The 8 weirdest features on the Toyota C-HR reviewed and ranked
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We're currently driving the new Toyota CH-R (front-wheel drive 1.2-litre turbo, for those interested).
It's been an interesting first few days with the CH-R; getting ogled by confused pedestrians. Having reported on the model's New Zealand launch, this wasn't exactly our first rodeo. But, the more time you spend with a car, the more you get to know its strange foibles and oddities.
And in the C-HR, as you'd expect, they're plentiful. Here are eight of the weirdest, ordered for your reading pleasure.
Flowing indicators: A
Flowing indicators are old hat to many, namely owners of American cars and the odd Audi or Volkswagen.
But, this is the first time I've steered anything that features them and now I'm certain that every new vehicle needs to have them. Every last one.
Apologies to any ute owners I tailgate at intersections in the next few days. Not trying to get in your face — I'm just getting mesmerized by my indicators.
Eco Indicator: B+
The C-HR features a little eco indicator among its range of different menus between your main dials. The basic premise is that if you drive economically the green leaf fills out, and if you drive aggressively the leaf disappears completely.
It's one of those silly little things that you'd think would never work. But, you'd be surprised. I tend to drive like I'm perpetually late for something (not entirely inaccurate), but sitting the eco monitor on my dash does alter my driving habits.
Auckland | Grey Lynn
$403.26 p/w $1,613.04 p/m
A visual indicator that constantly reminds you that you're burning cash with your right foot? Makes sense that it works, actually...
Turbo badge: B
It's unclear just what this mysterious badge on the front wings of the C-HR does, but it's rumoured that it adds at least 100kW to the engine's power output.
Rear door handles: B-
Love the CH-R's design? Well, it comes at the price of having enormous C pillars.
To break up the sea of metal up there, Toyota gave the C-HR a floating roof (as is the fashion these days). And they also shifted the rear door handles to midway up, helping add to the car's streamlined-origami rear end.
The handles themselves are surprisingly easy to use thanks to the Toyota's relatively low roofline. But there are still plenty of kids out there who will struggle to reach them, which isn't ideal for a family car.
There are diamonds everywhere: B
No, not real diamonds, just the shapes of diamonds. The longer you stare at the C-HR, inside and out, the more you find.
The side profile is based around a diamond, as you can see from the exterior snaps. But, you also have diamonds imprinted on the roof liner. And on the door and boot sill plates. And on the door cards. I'll guarantee that I'll find more of them driving home tonight, too.
This is all part of Toyota's new 'Diamond Design' language, which you'll either love with every fibre of your being or loathe through to the depths of your soul.
Time until rest: B-
If you're feeling tired and driving as such — namely if you're drifting in and out of your lane — then the C-HR will flash up a message with a cute clipart coffee mug saying you should take a rest.
It's a nice idea, and one that features across a lot of Toyotas and Lexuses as part of their Toyota Safety Sense technology. I haven't triggered it yet thankfully, but might have to try later on.
The only concern is that a quick google on the feature shows numerous people complaining that the message has come up during normal use. Of course, they might all just be terrible drivers in disguise, too...
Mood lighting: C
Asking around the office, apparently there isn't a proper jargony name for vanity lights such as these that certain manufacturers bolt into their wing mirrors.
Nonetheless, it's here, illuminating the name of the car onto the ground every time you unlock it. It serves very little purpose, hence its low ranking. But, it does claw back some points based on its 'oi mate check out what my car can do' value with friends and family.
G Monitor: C-
Why is this even here.
You can read our full road rest of both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive Toyota C-HR in a future edition of Driven.