Toyota’s clever compact SUV

27 August 2019

AN indication of the popularity of Toyota’s clever compact SUV, the C-HR, comes in the eye-catching guise of a lime green version for summer, which has proved to be an instant sell-out.

The daring design and vivid two-tone colour scheme also gives an indication of the target audience of this hugely successful self-charging hybrid, which is very much aimed at younger buyers.

This is emphasised by the car’s nine-speaker JBL premium audio system plus a package of JBL goodies including sports and noise-cancelling headphones, waterproof wireless speaker, JBL VIP club membership and six months’ subscription to the Deezer music streaming service.

This is very much in line with the daring Lime Pearl and black bi-tone paint finish, which reinforces the car’s attitude of daring to be different in an extremely crowded sector of the market.

When the Nissan Juke was first revealed it was considered to have probably the most flamboyant styling of any such vehicle on the market, but is now eclipsed by the curvaceous C-HR.

Love it or hate it, the design is distinctive and embodies a thoroughly well engineered driver’s car that is also at the cutting edge of every aspect of practicality.

For one thing it features a truly impressive hybrid system using a combination of a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor.

Together they generate 120bhp of power for the front wheels, with the all-wheel-drive version being the traditional 1.2-litre petrol model.

Theoretically the hybrid can achieve economy nudging 60mpg, which with an automatic transmission system and the bonus of low CO2 emissions of 86g/km makes it an ideal commuter car.

The icing on the cake is the low company car tax liability thanks to the hybrid technology.

Despite the outrageous looks, sweeping curves and steeply sloping roof, the C-HR is surprisingly practical with adequate head room for adults in the back and plenty of equipment as standard.

This includes alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen, reversing camera, keyless entry and start, park assist and voice recognition, according to which model you choose.

Flagship versions even offer sophisticated safety systems such as blind spot monitor with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and LED lights.

Prices range from £22,470 to about £24,940 and all come with Toyota’s reassuring five-year warranty covering 100,000 miles.