Finding ‘white space’ between the glut of compact crossovers currently on the market has become a preoccupation for many car manufacturers of late.
Toyota, though, seems to have found some for the C-HR, a stylish crossover model that has replaced a number of more humdrum five-door offerings in the firm’s international line-up.
The disparate nature of its predecessors (which include conventional hatchbacks as well as a short-lived, oddball mini-MPV, the Urban Cruiser) helps to explain some of the thinking behind the model’s mixed-up looks, designed to combine coupé, hatchback and crossover influences.
This approach could hardly be claimed as novel – crossing over conventional vehicle norms being what ‘crossovers’ were always intended to do – and yet, on first inspection, the C-HR seems to do it with more conviction than most.
Just as it showed with the current Prius, Toyota is demonstrating a new-found fearlessness when it comes to design that is likely to lose it as many fans as it wins.
Still, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that the C-HR might meet with a warmer reception from a fashion-savvy crossover-loving crowd than the Prius does with its largely middle-aged, moderate, conservative customer base.