If you are a sci-fi fan fan and in the market for a new car take a trip to your local Toyota dealership – and be prepared to be blown away.
The Japanese car company has – in the words of Buzz Lightyear – gone to infinity and beyond with the design of its new C-HR crossover.
The design is so radical and eye catching that it’s almost like a concept car penned by a rogue designer that somehow avoided the top brass’s scrutiny to make it into production.
Certainly in a world of motoring normality the C-HR stands out for daring to be different.
With its macho “face”, swept back headlights, extreme flared wheel arches and futuristic creases in the metal it wouldn’t look out of place in a Mad Max film.
From the rear too the C-HR is radical, with its high set lights, deep cut outs in the metal, large roof spoiler and shallow rear window.
And while it looks at first glance like a coupe – thanks to cleverly concealed handles in the rear doors – the C-HR is a spacious four-door, five-seater hatchback with a surprising amount of interior space in what is a very high quality cabin.
High set front seats allow rear seat passengers to stretch their legs out while head room, too, is generous, although the rear side windows are on the small side.
Conventional dials sit in front of the driver but in the centre of the dashboard is an 8-inch iPad-like touchscreen to access the car’s infotainment functions and satellite navigation.
And while the dashboard on my test car was predominantly black there was a bright blue strip stretching across it and onto the two front doors that was so vivid it looked as if it was illuminated.
A diamond shape design theme is a feature of the C-HR and there are diamonds on the highly tactile interior door panelling as well as on the roof lining.
Superbly comfortable full leather seating – with heated front seats – is standard in the Dynamic model tested here, as is a rear view camera, front and rear parking sensors, Park Assist, satellite navigation, dual zone air conditioning and keyless entry.
And while this car is available as a hybrid my test car was powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine and came with four-wheel-drive and CVT automatic gearbox.
There’s ample power from the turbo-charged engine and when you use the kick down feature at speed there is an instant response.
On the road the CVT gearbox makes the car a little noisy when initially accelerating away but once up to speed the cabin is pleasantly quiet.
Driving this car manually with the gear shift also gives good sporting results, especially as the all-wheel-drive system fitted ensures excellent road holding and cornering at speed.
Even high speed manoeuvres don’t phase this very stable car which has a very low centre of gravity helping to ensure very little body roll
As a family car, decent boot space is a pre-requisite and the C-HR doesn’t disappoint with its 370 litre capacity rising to 1,160 with the split rear seatbacks folded down.
So as well as being futuristic it’s practical too – and it’s a car that will certainly get you noticed.
Model: Toyota C-HR Dynamic All wheel drive
Mechanical: 1197cc, 114 bhp four cylinder petrol engine driving all wheels via CVT automatic gearbox.
Max speed: 111 mph
0-62mph: 11.4 secs
Combined mpg: 44.8
CO2 emissions: 144 g/km
Warranty: 5 years / 100,000 miles