Toyota CH-R Comparison
RE-DEFINING THE CROSS-OVER
The small SUV segment represents the fastest growing ‘group’ on the South African passenger vehicle landscape. A unique characteristic of this segment is the variety and diversity of models. This led to the birth of the ‘cross-over’ – a modern fusion of hatchback and SUV, fusing the best attributes of each, to create a vehicle which perfectly fits the modern urban lifestyle.
Designed to stand out both within the Toyota line-up and in its segment, the all-new C-HR – or Coupe High-Rider – represents Akio Toyoda’s determination to allow greater stylistic freedom and promote engineering creativity in order to achieve eye-catching designs and enhanced driving pleasure.
FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY
The Toyota C-HR remains remarkably true to the features of the concept-cars that attracted so much public attention in Paris in 2014 and in Frankfurt in 2015. Its coupe-like lines are a testimony to the resolve of its designers to create a style that stands out in the Toyota range, and to establish a new direction amongst mid-sized crossovers.
With the C-HR, Toyota targets a clear and singular customer profile (identified as Millenials). Predominantly driven by emotional considerations, these customers want individuality, and to be the first to try new experiences and products. Style and quality are essential considerations in any purchase they make, and the car is an extension of their personality.
Inspired by what he learned from meeting with these customers, C-HR Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba focused persistently on their requirements throughout the development process, setting high demands for design and perceived quality.
The Toyota C-HR’s unique character demonstrates the flexibility that the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) gives to vehicle developers in the three key areas of design, powertrain and dynamics, enabling them to deliver a new and fresh take on the increasingly commoditised crossover segment.
“With its striking, in-your-face design, careful attention to detail and punchy 1.2 litre turbo engine, we believe the C-HR delivers the perfect package for image conscious urbanites. Further setting C-HR apart is its fun-to-drive character which rewards the spirited driver.” says Glenn Crompton, Vice-President of Marketing at Toyota South Africa.
A NEW DESIGN DIRECTION FOR THE CROSSOVER SEGMENT
The all-new Toyota C-HR introduces distinctive styling that brings newfound dynamism and sensuality to the crossover market, combining a coupe-like upper body with the powerful underpinnings of an SUV.
Under the concept of “Sensual Speed-Cross”, and featuring a diamond architectural theme with wheel arches projecting prominently at all four corners to emphasise the new crossover’s strength and rigidity, the C-HR modulated structure combines a powerful lower body and raised ground clearance with the slim and sleek cabin profile of a coupe.
Viewed from any angle, the C-HR’s combination of facetted gemstone-like shapes with fluid surfaces and elegantly integrated detailing create a delicate balance of precision and sensuality.
The front represents a further development of Toyota’s signature design identity. The slender upper grille flows from the Toyota badge into the sleek, aggressive wing extremities of the headlamp clusters and wraps fully around the front corners of the vehicle. The striking headlamps also house LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) in a prism shape.
The movement of the blacked-out rocker panel towards the front and rear wheels, along with the shoulder axis that runs through to the front and rear, emphasise the flowing geometric design.
The C-HR’s coupe-like styling is further enhanced by disguised rear door handles integrated within the C pillar and, essential to the representation of speed within the design, the powerful projection of the sweeping roofline into a large, highly aerodynamic, skeletal frame rear spoiler.
To the rear, the strongly tapered cabin integrates a top-hinged tailgate giving easy access to the load-space. This contrasts with the pronounced flaring of the wheel arches, which give the new crossover a wide and extremely powerful stance.
Standing proud of the tapering body work, prominent rear light clusters give the rear view of the C-HR an equally expressive visual signature.
SOPHISTICATED INTERIOR DESIGN WITH OUTSTANDING SENSORY QUALITY
A new departure for Toyota, the interior styling represents a new ‘Sensual Tech’ design concept combining high-tech functionality with a sensual and fashionable style. It embodies a driver-focused area within an airy, expansive cabin space.
The warm, welcoming ambience of an airy, expansive cabin space was created by the seamless layered architecture of the instrument panel that continues through to the door trim with a stylish ornamentation and a piano black panel. It offers a contrast between sensual surfacing and crisp lines to deliver a fresh, yet comfortable environment.
The driver oriented area incorporates innovative details and intuitive, approachable high technology. All operating switchgear, and a display audio touch-screen are slightly angled towards the driver.
In conjunction with the asymmetrical centre console design, this brings all controls within easy reach of the driver, whilst still allowing front passenger access to the relevant switchgear. Because the touch-screen stands proud of the instrument panel rather than being enclosed by it, the upper dashboard is considerably lower in depth, further helping driver visibility.
