Toyota C-HV

Even bolder Toyota C-HR now much better too

Just a few years ago, sexy crossovers like this Toyota CH-R did not exist.  Today it’s all of a sudden a very different world and C-HV must compete in among the hardest-fought niches in the motor industry — one that calls for carmakers to be daring. Methinks Toyota succeeded with C-HR and now it’s gone another step forward too. 

Bolder, more handsome
If this C-HV looks different, well that's because it is — that bolder, more handsome new look heralds C-HR's midlife nip and tuck to keep the Toyota just that necessary head and shoulders above the rest. And it’s not just the nose that went under the knife to deliver a faux facelift, cutting that wider, larger, lower grille out atop a new body colour spoiler lip between fog lamps shifted upward and outward in taller side vents, but C-HR gains Toyota Safety Sense along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and sexy new Inferno Orange and this Passion Red hues.

Add premium DRL projector LED projector headlight tech a grade down on Plus models and bright red tail lamps now connected by a gloss black spoiler and this baby now looks even that much more the part.

Of course C-HR continues with the engine that proved the revelation of the original car — its 85kW 185Nm 1.2-litre turbo petrol four-pot was a huge step forward for Toyota when it finally replaced the market leader’s shockingly outdated naturally aspirated engine tech with this  downsized turbo that also still turns either a 6-speed manual or Toyota’s slick and smooth CVT.

The little power plant certainly was worth the wait — it performs so well you’d be forgiven for thinking that this little 1198cc gem was indeed the 2.1-litre lump out of the RAV 4 — well it certainly runs as well – especially at reef altitudes where it will easily outgun that far bigger capacity old tech engine everywhere from the drag strip to the petrol pump.  Talking fuel C-HV sips 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres at 141g/km CO2.

If the engine did not need any fettling, this latest C-HV certainly packs a lot of other novelty, starting on the chassis where a re-tuned electronic power steering brings a more balanced and much improved feel, while an enhanced noise, vibration and harshness pack not only beings improved refinement, but significantly dulls cabin noise too. Still on the chassis, the standard C-HV is shod with 17” wheels, while the Plus and Luxury grades get 18” turbine-shape alloys.

Tech savvy at  its best
Perhaps the best news for the tech savvy individual likely to be attracted by the allure of this already impressive package, is that the latest C-HV now packs Toyota’s very latest infotainment technology to allow for full smartphone integration while also supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring to a bigger new 20cm centre dash multimedia screen backed by a new 10cm Multi-information Display in Plus models

Not only does that open up a whole new world of mobile connectivity options from music streaming to navigation solutions and all form of in-car entertainment, but all Toyotas of course now come equipped with Toyota Connect. That includes a complimentary 15 gig in car Wi-Fi allocation, vehicle telematics and enhanced MyToyota app user features.    

Another key step forward in this lifecycle refresh comes in the way of additional safety specific across the range, starting with standard and Plus grades now adding side, curtain and driver knee airbags in addition to the front driver and passenger units, while standard models also get rear seatbelt force limiters and pre-tensioners. Flagship Luxury C-HVs inherit the full Toyota Safety Sense suite from Blind Spot Monitoring to Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a Pre-crash system, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist.

It’s a Toyota!
Standard and Plus model C-HVs come in six exterior shades including new Inferno Orange and Oxide Bronze metallic, while Luxury models come exclusively in bi-tone Passion Red, Nebula Blue or Inferno Orange paired with a black roof. C-HR is shipped with a full 6-service/90 000 km service plan at 15 000km intervals and 3-year/100 000km warranty, while you can also purchase a variety of service and warranty add-ons at your local Toyota dealer.

Not that it never defined itself as different, the rather un-Toyota C-HV is now even classier, better equipped and more attractive. Most of all, C-HV is a Toyota, so not only do you stand out in style driving one, but it comes with all the plusses and virtues that make a Toyota, well a Toyota in the South African market. - Michele Lupini

Toyota C-HR pricing
1.2T                                R371K
1.2T Plus          R403K
1.2T Plus CVT    R415K
1.2T Luxury CVT      R476K