TOYOTA? Oh, they are a bit boring aren't they? said a friend when discussing the latest car.
But when I showed him what Toyota had delivered his face was a study in disbelief.
Of course, the car could only be the Toyota C-HR, a model that has given the crossover market a rocket-assisted boost is pure style and youthful zest.
Toyota modestly says that this model is a fresh take on the crossover theme but in my view the company has created an icon that will be talked about for years.
The C-HR maintains the marque's enviable reputation for fine build quality and reliability and cloaks it all in the sort of styling you only see on concept cars.
Toyota has, in the past majored on conservatively styled vehicles like the RAV4 in the SUV sector, but when the crossover market kicked into hyperdrive the company's new global architecture platform was wheeled in to be the underpinnings of a model that was out to upstage cars like the Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Mokka and the Renault Kadjar.
Its futuristic looks, with bulged wheel arches and astonishing blade lines, tucks and curves deny the fact that this is really a practical five-door. You would never believe it at first glance, but rear passenger do have excellent access with handles hidden in the top rear corners of the doors.
This particular car was one of the mainstream choices, a 1.2-litre petrol turbo with all-wheel-drive via CVT automatic transmission.
This model has an all-singing and all-dancing approach to everyday driving with its over-the-top looks balanced by warm-hatch performance, a commanding driving position and all-weather road grip.
The choice of engine underlines the fact that petrol power is back in a big way. With 111mph on tap plus a 0-62mph sprint time of 11.4 seconds, this C-HR is no slouch and economy gets a yes with a combined figure of 44.8mpg. Not bad for a petrol all-wheel-drive crossover.
The car's name, C-HR stands for Coupe High Rider and it certainly lives up towhat it says on the tinwith excellent visibility all round despite the swooping low rear roof line.
As you would expect, this is no cheapie at £27,995 and this is reflected in the use of high quality materials in the cabin and exceptional equipment such as an eight-inch infotainment screen and sat nav, and premium touches such asfillets of blue aluminium on the door panels and dash.