This is a cross post for the review written on the new Toyota C-HR. The conclusion is to go for it as it is a really solid car, with a responsive engine, cornering is great and the best part is the head turning design.
Toyota C-HR Hybrid - stunning head turner & a very safe ride
April 24, 2017
I had the opportunity of driving MOTORLand's C-HR for a few days. I have to say, the size is perfect and I absolutely love the stares from people - kids and adults alike. My BFF, Pam, sitting next to me yesterday, suddenly exclaimed "oooh oooh wow..!". Trying to focus on the road, I asked, "why?". "That entire family at the junction had jaw-dropped look and were pointing at your car...!" she chuckled merrily.
Honestly, I was not surprised. Just driving a day, I already noticed motorists and pedestrians staring and some snapped photos of the car - getting me all self-conscious. Hilariously, Vezel drivers stare at the C-HR the most; especially during traffic stops. Considering how my friend Karen bitched about how people were trying to "grab" her Vezel as she zips around town, I think the Vezel has reached over-saturation in terms of its population in tiny Singapore and this is the right time for a new iconic car to hit town.
Coming back to the C-HR, here's the review of my actual experience:-
It's no denying the exterior curves are so sexy. Designed in a way to capture lighting from every angle, allowing the car to look shiny from every direction. Before I saw the car, I thought it looked a tad too masculine. However, I changed my mind when the car was right before my eyes. Unbelievable was my first thought. The utilitarian SUV (think family car) has been redesigned to look so sporty and coupe-like. The passenger doors are fashionably concealed (such is the trend...). The Toyota industrial designers have done a great job blending form and function so seamlessly. Judging from the Toyota ads, the C-HR is clearly targeted at style and trend conscious people.
It feels more responsive than Karen's Honda Vezel Hybrid. The take-off after a traffic stop is quick, a light step on the pedal edges the car forward. The car is optimised for the driver with a cockpit like design of all the bells and whistles of its functions surrounding the driver. I did not switch on eco mode and on normal driving, I was averaging 25km/l on regular roads and hit over 30km/l on highways. The official fuel economy according to Toyota is 30km per litre.
The In-Car System (a.k.a head unit)
I don't understand why it is called "head unit". Anyway, the head unit is a touch screen 7" multimedia system connects to my iphone wirelessly. I'm pretty impressed by the responsiveness of the mirrorlink whether its Google Maps, Youtube or phone. The reverse camera activates once the gear shifts into reverse. Toyota has done a nice job with C-HR because the entire in-car system is in English unlike other Japan domestic cars parallel imported cars.
The C-HR is nicely done up in soft German leather. The door and the roof interiors have the futuristic diamond shape design language. One almost gets the feeling of being inside a spaceship when seated inside the C-HR which is kind of cool.
Toyota Safety Sense
The radar and camera on the windscreen is like a protecting guardian angel in the car. The Lane Departure Alert kicked in when the car swerve near to lane markings on either sides of the road. When I changed lane suddenly without signalling (signalling is an indication to the car of lane change), the steering wheel stiffen (Steering Assist Function) and the car beeped - reminding me that I was going out of my lane. I find this a great feature for people like me who tend to forget to signal when changing lanes and this will be a lifesaving feature for long drives up north if the driver dozes off and steer out of his lane.
Dynamic Cruise Control is a common feature but C-HR has an additional stop-hold control
where if the car in front decreases speed or stop, the C-HR will stop as well. When the car in front start moving again, C-HR will start following again too.
C-HR gives auto a new meaning. In addition to auto gears, the auto headlights is a useful feature, there no more need to turn on or off headlights. Similarly once the car parks, the electronic brake activates automatically. When the car is in drive, the brake releases on its own.
The Car Body
Besides the strong lines and curves that gives the C-HR a such a commanding presence, the doors do feel very solid and heavy, a departure from the usual thin body perception of Japanese cars. The boot is very respectably spacious, with the ability to fit in both a 45" and a 22" cabin luggage together.
Overall, the C-HR is a good buy for anyone who loves style and function in a coupe SUV designed to stand out in the increasingly homogenous car market.
MOTORLand has a reputation of fast delivery due to its focus on only selling stock cars (these are inventory-on-hand that are already displayed in their showroom). It's entire sales process from booking to delivery can be as quick as a week, as most of their cars are already VAC/VITAS ready for immediate registration. Upon attainment of COE, they guarantee next day delivery.*
MOTORLand as of this article's publication time, is offering a free upgrade of Wireless Head Unit and Toyota USB charging port.** Please quote this article for your free upgrade.
*Subjected to COE bidding timing, bank approval, standard offerings, as additional requests will add long lead time to delivery
** While stocks last
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