Sprint Review: 2023 Toyota C-HR

I’ve typed it before and I’ll type it again: because it stuck out like a saw thumb, the futuristic C-HR is dragging the rest of its slab-sided Toyota silbings – kicking and screaming – into a new stylish design direction.

Photos: Toyota South Africa

You should know: This first generation debuted locally in 2017 and shares some of its underpinnings with the Lexus UX, Toyota Corolla and Corolla Cross. Other than giving Honda a mild aneurism about its name hyphenation, “C dash HR” apparently stands for Compact High Rider. Or Coupe High Rider. Or Cross Hatch Runabout.

More info: We only got this front-engined front-wheel-driven compact hatch-crosser with a 1.2L turbo-petrol four cylinder and either a six-speed manual gearbox or (as tested here) a CVT. Other markets got bigger engines, an electric motor and/or plug-in hybrid, or some other variations of that constantly varying transmission.

What else? The car you’re looking at now is one of the last face-lifted models of this generation, as an extremely angular (Lexus-like) gen-2 is already in the starting blocks. What engines, specs or trim that will have in our market will hopefully be revealed soon. One thing’s for sure though, it retains the almost shockingly great looks.

Why you shouldn’t: There are many reasons why some Namibians won’t buy a maroon metallic, screaming blue or deep purple cross-hatcher; most of which aren’t suitable for publication. You could also argue against the occasionally whiny drive-train, slightly snug seating positions and inferior warranty / service plan setup.

Why you should: Because it’s a Toyota, it has loads of modern safety and convenience gadgets, rides pretty well, offers decent performance and good fuel consumption from the 50L tank. Its price of R612,000 puts this above the German and Korean crowd but it counters that with striking looks and great specs… so it’s like a mini Lexus!


Engine: 1,197cc i-4 turbo-petrol  
Transmission: CVT, FWD  
Max. Power: 85kW @ 5,200rpm
Max. Torque: 185Nm @ 1,500rpm
Avg. cons.: Claimed 6.8L/100km
0-100km/h: Claimed 11.1 seconds  
Top Speed: Claimed 185km/h
List Price: R612,000

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