Sharp looks and a

great car to drive

Toyota C-HR, dynamic
Toyota C-HR, front quarter 2
Toyota C-HR, front quarter
Toyota CH-R
Toyota C-HR, side
Toyota C-HR, rear
Toyota C-HR, interior

I WAITED quite a long time to get my hands on Toyota's latest smaller coupe crossover the C-HR but it was well worth the wait.

Coupe crossovers have been around in larger sizes - think BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE - for a few years, but all the smaller and medium offerings are more family orientated estates apart from the Nissan Juke and its styling and size are not to everyone's taste.

Enter the funky and angular C-HR, which was developed specifically for the European market and comes with sharp and swooping lines more akin to a concept car than a production reality.

I covered more than 300 miles over all kinds of roads when I drove the 1.2 turbo petrol, and from what I can gather this is the one to buy if you enjoy your driving.

The other offering is a hybrid with the same petrol/electric/automatic powertrain as the Prius, so it is going to be cheaper to run and better for company car drivers.

Some models - all with the same CVT automatic - are available with four wheel drive, but I drove the two-wheel-drive (2WD) model.

Strangely, there are no diesels in the range and none are planned, which seems a little like Toyota shooting themselves in the foot.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 1.2 turbo, which produces 113bhp and drives through a clever six-speed manual gearbox.

There is decent power for overtaking when needed, but you do have to use the revs and this hits economy. I got a real 40mpg during the time I had it.

Pushing the engine to higher revs is not hard as it sounds good and is very smooth.

It has decent low speed pulling power, but the long sixthgear is not good for much under 35 miles an hour.

The gearbox, which Toyota calls an Intelligent Manual Transmission (IMT), brilliantly matches engine revs whenever you change gear to make both up or downshifts smoother.

And it also increases engine power when moving away from a standstill for the same reason. Both work very well indeed.

This is a new breed of Toyota that is much better to drive, just as the company intended. The suspension gives a comfortable ride over most surfaces, but it also takes sharp changes of direction in its stride.

The steering is a little lacking in feedback, but it still feels positive and direct through the corners, instilling confidence in the driver.

An excellent driving position and supportive seat meant I was comfortable over a 120 mile trip on motorways and every other conceivable type of road, right down to the narrowest of lanes.

Rear space is a little tight, but there is room for two adults or large children and the boot is also a decent size. However, the hatch is very heavy and really needs stronger gas struts to make it easier.

Equipment in the Dynamic Leather model I drove includes climate, sat nav, alloys, Touch 2 infotainment system, rain sensing wipers and an auto dimming rearview mirror that worked better than many others.

FAST FACTS

Price: £27,100

Mechanical: 113bhp, 1,197cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 11 seconds

Combined MPG: 47

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 136g/km

Bik rating: 26%

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles

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