Toyota CH-R: Toyota’s Transformation

When Toyota is mentioned, the first things that come to mind are often boring, plain, and outdated vehicles. The brand, which hasn’t produced sports cars since the ’90s, revived the Supra on BMW Z4 foundations through a collaboration with BMW. Following that, they established a sub-brand named GR, producing sporty versions, all while other brands were distancing themselves from sporty models due to emissions concerns. The GR Yaris made a significant impact upon its release. Although not creating the same effect, Toyota continued with the GR Corolla, and this year, they applied the attention-grabbing design used in the recently introduced Prius to further enhance the CH-R.

Toyota and bold designs have been things we haven’t seen for over 20 years. I believe Toyota took inspiration from Hyundai’s transformation in the last decade, and in the New CH-R, they have shown this courage. The large but slim parenthesis-shaped front headlights, a steep and pointed nose, a very large grille underneath, and the surrounding boomerang-shaped glossy black section give the CH-R a more aggressive look than we have ever seen from Toyota. In contrast to the eclectic design of the BZ4X, the CH-R has a much more organized, thoughtful, and attractive design. With the prominent fender created by the muscle lines on its short hood, the CH-R enhances its aggressive design.

The CH-R features a paint scheme that varies depending on the trim level. In the base trim, Passion, it only has the glossy black boomerang on the front. The Passion X-Sport, which is the mid-level trim, has a model with a black A-pillar and roof. The top-level Passion X-Style, on the other hand, presents the entire rear of the car in black. While the differently angled design of the rear door might make onlookers question, “Is there something wrong with this?”, it looks very elegant with the black rear section. Toyota designers, with their unique approach, also give a nod to the Peugeot 2008 with triangular converging character lines on the front doors, after all, they are producing commercial vehicles together, aren’t they? Although the new CH-R is approximately 4 cm shorter than the old one, the wheelbase of the unchanged model has increased by 3.5 cm. Toyota, relocating the large exterior rearview mirrors to the doors, has chosen to lower and hide all door handles, whereas previously, they positioned the rear door handle at the rear window level. The CH-R, available with up to 20-inch wheel options, can be equipped with a maximum of 19-inch wheels in our country. When viewed from the side, the New CH-R has a design very similar to the old CH-R.

Toyota prefers to leave a large part of the rear bumper unpainted, this time opting for a design similar to the Peugeot 408. While the rear windshield is horizontally designed and does not feature a wiper, the cat ear-like elements found in the Peugeot 408 are also present in the CH-R. These similarities haven’t overshadowed the uniqueness of the CH-R. Toyota, designing the rear lights in thick bar shapes, has illuminated the CH-R inscription placed between these lighting bars from behind.

In contrast to the exterior design, the interior has a more composed and cool design, presenting a very stylish and tidy structure for a Japanese car. The digital instrument panel and touchscreen, with improved graphics, along with a steering wheel featuring a simple yet elegant design, give the CH-R’s interior a cockpit design that surrounds the driver, similar to that of the Hyundai Elantra. The main reason this design doesn’t stand out prominently is the preference for an all-black interior. The model, with improved visibility angles, offers a gear selector on the center console for the CVT transmission, reducing the number of buttons and better positioning them. It has started to offer a configuration very close to its European competitors.

The claustrophobic structure at the rear of the vehicle continues as in the previous generation. Small and high-designed rear side windows create a suffocating environment for passengers sitting in the back, much like the previous model. Although the CH-R with a panoramic sunroof aims to make this confined space more spacious, the preference for black materials is a disadvantage. Thick C-pillars and a narrow rear window that limit visibility for the driver cease to be a problem thanks to the camera view from the rear of the vehicle, visible through the rearview mirror. However, the absence of rear air vents in a compact SUV and being the smallest in its class, even smaller than some B-SUVs, raises the question of whether the CH-R has been mispositioned in the market.

The CH-R produced in Turkey is only available with a 1.8 hybrid engine in our country. This engine, belonging to the 5th generation Toyota hybrid engine family, delivers 140 horsepower, combined with an e-CVT power unit, enabling the vehicle to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds. With an average fuel consumption of 4.8 liters, how do you find the Toyota CH-R?

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