This week I got to drive the updated Toyota C-HR through the incredible Western Cape. This review should be about the car, right? It will be, of sorts, but I also want to take a moment to mention the beauty that surrounds us in this beautiful part of our country.
SORRY FOR YOU GAUTENG
I know I will get hell for this, but I don’t care, because it is surely a fact that the Western Cape is the most beautiful part of South Africa. The roads alone make a good argument for this. We headed out to Bredasdorp in the C-HR for a quick bite before heading to Barrydale. The road between these two towns is like something out of a story book. The twisty turns, the trees, the fields, the farmhouses along the way. It is just a joy to drive. Side note: if you haven’t driven Tradouw Pass, you are seriously missing out on something quite spectacular.
After a night spent in Barrydale, we headed out to Calitzdorp along the famous R62. It is famous for a reason! Not just for Ronnie’s Sex Shop. But also for the landscape that spreads as far as the eye can see. I will be honest, this is not my favourite part of the country. I am not a fan of the Karoo’s landscape. I recently discovered that I suffer from a mild form of Agorophobia. It makes no sense to me either! But when I am in wide open spaces, like the Karoo, I feel claustrophobic and almost like I cannot breathe. And there are no trees!!!!! No shade!!!! No water!!! I cannot cope.
Thank goodness that you can turn toward Mossel Bay, and you’re a mere hour or so from my favourite part of the country, which is of course, the Garden Route. And because I have spoken about this area at length, I shall now move on to what this post should really be about, and that is the Toyota C-HR.
WHAT’S NEW ON THE C-HR?
Not much really. It has seen the slightest tweak here and there, for instance, on the front bumper. Standard and Plus models sport new headlamps and the fog lights have been repositioned. And then there is a little bit of new tech that has been added such as a new and larger infotainment system that offers the latest versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The range-topping model, the Luxury, gets the latest version of Toyota Safety Sense system, which includes blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assist, rear cross traffic alert, a pre-crash system, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.
What is very cool is that all C-HRs comes standard with Toyota Connect which includes a 15 GB data package. Yoh, I might have used all of it while my driving partner was behind the wheel because, for some reason, I still find WiFi in a car such a novelty. If you need to top up, the current prices sit at around R220 for 5GB etc.
DRIVING THE C-HR
It retains its 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 85 kW and 185 Nm. It is mated to either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission. We drove the CVT and what is noticeable is what a pleasure this car is to drive on long distances. I mean, we spent a LOT of time in this car. The ride is smooth and there is minimal road noise entering the cabin, which is important on road trips when you want to have a chat, you know?
It may be considered a cross over, but not only do you sit quite high, it is rather spacious. I want to call it a compact SUV rather. It does, in fairness, compete with the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke etc. It’s more about the design appeal with this car. Yes, I don’t feel it has been compromised elsewhere. Perhaps the boot.
SHOULD YOU BUY ONE?
This is a tricky question for the only reason that for the price, you could get yourself something far more practical and more spacious. But then, one just needs to ask oneself what it is they desire. Do you want stylish? Or do you want practical? The C-HR is not completely impractical, but I wouldn’t consider it for a family. It would suit a young, childless couple or someone who is single and isn’t in need of major boot space.
Either way, it is a great car to drive and one which I think, if fitting to your needs, will make you a happy customer. It does, after all, sport a Toyota badge, so you know it should be reliable. And you’ve got some peace of mind with a six-services /90 000 km service plan and a three-year/100 000 km warranty as standard.
PRICING OF THE UPDATED TOYOTA C-HR
Toyota C-HR 1.2T – R371 700
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Plus – R403 000
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Plus CVT – R415 100
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Luxury CVT – R476 600