No doubt observing the success of compact SUV’s such as the Nissan Qashqai, or Renault Kadjar to name but a few, Toyota needed a strong presence here in the rapidly expanding compact SUV market.
Compact SUV’s are set to represent 50% of all new cars sold by 2030!
The all-new 5-door CH-R has been designed exclusively with European buyers in mind. They have put a lot of research and development into this new car in order to ensure its success in a very competitive sector of the motor market.
CH-R stands for Coupe High Rider, and its funky style certainly lives up to the name.
Interestingly there is no diesel available, rather a 1.8 litre Hybrid version and the version on test here a 1.2 litre petrol powered model. Toyota have high hopes for their first foray into this segment targeting sales of over 3,000 units this year.
There is no doubt that Toyota certainly got it right with the style. The new CH-R looks simply fabulous. With dramatic lines, a really distinctive shape, those disguised rear door handles and sporty overtones it will appeal to a younger audience who want something a bit different. So it really does have kerb appeal!
The first thing that is apparent is the high quality of the interior it reminded me of a Lexus such is the standard of the materials used inside. There are plenty of clever design touches too all which go to create a really upmarket feel to the CH-R.
All models get Toyota’s new Touch and Go infotainment system. There is plenty of standard kit and safety features include Toyota “Safety Sense” pre-collision warning as wells adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, auto high beam, road sign assist, blind spot monitor and park assist. All models get 17 inch alloys, reversing camera, dual zone climate control, rain sensor, and a leather clad multi-function steering wheel.
As you move up from the base Luna to Sol, and Sol Sport you obviously get even more, such as 18 inch alloys, Sat Nav and so forth.
The rear is quite roomy but does feel rather claustrophobic due to the very high door line, which also restricts rearward visibility when parking.
The 377 litre boot is a bit on the small side compared to rivals such as the new Seat Ateca for example but its adequate.
The 1.2 litre petrol turbo does a pretty good job considering its small capacity. Producing a reasonable 116 bhp with a 6-speed manual gearbox it performs quite well though at times when overtaking I wished for a bit more grunt. Road tax will set you back €280 per annum and over my weeks test it returned 6.4 litres per 100km which is quite good.
Toyota do not have a reputation for producing the most driver focused cars, but this new CH-R breaks that trend. It is agile and nimble and will hustle along a twisty road with poise and precision. I enjoyed the way in which it gets down the road.
Around town its compact dimensions make it easy to live with and it proves quite refined though I dod feel there was and more wind noise than I expected at motorway speeds.
Toyota have gone for dramatic good looks, plenty of standard kit, a rewarding driving experience and a a real high quality feel to draw buyers away from more practical rivals such as the top selling Hyundai Tuscon or popular Nissan Qashqai.
The CH-R will appeal to those who value those qualities above a bigger rear cabin or larger boot. The style conscious buyer will like the CH-R.Prices start at €26,895 for the 1.2 petrol Luna. I think Toyota have a winer on their hands with the new CH-R.