Coupe de grâce Forget what you think you know about Toyota. It’s made a cutting edge crossover that ditches the everyday. By Ray Leathern Quality, reliability: these have been traditional Toyota staples, often to the detriment of style and enthusiasm. But when the Japanese giant decided to crash the compact SUV party – albeit almost a decade late – it knew it needed to bust down the door with a bold statement. Enter the C-HR ‘Coupé High Rider’ – last in, but arguably now the segment spearhead. All edgy slashes, large 18-inch rims and steroidal attitude; the best elements from Toyota’s California design studio concept have been carried over. Inside, the dash is a multi-tier affair with a unique 3D-effect and a new infotainment screen taking pride of place atop the dash. It boasts a useful 150 mm ground clearance, a neat trick many competitors somehow overlook in this segment. And, this new type of Toyota boasts an all-new engine – the terrier-like 1.2 L turbo making 85 kW/185 Nm. On road it’s a creamy cruiser, but pull out to overtake and it’s punchy right where you need it to be, courtesy of peak torque kicking in at 1 500 rpm. Unburstable engineering matched with design daring, SA’s love affair with Toyota takes on a whole new likeness. For more information on the Toyota C-HR visit toyota.co.za.