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The Toyota C-HR, unveiled in production form in March, is one of the most anticipated models from the big T. The boldly-styled rival to the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 will reach Australian showrooms early next year, and we’re expecting the ASEAN debut to be around the same time, if not slightly earlier in Thailand.

The crossover is already in the UK, and prices have been revealed to give us an idea of Toyota’s positioning vis-a-vis rivals such as the Honda HR-V. How about when compared to traditional mid-size SUVs such as the Honda CR-V?

The Turkish-made C-HR is available in the UK with two powertrains – a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.8 litre hybrid system. The C-HR is the second model in Europe to get the 1.2L downsized turbo after the Auris C-segment hatchback. Toyota claims that the 120 hp/185 Nm unit offers the performance of a 1.6L NA engine but with significantly lower fuel consumption and emissions. It can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox (FWD) or CVT auto (FWD/AWD).

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The 124 hp petrol-electric powerplant is from the new Prius, but tuned for this application. It consists of an engine that returns 40% thermal efficiency (world’s best for a petrol unit) and a CVT with lower gearing for improved off-the-line acceleration. Best in class C02, FWD auto only.

Toyota has three trim levels – Icon, Excel and Dynamic – with the 1.2L turbo priced from £20,995 (RM114,140) for the Icon FWD 6MT to £27,995 (RM152,196) for the Dynamic AWD CVT. That’s the most expensive C-HR there, along with the top hybrid in Dynamic trim.

The Honda HR-V, which is sold in the UK as a 1.5L NA i-VTEC (MT and CVT) and 1.6L i-DTEC (MT only), is priced from £18,495 (RM100,549) to £24,305 (RM132,136). Both the HR-V’s entry and highest prices are lower than the C-HR’s, although the Toyota does boast more advanced (and therefore costlier) technology such as the downsized turbo engine and the hybrid powertrain. Also, the C-HR has an AWD option while the HR-V is FWD-only.

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The funky C-HR is not the cheapest then, but Europeans do get a bit more than the usual compared to the HR-V and the Mazda CX-3, which also doesn’t have a turbo option. In fact, a big chunk of the C-HR price list overlaps with that of the much larger Honda CR-V, which is priced from £22,775 (RM123,763) to £31,035 (RM168,650) in the UK.

While the CR-V seems like a much better deal and a lot more metal for the money, it has a school run image that the young and trendy target market for the C-HR would not want to be associated with. There’s something for everyone.

Toyota gave us a first look at the Coupe High Rider’s cabin in June, targeting “class-leading sensory quality” and a “modern and sensual style.” Plenty of curves and flow in the design, which has a large touchscreen (6.1-inch wide, with the brand’s trademark digital clock beside) rising from a centre stack that’s slightly angled towards the driver. The centre console design is asymmetrical.

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Toyota said that its designers focused on component quality and the consistency of grain, texture, shape, colour and illumination in every element, even the stitch groove radii of the seats. Speaking of that, a new two-tiered front seat design combines a slender, sporting upper section with a more strongly bolstered and supportive lower area.

The C-HR, which sits on the new and modular TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform, measures 4,350 mm long, 1,795 mm wide and 1,550 mm tall, with a 2,640 mm wheelbase. To give you a rough idea, that’s 56 mm longer and 23 mm wider than the Honda HR-V, but 55 mm lower. The Toyota’s wheelbase is 30 mm longer.

Toyota says that the C-HR’s bold design represents the determination of the company president Akio Toyoda to allow greater stylistic freedom and promote engineering creativity with eye-catching designs and enhanced driving pleasure.

Australia will get the 1.2L turbo while Japan will get a 2.0L NA engine with 150 PS and 193 Nm, paired to a CVT and FWD. Should this configuration reach our shores, the C-HR will have 8 PS/21 Nm more than our Honda HR-V 1.8, but 6 PS/11 Nm less than the Mazda CX-3 2.0.

Like what you see? UMW Toyota Motor must be licking their lips in anticipation too, as the world’s biggest automaker is seriously under-represented in the booming SUV segment, where each of its rivals have something to offer in these parts. No, the Rush doesn’t count.