Toyota C-HR Geneva live 1

The Toyota C-HR finally made its global debut recently, announcing the Japanese automaker’s entry into the compact crossover market. While the new model may be late to the party, there is a valid reason behind this – the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) modular platform.

In an article by Autonews, it was revealed that Toyota began working on the C-HR six years ago, where it was originally meant to ride on an existing small-car platform, Hiroyuki Koba, chief engineer on the C-HR, said.

However, midway through the project, Toyota decided to shift to the upcoming TNGA. Koba said, “we were studying which [platform] was best and after looking at TNGA we said, “this is best.’”

The TNGA platform first debuted on the fourth-generation Prius, with the C-HR being the second model to use it. An added advantage of the platform is, it allows Toyota to package a variety of powertrains into the C-HR.

Toyota C-HR Geneva live 7

At its unveiling, the C-HR had three powertrain offerings – a 1.2 litre turbocharged four-cylinder, 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder and a hybrid powertrain that uses a 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual and CVT are available as transmission options for the engines.

Another advantage of the TNGA platform is the reduction in production cost and complexity. This is because of the component sharing with other Toyota models that utilise the TNGA platform, including the Prius and next-generation Corolla, which is expected in 2019.

The delay arising from this switch to the TNGA platform means rival companies like Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Mazda all have a head start in the highly lucrative compact crossover segment. The Honda HR-V is a prime example of the popularity of compact crossovers. Although Toyota may be late in introducing the C-HR, it certainly had a good reason for doing so.