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The brand new Toyota C-HR small crossover launched in Australia today, with the express mission of “disrupting” a segment led by the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V despite severely restricted supply out of Japan.

Aggressively styled, turbocharged and spun-off Toyota’s more dynamically engaging new architecture, the C-HR is a case of ‘better late than never’ for Australia’s biggest brand.

Global demand well above supply means the Japanese factory is maxing out, limiting Australia’s supply to 6000 units this year — about one-third of what the CX-3 will manage.

2017 Toyota C-HR Koba in Electric Teal with optional white roof

This has led Toyota Australia to limit the C-HR range to two variants, both well-specified with ample active safety technologies and pitched upmarket. There’s no $20k base variant here. However, two- and all-wheel drive, plus manual and automatic transmissions, will be offered.

The price kicks off at $26,990 plus on-road costs for the base manual. A CVT auto adds $2000, as does the CVT-only AWD system. Stepping up to the Koba spec level adds $4300. This means the Koba AWD CVT tops out at $35,290, and is expected to account for about half of C-HR sales.

Toyota says that 83 per cent of petrol-powered small crossovers sold in Australia last year were level-two specification or above (meaning above the base variant such as the CX-3 Neo and HR-V VTi), justifying its decision to focus at this end of the segment.

2017 Toyota C-HR

Reflecting the C-HR’s younger-buyer focus, it also has a plethora of accessories (pictured below in red), second only to HiLux, and eight colours with the option of a contrasting roof for $450. It’s also the first Toyota to get five years of capped-price servicing, with superior new 12-month/15,000km intervals, at $195 a pop.

So, what’s under that aggressive and polarising — high-shouldered, concave and angular — skin?

Power comes from a new 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 85kW of power and 185Nm of torque from 1500rpm. It features direct-injection, an exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder-head and advanced heat management, including a water-cooled turbo and intercooler. 

2017 Toyota C-HR with Toyota Genuine Accessories

Gearboxes are a six-speed manual with rev-matching, or a CVT with stepped ratios for $2000. The front-biased on-demand AWD is auto-only and a $2000 option. Fuel use is from 6.3L/100km on 95 RON.

Toyota’s rigid and light new TNGA platform that premiered on the new Prius gets its first use in a crossover model. This is the reason for the delayed launch, given development started in 2010. Toyota opted to hold this development until it had the new architecture ready.

Up front is MacPherson strut front suspension while at the rear is a double-wishbone setup, while the turning circle is 10.4m. 

2017 Toyota C-HR

2017 Toyota C-HR Koba

Despite the aggressive looks, the C-HR isn’t tiny. It’s bigger than a Suzuki Vitara and even a Corolla, similar to the Nissan Qashqai, and about the same as the previous-generation RAV4. Dimensions are 4360mm long, 1795mm wide, 1565mm high and has a 2640mm wheelbase.

Interior space is similar to Corolla, offering 377 litres of luggage space along with a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. It’s no HR-V, but it’s not as impractical as its looks suggest. 

Keep an eye out for our 2017 Toyota C-HR review, coming soon.

2017 Toyota C-HR with Toyota Genuine Accessories

Pricing (plus on-road costs)

C-HR 2WD manual $26,990
C-HR 2WD CVT $28,990
C-HR AWD CVT $30,990

C-HR Koba 2WD CVT $33,290
C-HR Koba AWD CVT $35,290

 

Specifications

C-HR FWD manual

  • Switchable intelligent driving modes
  • Pre-collision safety system
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Active cruise control
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist
  • Sway warning system
  • Blind-spot monitor
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear-view camera
  • Seven airbags, including driver’s knee airbag
  • Trailer sway control
  • Hill-start assist control
  • Parking sensors
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Halogen projector-type headlamps
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Roof-mounted spoiler
  • Satellite-navigation
  • SUNA Live Traffic
  • Dual-zone automatic air-conditioning
  • 6.1-inch display audio with six speakers
  • AM/FM radio, CD player, USB and AUX input
  • Bluetooth
  • Speech commands
  • 4.2-inch colour multi-information display
  • Tilt and telescopic steering column adjustment
  • Electronic park brake
  • 60/40 split-fold rear seat
  • Auto power windows (all doors)
  • Power folding heated exterior mirrors
  • Auto-dimming interior mirror
  • Fabric front seats with six-way manual adjustment
  • “C-HR” puddle lamp
  • 12V/120W power socket (centre console)

C-HR FWD CVT

  • Multidrive S continuously variable transmission
  • Seven-speed sequential shift
  • All-speed active cruise control

C-HR AWD CVT (in addition to FWD CVT features)

  • Dynamic torque control part-time AWD system

C-HR Koba spec FWD & AWD CVT (in addition to standard C-HR features)

  • Keyless entry and start
  • LED headlights
  • LED rear combination lights
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated, leather-accented seats
  • Power lumbar adjustment (driver’s seat)
  • Nano-e air purifying
  • Side and rear privacy glass
  • Illuminated driver and front-passenger sun visors
  • Illuminated door trim
  • $450 white or black two-tone roof option (with selected exterior colours)

MORE: C-HR news, reviews, comparisons and videos
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