At long last, Toyota is returning to the compact SUV scene with an alternative to the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V. Expect this little sister for the now mid-sized RAV4 next year.
LATE to the party it kicked off with the original, diminutive, RAV4, Toyota is back in the compact SUV game. Here is a production version of the C-HR concept that debuted almost a year ago at the Paris Motor Show.
Expected to surface in finished form at the Geneva show in March next year, Toyota’s answer to the hot-selling Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Holden Trax and (internationally at least) Nissan Juke ought to be in Aussie dealerships in the second half of 2016.
With European versions rumoured to be receiving 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engines, driving either front or all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the production C-HR should have the propulsion to match its swoopy SUV-coupe looks.
We’re expecting big things dynamically too, since the compact crossover also ushers in the Toyota New Global (TNG) architecture that is to underpin a host of next-generation B and C-segment cars and crossovers, starting with the imminent fourth-generation Prius hybrid.
Other details remain sketchy, but the Spanish setting in which the prototypes you see here were snapped paints a very clear picture of the European sensibilities this as-yet unnamed SUV should possess. In fact, the English press are dubbing this the Auris Cross – underscoring its relationship to the UK-built versions of the Corolla.
With local executives making no secret of their desire for something striking and youthful to offer beneath the now-medium sized Toyota RAV4, this petite crossover appears to be right on the money. Tapping into one of the fastest growing segments in Australia, it could end up being one of the most important new releases for 2016.
Pricing is anybody’s guess at this stage, but bank on Toyota matching the class-leading CX-3 with a $20,000 opener, ranging to about $35,000 for the bells-and-whistles flagship.
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