A unique new two-tiered front seat design combines a slender, sporting upper section (inspired by the ‘bucket’ design of old) with a more strongly bolstered and supportive lower area.
Targeting class-leading sensory quality (SQ), and knowing that C-HR customers will also have competitors from premium brands on their shopping list, the C-HR interior represents the earliest involvement yet of Toyota’s European SQ team in the design process.
Working closely with the headquarters design team to maintain the original interior styling concept, the SQ team have focused painstakingly on component quality, and the consistency of grain, texture, shape, colour and illumination in every element, even the stitch groove radii of the seats.
Reinforcing the link between interior and exterior design, many switches use a similar shape, reflecting the diamond motif of the exterior body shell. The same diamond theme is also visible in the door trim pattern, the headliner and even the needles of the driver’s analogue instrument dials.
A carefully considered choice of finishes is essential to the harmonious, consistent, one-piece look of the new interior. Decorative elements are finished in high quality piano black - with embedded metallic ‘flake’ - and satin silver trim, whilst the clear blue instrument and switchgear illumination has been carefully fine-tuned to ensure consistency of hue, even on adjacent reflective surfaces of differing colours.
The interior textiles are fashioned in a durable black hue, with a sporty dimension being added by the complimentary dark headliner. On a tactile front, the Plus models feature a soft-touch leather steering wheel with outstanding feel.
1.2 TURBO ENGINE DELIVERS EFFORTLESS PROPULSION
The Toyota C-HR is the first model locally utilise Toyota’s advanced new 1.2 litre turbo engine. The 1.2T engine uses advanced technologies that allow the engine to change from the Otto-cycle to the Atkinson cycle under low loads, it has vertical vortex high tumble air flow intake ports, an exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder-head and advanced heat management.
To this, the 1.2T adds a direct injection system, as well as a water-cooled turbo and heat-exchanger. Furthermore, the VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing – intelligent) has been upgraded to a VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing - intelligent Wide) system, which allows even more flexibility in the valve-timing.
The combination of these technologies results in outstanding performance and efficiency. For a displacement of 1,197cm3, the engine delivers 85kW and a constant torque curve of 185 Nm between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm. It will push the Toyota C-HR from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds and the top speed is set at 190 km/h. All of this is achieved despite a strong focus on fuel consumption and CO2 – the manual car achieves 6.3 l/100 km on the combined cycle, and delivers just 141g/km of CO2. CVT models deliver 6.4 l/100 km and produce 144 g/km.
TURN THE HEAT UP
The key to achieving outstanding fuel consumption without compromising performance is to apply a higher compression ratio. But generally, as the compression ratio increases, so does the risk of uncontrolled combustion, also known as knocking.
The 1.2T’s high compression ratio of 10:1 was made possible thanks to the adoption of a series of key technologies that improve control over the combustion process.
First of all, the intake ports have been designed to generate a more intense flow and a ‘vertical vortex’, whilst the shape of the piston has been optimized to improve in-cylinder turbulence. As a result, fuel and intake air amalgamation is improved, and a more homogeneous mixture is formed. This leads to a higher combustion speed – which helps prevent the aforementioned knocking.
Advanced heat-management is in itself a great way to improve fuel economy, but it is also another way of reducing the risk of knocking. The engine was designed in such a way, that the temperature of each individual part can be optimized. For example, the bottom of the pistons is cooled by oil-jets and the cooling of the cylinder head is separated from that of the engine block. This clever engineering approach allows for a reduction in combustion chamber temperature, whilst keeping the block itself at optimal heat levels to reduce friction.
Direct injection contributes as well, as it helps to dissipate the heat in the combustion chamber. The charged air passes through the intercooler, which uses an independent low temperature cooling circuit.
A low-inertia turbocharger, VVT-iW and the D-4T direct injection system work hand in hand to ensure excellent torque delivery from the lowest engine speeds. Together with the limited volume intake system, this ensures an immediate response to inputs from the accelerator pedal.
The D-4T injection system has been newly developed for the 1.2T engine. Compact in design, it is perfect for utilisation in a small displacement engine. It allows multiple injections per cycle, and the optimised width and reduced length of the fuel spray ensure the quality of the combustion, regardless of the engine regime and load.
