The striking new Toyota C-HR is due in SA early next year.
The striking new Toyota C-HR is due in SA early next year.

IOL Motoring Staff

Toyota has hinted at the local pricing of its snazzy new C-HR compact crossover ahead of its launch in South Africa in March next year.

The C-HR will be sold with a 1.2-litre turbopetrol engine with outputs of 84kW and 185Nm and paired with either a manual or CVT transmission powering the front wheels. Overseas the C-HR will be optionally available with all-wheel drive but this version is not yet confirmed for SA.

These gearbox options coupled with various trim levels will provisionally price the C-HR from around R320 000 to R350 000, although this could change between now and launch.

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

Our correspondent Andrew Leopold is attending the car's international media launch in Madrid, Spain at the moment, and had this to say:

"Angular, sporty styling is what initially sets C-HR apart from the crowd with deceptively spacious proportions targeted at young families.

"Funky, youthful finishes and an excellent touch-screen complement an uncluttered interior with many soft touches. It has an excellent driving position but space in the back can seem cramped, not helped by the small rear windows.

"Power is adequate but can't quite deliver on the exterior's promise. Sedate, predictable road manners with light steering instantly makes this package a natural progression from a small city car."

The local features list has yet to be confirmed, but overseas models come standard with a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering control and automatic high beams.

Higher grade versions offer heated seats, a smart entry system, partial leather trim, intelligent parking assist, 18 inch alloys, two-tone metallic paint and an eight-channel premium audio system designed for this car by JBL.

Watch out for a full driving impression coming soon.