Back in the day when the round-shaped Opel Corsa was a big local hit, there was a joke doing the rounds.
It went like this: Why don’t they allow purple Corsas into the Kruger National Park? Because they arouse the tortoises.
The Midnight Purple offered on the updated Toyota C-HR is not quite as loud as those extravagant tortoise teasers were, but sexy nonetheless. Especially with the black roof in bi-tone configuration. And this striking new colour combination is a perfect fit for a car that represents the more expressive side of Toyota’s usual conservative design style.
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Toyota C-HR leads the way
The Toyota C-HR, which is short for Coupe/Compact High Rider, was first rolled out in 2016 and was the first of the Japanese carmaker’s products to be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture platform.
Following a few minor tweaks made to the range last month, we recently got to spend a week in the Toyota C-HR in flagship Luxury guise.
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Apart from new colour options, which also includes Eclipse Black and Fierce Red, the only other exterior change is new 18-inch rims which Toyota calls “directional” alloys. The Luxury also features Bi-LED headlamps with sequential turn signal operation, retractable side mirrors and the fog lamps with LED elements.
Inside the Toyota C-HR punches above its weight by virtue of elegant styling and quality finishing. It’s a classic case of it not only looking good, but feeling good too.
A host of creature comforts include partial leather seat trim, an 8-inch touchscreen six-speaker audio system with smartphone connectivity, Toyota Connect with 15GB onboard Wi-Fi allocation and 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights.
While there is adequate head and legroom for passengers in the rear, boot space is not great at 234 litres.
The C-HR is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that is mated to CVT and sends 85 kW of power and 185 Nm of torque to the front wheels. Similar that the Corolla Hatch, which features the same engine/transmission combination, this is one CVT that doesn’t warrant the usual expletives from motoring reporters. It behaves well under acceleration and chances are that you will get through a day in normal city traffic without even realising you are dealing with a CVT.
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We also got close to Toyota’s fuel consumption claim of 6.4 litres per 100 km by achieving 6.8 L/100 km over the course of the week.
The C-HR Luxury comes standard with the comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense package. This includes Pre-Collision System, Auto High Beam, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Departure Alert with Lane Trace functionality.
These features are in addition to front driver and passenger, side, curtain and driver-knee airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Assist Control, Trailer Sway Control and Park Distance Control.
At R554 500 the Toyota C-HR Luxury is not cheap and there is no hiding from the fact that its practicality is limited compared to the more traditional products in its stable. But the whole philosophy behind this crossover SUV is that it is not aimed at buyers looking for practicality, but those that don’t want to be boxed in.
How times have changed. The very same carmaker that built your grandfather’s “hearing aid beige” match-box sedan back in the 1970s is now offering funky purple rides. And better yet, you can bet your bottom dollar in all the C-HR’s splendid hipness, it will be as reliable as your oupa’s Corolla was.
The Toyota C-HR Luxury is sold standard with a six-services/90 000 km service plan and three-year/100 000 km warranty.
For more information on the Toyota C-HR, visit the manufacturer’s website.