A CYCLE FOR ALL
The VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing - intelligent) system operates on both the intake and the exhaust side, and allows maximising of torque at all engine speeds. In addition, the new VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing - intelligent Wide) allows for the intake valve closing to be delayed, which means that the engine can operate in both the Otto and the Atkinson cycle.
The latter is used in extremely low load conditions, when the intake valve remains open for a fraction of time, after the compression stroke has set in, allowing part of the gas charge to be pushed back into the intake. As a result, the effective compression stroke is shortened - reducing pumping losses and contributing to greater efficiency.
TransmissionS WITH TECH
Two transmissions are available, a 6-speed Manual with Toyota’s iMT system (intelligent Manual Transmission), or a buttery smooth CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) option.
Toyota’s iMT system which automatically increases the engine revs with a perfectly executed ‘blip’ when down-shifting, ensures a smooth gear shift. The system also works when shifting up in order to improve comfort for driver and passengers by reducing shift shock. The iMT system’s final party trick ensures smooth pull-offs and reduces the risk of stalling to almost nil – particularly good news for all the learner drivers out there.
A shift indicator with two directional arrows housed in the instrument cluster, provides the optimal shift points on M/T models.
The CVT variant utilises an electronic brain to ensure that the optimal gear ratio is selected based on vehicle and engine speed, as well as rate of acceleration required. In addition, the driver can access seven pre-defined gear ratios when moving the brushed aluminium shift-lever from D (Drive) to M (Manual) mode, affording a greater degree of control and driver input. Downshifts are particularly crisp, providing excellent engine braking and reinforcing the fun-to-drive character of the C-HR.
MATCH THE MODE
Three modes are provided for the driver to choose from, which tailor the powertrain characteristics to suit the conditions. The default ‘Normal’ mode strikes a balance between throttle response and fuel economy, whilst ‘Eco’ mode prioritises low fuel efficiency and adapts both powertrain and climate control settings in pursuit thereof.
‘Sport’ mode sharpens up throttle response and ecu mapping, and on CVT-equipped models the transmission control logic is also adapted for spirited driving.
DYNAMICS THAT FLATTER
The design and development of the Toyota C-HR chassis has received the full attention of the Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba, himself a keen driver.
From the very outset of the project, the C-HR was to boast excellent dynamics, establishing a new direction for Cross-over vehicles. “We wanted to achieve performance on a par with a good C-segment hatchback.” said Hiroyuki Koba.
With its low centre of gravity and double-wishbone rear suspension, the new TNGA-based platform has formed an ideal starting point from which to ensure that all of the features of the chassis could be designed to obtain an immediate and natural response to the driver’s actions. Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba has been engaged in each key dynamic assessment and decision, assuring that his vision - “Response, Linearity and Consistency” fully came to life.
In particular, steering has been designed to be perfectly linear which, together with the optimum limitation of rolling motion, gives the Toyota C-HR remarkable driving precision for a crossover. Limiting body movement, which generally affects tall cars in particular, also has a direct influence on comfort. Even when traversing rough road surfaces the car remains remarkably composed and accurate, adding to the confidence and joy of driving.
RESPONSE, LINEARITY AND CONSISTENCY
During the entire development phase, Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba has stayed true to his vision of ‘Response, Linearity and Consistency’. ‘Response’ refers to the fact that the car needs to react immediately to any driver input. ‘Linearity’ means that the vehicle response must build up gradually and precisely in line with the amount of driver input. ‘Consistency’, on the other hand relates to how the car reacts in the same predictable way, no matter what the speed or circumstances are. It is Koba’s belief that by ensuring these three elements, the car can inspire true confidence, making every drive more fun.
The new and rigid GA-C platform, on which the Toyota C-HR is built, provided an excellent starting point. To ensure precision, a MacPherson Strut suspension was designed specifically for the Toyota C-HR. It includes a strut bearing rotation axis that has been defined to reduce steering friction drastically, allowing smooth and accurate steering. To ensure a hatchback-like roll-rigidity, the large-diameter stabilizer is directly linked to the strut via a stabiliser link.
At the back, a double wishbone suspension contributes significantly to the crisp driving experience. It lends most of its hardware from the latest generation Prius, the first car to be built on the GA-C platform. However, for the Toyota C-HR, it has been modified to meet the engineering team’s demands in terms of controllability, stability and ride comfort. Thanks to the use of a specific sub frame, the suspension angles could be optimised – an element that was instrumental to give this ‘C’ Crossover its hatchback-like handling in spite of its increased height.
