Toyota's radically-styled compact SUV is due in SA early next year.
Toyota's radically-styled compact SUV is due in SA early next year.

By: Denis Droppa

Kyalami - Toyota South Africa has confirmed that it will enter the compact SUV market early in 2017 with its C-HR crossover vehicle.

Slotting in under the Rav4 as the brand's rival to vehicles like the Nissan Qashqai, the Auris-sized C-HR (it stands for Compact High Rider) displays distinctive styling with a coupe-like roofline, hidden rear door handles, and sharp geometric curves reminiscent of cousin Lexus.

Not much technical detail was revealed at the car's "launch" at the SA Festival of Motoring (it was displayed only in hologram form), except that it's powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine, marking Toyota's long-awaited foray into force-fed petrol engines.

The four cylinder unit produces outputs of 84kW and 185Nm and it will be paired with either a manual or CVT transmission powering the front wheels.

Overseas the C-HR will be optionally available in all-wheel drive but it's not yet confirmed whether this version will come to SA.