The Toyota C-HR has been spied getting tested on the Indian roads once again, image courtesy ElectricVehicleWeb reader Sriram K. If you recall it was first spied in July 2018 in India. The 'Coupe High Rider' sports a radical exterior design which gives it a very youthful character. Internationally, this sub-compact SUV rivals the likes of Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Kona, Kia Stonic and Ford EcoSport.
The Toyota C-HR (Coupe High Rider) marked Toyota's entry into the B-SUV segment. Introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show 2016, it is Toyota's first SUV based on the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) scalable platform that had debuted in the fourth-gen Toyota Prius in 2015. It received a mid-life facelift in October 2019.
While the Nissan Juke invented the modern-day small SUV segment, the Toyota C-HR reinvented it with its outlandish design. The low-slung, coupe-style SUV is sold across the globe but it has been developed primarily for developed markets like the USA, Japan, Germany, the UK, Australia, etc.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor is quite bold when it comes to bringing global models to India. Consider the Toyota Prius, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and the Toyota Land Cruiser for instance. The Toyota Vellfire will be joining that list next month. So, while it's most likely a component supplier testing this particular Toyota C-HR test mule in India, it cannot be ruled out that there are some chances that it's TKM instead, for evaluating its launch here.
Automakers have gradually become confident about niche 4 metre+ small SUVs imports in India. Volkswagen will launch the T-Roc this year. Hyundai launched the Kona Electric last year, while MG plans to launch the ZS EV by next month. Honda boldly tried to launch the HR-V last year, but, unfortunately, the costing didn't work out, leading to a last-moment cancellation. Such models are either technological drivers and/or brand-shaping products.
There are enough customers in India now who would neglect negative factors like the two-three times higher retail price (compared to a locally made similar model) and practicality issues such as the restricted headroom in the rear in the case of the Toyota C-HR to own these premium global models.
[Image Source: ElectricVehicleWeb]