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Toyota’s C-HR to be offered in two grades

Crossing over: The Toyota C-HR will be offered in Active and Koba model grades, the latter of which is a tribute to the car’s global chief engineer, Hiroyuki Koba.

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Toyota logo14 Sep 2016

By TIM NICHOLSON

UPDATED: 14/09/2016 3:00PMTOYOTA’S all-important Mazda CX-3-rivalling C-HR crossover will hit Australian shores in the first quarter of next year in two variant grades, the company has revealed.

The Japanese car-maker has released a series Australian-spec car images, whetting the appetite of potential buyers ahead of its showroom debut.

Revealed in production form at the Geneva motor show in March this year, the C-HR will be built on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) that underpins the new Prius and will be rolled out for other future models including the next-gen Corolla.

Toyota says “the promise of advanced driving pleasure” shown by the striking design will be delivered by the new “highly rigid platform” as well as the all-new 85kW/185Nm 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, that will drive either the front or all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual.

It will arrive late to the sub-compact SUV party in Australia and will face strong competition in the burgeoning segment, from the CX-3, Honda’s HR-V, the Nissan Juke and Qashqai, Holden’s refreshed Trax, the Mitsubishi ASX and Suzuki’s Vitara.

Toyota has confirmed two grades for the C-HR in Australia, kicking off with a base variant that will simply be dubbed C-HR, while the higher-spec grade will be called Koba, which is a tribute to the vehicle’s global chief engineer, Hiroyuki Koba.

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the C-HR blurs the line between SUV and sporty hatchback, which should ensure broad appeal for local buyers.

“C-HR is a car for people who want something special – those who desire the innovative dynamism and emotional appeal that a traditional SUV cannot offer,” he said.

“C-HR advances the very definition of SUV by emphasising the ‘S’ that stands for ‘sport’ and ‘style’.

“It has four doors and a hatch, but it’s not a hatchback it’s compact while having a large interior and room for five it has a high driving position, yet it’s not a boxy off-roader.

“Not only does the C-HR always look like it’s on the move, the new platform and turbocharged petrol engine ensure it delivers an agile driving feel.”

Toyota says potential buyers can head to their nearest dealership and use the latest technology to configure their car down to the colour, from a palette of eight hues.

While pricing and full specifications will be kept under wraps until closer to the Q1 launch, Toyota says the C-HR will be fitted with advanced safety features such as a pre-collision system with autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control, a lane departure alert with steering control, auto high beam headlights and a reversing camera.

Koba variants gain comfort features such as heated seats, keyless entry and start, privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Other interior features include a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, a two-tiered front seat design, diamond-shaped switches that evoke the exterior styling, a theme that is also evident in the door trim panel, headliner and the analogue instrument dial needles.

Switchgear in the cabin is angled slightly towards the driver, according to Toyota, while an asymmetrical centre console design means controls are within relatively easy reach.

This is part of what the car-maker calls its ‘sensual touch’ interior design concept that combines “high-tech functionality with a sensual and fashionable style”.

Further flourishes in the cabin that could appeal to younger buyers include the use of clear blue illumination for the instruments and switches as well as satin silver and piano black trim.

Toyota has not had an entrant in the small SUV segment since the first two generations of the RAV4, which has since increased in size and now competes in the mid-size segment against the likes of the Mazda CX-5.

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