Different from Prius, the C-HR uses a ball-joint for the connection of the lower arm n°2. This provides a high level of twist rigidity, and enables compliance steer through the side forces that act on the rear wheels. The shock absorber is angled forward, reducing road load and improving luggage space.
All models are fitted with 17” wheels, shod with 215-60R-17 rubber. Plus models feature blade-style alloy versions.
TOYOTA NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE
The Toyota C-HR reaps the benefits of being constructed on a new Toyota New Global Architecture-based platform (TNGA).
As mentioned the Toyota C-HR follows the new, fourth generation Prius as the second production model to use the GA-C platform, strategically adapted to suit the particular requirements of a stylish and dynamically rewarding C-segment crossover.
It demonstrates how Toyota’s development of TNGA has ensured its new platforms are not rigidly standardised, but have a built-in flexibility that allows them to be engineered with ease to suit multiple vehicle types, from hatchbacks to SUVs.
The C-HR’s use of a TNGA-based platform has proved central in supporting Chief Engineer Hiroyuki Koba’s determination “not to compromise design or driving performance,” contributing to the crossover’s fun-to-drive quality, its individual styling and its fundamental safety performance.
In terms of vehicle dynamics, the basic design of the GA-C platform allows for a low centre of gravity to be achieved – in fact the lowest in its class. The benefit of this is realized in a more engaging drive and balanced handling, with significantly reduced body roll.
A low-set driving position is another direct benefit of TNGA, but with the C-HR the designers have raised the driver’s hip point slightly compared to the new Prius, in line with the higher, commanding position at the wheel that crossover customers favour.
The adaptability of the GA-C platform is also witnessed in the C-HR’s shorter wheelbase compared to Prius (2,640 vs. 2,700 mm) and wider front and rear treads (+20 mm front, +10 mm rear). These changes reflect both the different packaging and handling requirements for the crossover.
SPECIFICATION TO REWARD
The C-HR is equipped with a host of comfort and convenience features, which make the expressive cabin a pleasure to spend time in. The Driver is suitably catered for in the Multi-Information Display (full-colour TFT on the Plus model) – operated by a 4-way direction switch on the steering wheel. Plus models also feature controls for the audio system on the opposing side of the steering wheel.
Sure to find appeal from urban commuters is the Electric Parking Brake (EPB), which operates very intuitively and enhances overall driving comfort. The EPB automatically engages when the vehicle is stationary and the ignition turned off. On manual transmission derivatives the EPB will automatically disengage when the clutch is released, provided the doors are properly closed and seatbelts are fastened. On CVT models, the EPB is disengaged when moving the gear selector from Park.
A handy Hill Assist Control function is built into the system, with a dedicated hold button which provides an extended ‘holding period’.
Keeping things cool (or warm) on Plus models, is a dual-zone electronic climate control. The system includes an Eco mode which ensures optimal heating or cooling of the cabin to the pre-selected temperature whilst minimising energy consumption. A manual air-conditioner system is of course fitted to the standard model.
Adding further convenience is the one-touch auto up/down power windows and electrically adjusted mirrors. The interior also features two conveniently located cupholders in the centre console, a storage shelf for mobile devices or media players and a 12-volt power outlet.
On Plus derivatives, drivers needn’t worry about turning on the headlamps or wipers, as both are equipped with an auto-on function. The wiper function can also be tailored for intensity depending on rain fall. In addition the Electrochromatic (auto-dimming) rear view mirror ensures that night time vision is unaltered.
The audio system makes use of touchscreen technology and allows occupants to play a variety of media types through the vehicle’s sound system. To this point; USB, iPod, iPhone, Bluetooth and CD/DVD interfaces are catered for.
Plus models are additionally equipped with Cruise Control.
SAFETY AND SENSIBILITY
A full suite of Active Safety functions are embedded into the C-HR and include ABS, Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).
Parents-to-be will be pleased at the inclusion of two ISOFIX attachment points in the rear. Driver and Passenger airbags round out the safety specification.
1.2 Turbo 6MT
1.2 Turbo Plus
+ Cruise Control
+ Leather steering wheel
Follow me home lights
+ 17” Alloy wheels
+ Front and rear fog lamps
Remote Central Locking
+ Electrochromatic rear view mirror
Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
+ Dual mode climate control
+ Colour MID
Driver + Passenger airbags
+ Rain sensing wipers
WARRANTY AND SERVICE PLAN
All C-HR models come standard with a comprehensive 5 year/90 000 km service plan, with service intervals set at 15 000 km. A 3 year/100 000 km warranty is provided.