If someone says Toyota, one does not think of driving fun and when someone says driving fun, one does not think of Toyota. So I have used the two words rarely in the same sentence. But with the new model C-HR my expectation was high from the beginning, especially because of the unusual emotional design. Would my hope come true when driving? I've tested the car.
The design as A and O
The C-HR (an abbreviation for Compact High Rider) is the design of the C-HR. It will be the main buy-out, and the customers will hardly come out of the mainstream, because those are used by Toyota brave and some dull cars. "If 50 percent of people like it and 50 percent do not, and from the first 50 percent buy some the C-HR, we have achieved a lot . "
Growing individualization possibilities
Although I do not really belong to the hipsters, which Toyota addresses with the advertising, I oute myself immediately as a lover of the C-HR design. Above all, the coupé proportions in the side view have done to me. Chic is also the bicolor lacquer with black roof in the furnishing style. There will also be matte lacquers soon, as well as footboards and other customization options. As far as Nissan at the (smaller, but also extroverted and still more polarizing) Juke does not go however Toyota: but the car can not be ordered in Dottergelb with turquoise rims ...
Check out the Lexus UX!
If you like the C-HR as well as me, you should also take a look at the Lexus UX study, which was on display at the Paris Automobile in the autumn of 2016: it has similar proportions, the design may be even more daring. And the car is not a brainstorm: the study is described by the manufacturer as close to production and should be in series in 2017 - as a Lexus version of the C-HR.
Finally a handsome Toyota cockpit
And what does the C-HR look like? Until now, Toyota models often offered a mixture of coarse buttons, old-fashioned LED displays and cheap materials. The C-HR is quite different: the seats offer so much side-to-side comfort on the thighs and back like sporty VW models, and that is a big compliment. The cockpit is tailored to the driver, the center console is close to me and the screen is a bit inclined in my direction. Unlike many Asian models, the seats are not designed for small children, I do not look at the upper third of the disc, but in the middle as it is. The materials are high-quality, Hartplastik I find only under the side window and on the armrests in the back, and also that looks good. The bright blue line, which draws itself with the equipment Style over the dashboard, is however a bit crass. Overall, however, the cockpit deserves great recognition.
Plenty of space in the back, a little impractical trunk
Also the space in the back is generously dimensioned: adults have more than enough space, but should be careful when getting in and out, not to bother the head. The trunk has a high loading edge, and when you fold the rear seats, a ten centimeter high step remains. An entry level to equalize this level and the threshold at the trunk entrance would be a great idea for the next facelift. The trunk volume from 377 to 1,160 liters is below average - in the similarly large Seat Ateca, for example, fit 484 to 1,579 liters. And all-round vision is restricted by the broad pillars. A practical car for the young family with two baby carriages is not the C-HR.
Curves like the C-HR
Steering and landing gear. It is actually fun to circle the car through curves, a little too fast in the roundabout in and just as stormy again. I do not need to look at the "g-monitor" to display the lateral acceleration forces. The wavering remains low. The six-speed manual transmission contributes to the sporty feeling. For this purpose, the engineers have come up with an "iMT" system, an intelligent manual gearbox. It boosts the engine speed during downshifting (for example, before the turn), thus ensuring a smooth gear change.
A sad chapter: The engines
What I have hitherto carefully shed is the motorization, and this is no accident, because this is a sad chapter. The drives are already too weak for an emotional, sporty model from the paper shape: the 1.2-liter turbo-benzine with 116 hp and the hybrid system from the Prius with 122 hp of system power. A 140-hp turbocharger and a 140-hp turbodiesel, that would have been!
Hybrid with a backrest
The other alternative I try the next day, although I honestly find that the car has earned better than a hybrid drive. In Madrid, the car feels more relaxed than the 1.2 turbo, which is certainly due to the torque of the electric motor, which is already at low speeds. But as soon as I leave the city, the corners of my mouth sink. The system groans loudly, I have the feeling of making the car, and the moaning stops only when I have reached the desired tempo. However, the insulation seems to be good: the 1.2 turbo is not heard at idle, and also the bass of the hybrid remains moderate compared to other CVT vehicles. The consumption is given by my onboard computer with 5.4 liters, in the data sheet are 3.9 liters.
Only hope: a stronger engine
Toyota expects an astonishingly high hybrid ratio of 75 percent at the C-HR in Germany. When you frown, the press cite the hybrid shares at Yaris, Auris and RAV4, which are 60 to 70 percent. Only a few customers will choose the third drive, which combines the 1.2 turbo with all-wheel drive and CVT automatic - the turbo-benzine, which is already not very strong, should be even harder. Our hope is that Toyota is pushing a stronger engine. In the USA, the C-HR is offered with a 145 hp strong 2.0-liter vacuum cleaner. It offers 190 newtonmeter but hardly more torque than the 1.2 turbo. A diesel would offer more momentum, but one should not wait for a self-ignition in the C-HR, because in the smaller cars, Toyota generally does not offer auto-ignition. But a stronger Turbobenziner (so far Toyota has only the 1.2 Turbo) or a stronger hybrid system are quite conceivable, it is said with the manufacturer. Let us hope!
The issue of motorization is not the only unpleasant. The C-HR is also based on the same platform as the Prius. As a Toyota spokesman, I would admit the maximum behind the reserved hand. After all, what does a hipster with a ruffle beard, thick horns and Dutt think when he hears that the chic, emotional, sporty C-HR is based on the Prius, a proven fuel-saving model? The third unpleasant topic at the C-HR is the "connectivity". The topic should be central for the mobile fixed target group. Since it is already surprising that Toyota must fit the crucial technologies for the coupling of the smartphone (Android car and Apple CarPlay).
The C-HR is anything but a low-tech car. There are almost all desirable values for electronic assistants, from traffic sign detection via an anti-collision system with pedestrian detection to the distance measuring machine and the traffic warning system for rear parking. Even the basic version has the pre-collision system, an active tracking assistant, a high-beam assistant and a cruise control. Added to this are 17-inch steel wheels, air conditioning. CD radio with Bluetooth support, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors as well as electrical window lifters all around. This could be satisfied, but the customers will mainly buy the Flow version, where among other things 17-inch Alus, Klimaautomatik and DAB radio are on board.
From 21.990 euros
Official launch of the C-HR on 21 January 2017. The basic model with 1.2 Turbo costs 21.990 euros. The next higher equipment version Flow costs 2,400 euros more. The hybrid gets you only from this equipment, and must put another 3,000 euros, thus a total of 27,390 euros. If you ask me, I would leave it at the basic version with 1.2 turbo. Here the color selection is somewhat restricted, but I think in black the car looks really menacing (and good). And the alternatives to the C-HR 1.2 Turbo? The Rover Evoque and Mercedes GLA are significantly more expensive than (also very chic) premium products. Round 2,000 euros cheaper are the Seat Ateca 1.0 TSI with 115 hp and the Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T with 115 hp. Is the C-HR so overpriced? Well, according to Toyota, the C-HR equals the Nissan. However, although Toyota calls the Qashqai as competitors, I find: That does not fit, the Nissan is visually but a rather cloudy cup, sorry.