Pricing has been set for the C-HR – and chic carries a higher cost than Toyota NZ had previously suggested.
SUGGESTION about the spunky-looking sub-compact C-HR crossover being priced to trigger a sticker stir within its sector does not seem to have been borne out.
The 1.2-litre model, which only officially launched on Saturday despite Toyota New Zealand having had stock in open use for several months, comes in identically-trimmed front and all-wheel-drive formats, both with a 85kW/185Nm turbo-petrol engine and constantly variable transmission, the first for $37,990 and the other at $39,990.
In an interview with MotoringNetwork in February, Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand general manager of sales, had suggested that the model would arrive for around $35,000. “It’ll be mid-$30s, that car,” he said then.
Ironically, the car arrives in the showroom on the same weekend that TNZ cemented price reduction for the Fortuner, which drops by up to $10,000, and the Hilux (by $4000) which it explained as being the result of a favourable currency conditions.
C-HR is Toyota’s only fully new release this year and arrive carrying high hopes, TNZ having recognised not only that the compact crossover market is a goldmine, having shown a threefold lift in sales in the last five years.
However, with 22 models now against 11 then, it is also a packed play zone.
As a late arrival, the Toyota will be up against the Mazda CX-3, Honda’s HR-V, the Nissan Juke and Qashqai, Holden’s refreshed Trax, the Mitsubishi ASX and Suzuki’ s Vitara. Some of those cars cost no more than C-HR and some are considerably cheaper.
C-HR presents further exposure to Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) that the maker assures is rigid enough to deliver on “the promise of advanced driving pleasure.”
Toyota says years were spent developing the driving performance and ride quality on some of the world’s most curvaceous and challenging roads, including the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
It also delivers an all-new turbocharged petrol engine, the smallest among the selection available to this car, though TNZ has previously insisted it will do the job, being is extra-peppy for its size, citing that peak torque avails from just 1500rpm all the way to 4000rpm.
The car adopts the Toyota Safety Sense suite of accident avoidance technology that TNZ hopes to implement throughout its model line.
TSS implements the autonomous emergency braking functionality that is now imperative to achieving a highest score in NCAP crash testing (C-HR has five stars) plus all-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam and a reversing camera.
The car also has blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, trailer sway control, seven airbags and a parking assist camera.
The NZ market specification does not appear to reach the same heights as the premium Koba specification offered in some other markets – there’s no leather trim or mention of heated seats.
Comfort features such as keyless entry and start, privacy glass, dual zone air conditioning and a 6.1-inch touchscreen display with sat nav apply. Both NZ models run with 225/50 tyres on 18-inch rims.
The chic interior design brings diamond-shaped switches that evoke the exterior styling, a theme that is also evident in the door trim panel, headliner and the analogue instrument dial needles.
Switchgear in the cabin is angled slightly towards the driver, according to Toyota, while an asymmetrical centre console design means controls are within relatively easy reach.
This is part of what the car-maker calls its ‘sensual touch’ interior design concept that combines “high-tech functionality with a sensual and fashionable style”.
Further flourishes in the cabin that could appeal to the younger professional types that TNZ has cited as particular target customers include the use of clear blue illumination for the instruments and switches as well as satin silver and piano black trim.