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TMR Team | Feb, 24 2017 | 10 Comments

Toyota’s C-HR, the carmaker's first foray into the booming small SUV scene in Australia, will come at a price for those keen to choose the Toyota product over its rivals.

While the likes of Mazda’s CX-3, the Ford EcoSport and Suzuki’s Vitara all offer a cut-price, entry-level special around the $20,000 mark, C-HR buyers will need at least another $6,990 plus on-road costs.

However, the $26,990 plus on-roads starting price for the C-HR SUV puts it in the same ballpark as the Nissan Qashqai, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and others.

For the money, buyers will get the two-wheel-drive, six-speed manual model powered by a new turbocharged 1.2-litre engine producing 85kW and 185Nm.

Crucially, that new engine allows Toyota to stretch its usual service intervals from six months to 12 months, with regular maintenance capped at $195 per service for the first five years of ownership.

Australian C-HR models are sourced from Japan, and local supply of the vehicle will be limited to just 6000 units in 2017, with more on the way next year.

Toyota Australia sales chief Tony Cramb expects demand will outstrip supply, likening it to the launch of the brand's 86 sports car in 2012.

"This will be like 86," Mr Cramb said.

"That's our biggest single concern, trying to manage the expectations of our guests. The interest has been fantastic."

The base C-HR features 17-inch alloys, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control and sports seats along with an impressive safety suite taking in autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control, a reversing camera and more.

A CVT automatic transmission costs an additional $2000, while all-wheel-drive is a further $2000 beyond that. Toyota won’t sell you a manual C-HR that drives all four wheels.

Customers who want a C-HR with the lot will pay an additional $4300 for the premium C-HR Koba model - a car that builds on the base spec with extras including 18-inch alloys and heated leather seats with powered front adjustment.

Toyota expects around 60 percent of initial customers to plump for the Koba, which also features a first for Toyota in a new climate control system with "Nano-e" technology that adds a small amount of moisture to the cabin air to stop occupants' hair and skin from drying out.

The model is available in a choice of eight colours including eye-catching red, yellow and teal tones. Customers can personalise their car by spending an additional $450 to have the roof finished in contrasting black or white paint.

Toyota is also set to offer a broad range of accessories including a choice of eight different alloy wheel designs, coloured mirror caps and painted lower spoilers that offer a wide range of customisation, as well as practical touches such as tow bars and roof racks.

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