Toyota C-HR review: High-roller or middle-of-the-roader?

“Cars, they all look the same these days.” It’s almost as if the designers of Toyota’s new C-HR had that phrase in mind, and were determined to shoot it down. Toyotas — aren’t they cars that are reliable, well-built and, well, just a little bit dull? They mostly look pretty bland too, if we’re honest. But that’s hardly an accusation you could level at the new C-HR. It’s a car that represents the first in a new wave of Toyotas.

It’s built on a new platform, which will underpin a range of new and future small/mid-sized cars. And it’s been designed under the values of “Waku-doki”. Roughly (not literally) translated, that means heightened anticipation, fun, and a more visceral experience. It’s the new mantra of the company’s president, Akio Toyoda — who’s set out to make sure the Toyota cars of the future aren’t just reliable and well built, but also creatively styled, eye-catching and above all fun to drive. That’s a seismic shift in thinking.

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