You’d be forgiven for thinking the 2018 Toyota C-HR was the Japanese automaker’s play for car-eschewing Millennials, but really the crossover curiosity is the first major push in its safety tech offensive.
Originally revealed as a Scion concept back in late 2015, and then promptly rescued by the mother-brand after the Scion nameplate ended up in the dumpster, the C-HR certainly fits a gap in Toyota’s line-up. After all, while other automakers have plenty of compact crossover options, Toyota’s ever-enlarging RAV4 may have grown itself out of the segment.
In contrast, the “Coupe High-Rider” is smaller and more city-friendly. Indeed, it’s only a little more than a 30min longer than the tiny Yaris, though its upright driving position should tick one of the main criteria that lead people down the crossover route. Most importantly, it delivers on Toyota’s promises to be both cheap and safe.
The 2018 C-HR starts out at R318 500, with a standard 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine and a CVT (which we had on test). IOur test model is good for a fairly conservative 85Kw and 185Nm. of torque.
The C-HR comes with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a leather steering wheel, 7-inch infotainment display, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity
Unfortunately Toyota’s forward-thinking hasn’t extended everywhere throughout the new car. For a start it’s front-wheel drive only, despite looking like it really should offer all-wheel drive as at least an option. Step inside, meanwhile, and there’s no navigation option, no Android Auto, and no Apple CarPlay; Millennials hoping the crossover would play nicely with their smartphone will have to make do with Toyota’s less-than-elegant Entune apps.