Derry Journal Motoring: Toyota C-HR word premiere

Toyota has launched its second generation C-HR mid-sized SUV to follow in the iconic footsteps of its predecessor. The original car was launched in 2017, its dramatic styling accounting for 60% conquest sales as it teased customers away from the less exciting looks of the competition. The eye catching lines of the original are subtly developed in this second generation model, described by the head of engineering as a ‘Concept car for the roads’.
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The new car is very much a European model, designed, developed and built in Europe. And to confirm its European pedigree, the world launch of the car was also in Europe.

Size-wise, the new model stays close to the original dimensions, and in terms of styling, the body is a smooth evolution easing into a more mature form but retaining its dramatic silhouette. In the first year ‘Premier Edition’ and in the ‘GR Sport’ trims, the dark roof panel is continued into an encompassing two-tone highlight across the rear panels.

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Power choice comes from the hybrid supported 1.8 and 2.0 litre petrol engines with a 2.0 litre plug-in hybrid available later. The drive package is the fifth generation of Toyota’s hybrid electric technology with both engines providing increased power and lower emissions. The 1.8 litre hybrid develops 138bhp while the 2.0 litre is rated at 193bhp with respective torque values of 185Nm and 206Nm. Standard figures give the 1.8 litre a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds while the 2.0 litre, weighing just 25 km more returns 8.1 seconds for the initial sprint. Both versions drive though Toyota’s trusted CVT transmission with no steering paddle options to lock on specific ratios.

Toyota C-HR.Toyota C-HR.
Toyota C-HR.

Power delivery is quiet and smooth in relaxed driving with the 1.8 offering a more restrained gear response under sharper throttle application than the 2.0 litre. However, both versions handled well on the demanding roads at their launch maintaining a comfortable attitude through corners. Steering provides accurate response adding to cornering confidence. In the higher trim of the launch vehicles a head-up display carried speed and sat nav information while front and rear sensors with rear view camera aid low speed manoeuvring. The rear view mirror provides reasonable information through the coupé angled rear window and is switchable between normal view or wider screen camera view.

Instrument presentation is presented in clear analogue form, while the 12.3 inch infotainment screen sits neatly above the manual air con controls.

The second generation model is available in four grades with a comprehensive ADAS driver support package standard across the range as well as blind spot monitor, safe exit assist and hill-start assist. All models have over the air multimedia and safety system software updates which can be downloaded without visiting a dealership.

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With regards to running costs, the official combined fuel consumptions are given as 60.10 mpg for the 1.8 model and 57.65 mpg for the 2.0 litre. Dealer demonstrators will be available in December with customer deliveries from January 2024. The range opens with the Icon specification at £31,290 extending through to the GR Sport at £40,645. The Premiere Edition, available for the first year is priced at £42,720. Subject to servicing conditions, Toyota warranty can run at no extra cost up to ten years / 100,000 miles.

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