For the Thrill of Next: Toyota C-HR AWD Koba Review

With Compact SUVs so hot right now, Toyota joins the party with this head-turning piece of automotive fun.

C-HR is a completely new addition to the otherwise solid line of cars Toyota has on offer. However, the C-HR is a completely different offering and I’ll explain why.

I had a play with the C-HR for a day, and I was definitely surprised at what I was dealing with. For a bit of context, I myself am a Toyota owner. I bought a Toyota Yaris back in my early University years- when I realised that although I loved the idea of a European car- my bank account strongly disagreed with me.

My thoughts on the Toyota brand are: quality, lasting, reliable, affordable. I put a lot of thought into buying my first, new car because I really wanted to make sure I got what I was paying for, and that I could keep affording it- even in tough financial times.

Now, in a marginally better financial frame, upsizing my car definitely is an option.

The first thing that strikes me about the C-HR is the design. The shape and the curves of the vehicle are one to catch the eye- and in a good way. It is a beautiful looking car!

I had a few colour choices to choose from for my review, but for me the white body paint and black roof was the one I really wanted. If I’m going to review a car, I might as well review a car that I WANT to be seen in. And that I did.

My favourite aspects of the car include its technology (that’s a given), design and practicality.

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TECHNOLOGY

For the C-HR AWD KOBA grade, the following is included:

  • 1.2L Turbo Engine
  • 7-Speed CVT
  • 18” Machined Finish Alloy Wheels
  • Satellite Navigation and Reversing Camera
  • Smart Entry and Start System
  • NanoeTM Air purifying technology
  • Toyota Safety Sense+ including Pre-Collision Safety System, Active Cruise Control,
  • Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beam
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert
  • Leather Accented Heated Front Seats with 60:40 Split Fold Rear Seats
  • Optional Black or White roof available on selected vehicle colour

Of these features, I particularly appreciated the Entry/Start System and Safety. One of the biggest things about technology is that it is there to help improve our lives. In cars, this is a massive deal because they help us get from A-B, safely and comfortably.

Smart Entry (otherwise known as keyless entry) & Start System is great! Gone are the days of missing the keyhole, and scratching the heck out of your steering wheel/ignition (it’s so easy to miss that hole!) Plus, me being me, I tend to be carrying a lot of bags wherever I go- laptop bag, backpack, handbag…Being able to walk up to the car, without having to grab the keys out of my bag and fumble around- put everything down- I can quickly access the vehicle and get going.

We got to test this, as the day we had the car, it was miserable weather in Melbourne, so when we wanted to get in the car- we wanted to get in QUICK. This was no problem, as long as the keys were close to my body (e.g. in my bag or pocket), I just grabbed the door handle and the car magically unlocks. Similar function with the Start System- keys must be in the vehicle, as close enough to the driver or passenger seats to be recognised, and then you’re off!

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Safety

I get excited about safety features, but honestly, they are the most important thing to me when I’m driving cars. For a person who spends arguably a large majority of her time behind the wheel- you really value it.

With traffic getting worse and worse, safety features are needed more than ever. You just never know what might happen, and being alert and ready can never be underestimated- sometimes accidents happen so it’s important to make sure you have yourself covered.

The C-HR AWD Koba comes with Toyota Safety Sense+, including Pre-Collision Safety System, Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams, and Blind Spot Monitor and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert. (This is a very competitive safety package offering, compared to other compact SUVs in the market).

All super helpful features, but to put it into perspective, you can never be too prepared. These features give you peace of mind, because sometimes accidents do happen.

As someone who frequently road trips and lives far away enough from the CBD, the average drive for me is just over an hour- to get anywhere. PLUS, throw in some road trips and that’s even more time spent on the road. Toyota Safety Sense combines a few nifty features such as a reminder to take a coffee/pit stop.  This shows up in your instrument cluster- which you can scroll across to. It has a countdown that you can set and change to make sure you get the most out of your trips and of course make it safely. This feature is one of my favourites because I love to drive and I’ll admit, I do forget to take regular breaks. It makes it more of a habit, and of course encourages safer driving and limits your fatigue on the roads.

The ‘Driver- Focused Cockpit’ or Instrument Cluster, is much more refined and immersive in the C-HR. It gives you maps, safety, media, speed, car status and anything that you’d really need to know in the forefront of your driving experience (which is also part of the design below).

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DESIGN

This is something I’ve grown to appreciate as I have become an adult.  I love architecture and art.

The design of this car is one that surprises you. It’s very sleek and striking. I like how fierce it looks, but at the same time looks very nimble. The car is very customisable, meaning you can really make it your own. I was lucky enough to drive the EXACT one I would buy. The Ink Black Roof contrasted with the Pearl White Body is magnificent and one sure to catch the eye. Of course, there are plenty of other colour combinations, but this one is by far my favourite.

The design doesn’t just stop with the exterior. Inside, you’re greeted to a warm environment. The seats are super comfy, and the dash is something a little bit different to what Toyota has done in the past.

I personally like the sleek dash line, and shape of the vehicle. Especially given the vehicle design was based on the cut of a diamond.   The interior has more of a premium luxurious feel- much like  Toyota’s sister brand, Lexus. This, in my opinion, is not a bad thing at all. I prefer my cars to have a more premium feel outside and in. When you’re spending the $$$$’s you do on a car, you want to make sure you’re really getting bang for your buck. The interior does this car justice.

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PRACTICALITY

Whenever I am looking at cars, I want to see how it will fit in my lifestyle. As someone who really appreciates the function of cars- and loves driving them. This is where I have the most fun. Being a suburban girl, I also really enjoy the city. My photographer and I decided to see how it handled in the urban space- and by that, I mean, narrow alleyways and city traffic. This meant we really put the turning circle to the test, and with ease. For example, we drove down some pretty questionable alleyways, ones that even my photographer turned and said, ‘I don’t think you are going to make it…?’ Of course, I knew I was going to, and the look on his face was priceless.

Don’t let the fact that this is an SUV fool you. This car is built for the city just as much as it’s built to handle your road trips. The engineers have really made sure that the car gives it enough power and kick, for whatever your needs may be.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a compact SUV that is both trendy, and built to handle wherever life may take you, I recommend checking out the Toyota C-HR. Prices starting from just $26,990 (plus on road costs).

The C-HR may be a head turner, but offers more than just looks.

For more details on the specifications of the car I drove, check out Toyota C-HR KOBA AWD. For more customisation options check out Toyota C-HR.

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#ForTheThrillOfNext #CHR

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