At a time when the round-shaped Opel Corsa was a big local hit, there was a detour joke.

It was like this: Why don’t they let purple Corsairs into the Kruger National Park? Because they excite the turtle.

Midnight Purple, offered on the facelifted Toyota C-HR, isn’t as loud as those extravagant turtle teasers, but it’s sexy nonetheless. Especially with the black roof in the two-tone configuration. And this bright new color combination is perfect for a car that represents the sharper side of Toyota’s usual conservative design style.

The Toyota C-HR leads the way

The Toyota C-HR, which stands for Coupe/Compact High Rider, was first launched in 2016 and was the first product from the Japanese automaker to be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture platform.

Following a few minor tweaks to the range last month, we recently spent a week in the Toyota C-HR in flagship luxury guise.

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Aside from the new color options, which also include Eclipse Black and Fierce Red, the only other exterior change is new 18-inch wheels, which Toyota calls “directional” alloy wheels. The Luxury also features Bi-LED headlights with sequential turn signals, retractable side mirrors and fog lights with LED elements.

The Toyota C-HR rides on 18-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the Toyota C-HR punches above its weight with elegant styling and quality finishes. It’s a classic case of not only looking good, but also feeling good.

A host of amenities include partial leather seating, an 8-inch touchscreen with six speakers and smartphone connectivity, Toyota Connect with 15GB of built-in Wi-Fi and a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument cluster, dual-zone climate control, wipers with rain and automatic headlights.

Despite the fact that there is enough room for the head and legs of passengers in the back, the volume of the trunk is not large – 234 liters.

Familiar transmission

The C-HR is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine which is mated to a CVT and sends 85kW of power and 185Nm of torque to the front wheels. Similar to the Corolla Hatch, which shares the same engine/transmission combo, this is one CVT that doesn’t require the usual swearing from automotive reporters. It’s well-behaved under acceleration, and chances are you’ll get through the day in regular city traffic without even realizing you’re dealing with a CVT.

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We also came close to Toyota’s claimed fuel consumption of 6.4L/100km, achieving 6.8L/100km for the week.

The C-HR Luxury comes standard with the comprehensive Toyota Safety Sense package. These include collision avoidance, automatic high beams, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning with Lane Trace.

These features are in addition to driver and passenger front airbags, side, curtain and knee airbags, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Assist, Trailer Sway Control and Park Distance Control.

Toyota C-HR
The salon is elegantly decorated.

Conclusion

At R554,500, the Toyota C-HR Luxury doesn’t come cheap, and there’s no denying that its practicality is limited compared to the more traditional products in its stable. But the whole philosophy of this crossover SUV is that it is aimed not at buyers looking for practicality, but at those who do not want to be in the back.

How times have changed. The same automaker that built your grandfather’s “beige hearing aid” matchbox sedan in the 1970s now offers funky purple rides. And what’s even better, you can place your down payment on the C-HR in all its gorgeous elegance, it’ll be as reliable as yours down There was a wreath.

The Toyota C-HR Luxury is sold as standard with a service plan of six services/90,000km and a three-year/100,000km warranty.

For more information on the Toyota C-HR, visit the manufacturer’s website.

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