the intended target group. It includes an eight-channel amplifier with 576 watts of power and nine speakers. It is supposed to provide the ultimate sound experience, which was only partially fulfilled during the practical test: There should have been a little more pressure on the eardrum. It is also surprising that C-HR drivers can use Mirror-Link, but there is no Apple Car Play or Android Auto. And where is the good storage space for the smartphone? And the inductive charging option? What does Toyota allow ?!

Without question well equipped is the four-door SUV coupe with state-of-the-art security systems. Toyota Safety Sense is standard and includes a pre-collision system with emergency brake assist and autonomous braking and pedestrian detection. There is still no crash rating after NCAP, but the highest rating will probably reach the C-HR. Lane keeping assistance with active steering assistance, traffic sign assistant, high beam assistant and adaptive cruise control system with speed limiter are also installed. Optionally, there are also blind spot warning and the reversing assistant and an intelligent parking assistant.

Let's get to the prices

The base price of C-HR is 21 990 Euro. This version with the 1.2 Turbo will probably be less popular, although it is already well equipped. However, there are only 17 inch steel wheels and a 3,7 inch large display and manual air conditioning. Three equipment lines are offered above the base: Flow, Style and Lounge. With the flow the traffic sign recognition is just as series as Aluräder, Klimaautomatik, reversing camera, 4,2 Zoll-Display, leather steering wheel, rain sensor and more. This is where prices start at 24 390 Euro. The hybrid comes on 27 390 Euro, the gasoline engine with four-wheel on 27 690 Euro.

The Style version starts at 26 390 Euro, the hybrid costs 29 390 Euro and the turbo with four-wheel drive and multidrive transmission reaches 29 690 Euro. Then there are the 18 inch alu included as well as metallic paint, darkened glazing behind, heated seats, decorative inlays and more. Parking assistance, heated leather steering wheel, partial leather seats, blind spot warning and reversing assistant are also available in the top version lounge. The prices start at 27 390 Euro, the four-wheeler reaches 30 690 Euro.

The smooth-running steering gives good contact to the ground, the brakes respond sensitively and powerfully
The smooth-running steering gives good contact to the ground, the brakes respond sensitively and powerfully

The C-HR is Turk

In Sakarya, Turkey, the first Toyota C-HR rolled off the line in early November, 2016. The compact crossover is the eighth model of the brand from European production and the third also available as a hybrid vehicle. The C-HR is produced together with the Corolla and Verso.

With the new model, the production volume in the Turkish plant of 150 000 will increase to 280 000 vehicles per year. Toyota invested another 350 million euros in the 1994 opened facility and hired 2000 additional staff. The Japanese now have around 5000 employees in Sakarya.

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