Sawasdee-kap. We’re at the 2018 Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) and kicking off our live coverage from Impact Muang Thong Thani is the hype car of the moment – the Toyota C-HR. Toyota’s funky rival to B-segment crossovers such as the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 is flashy enough as it is, but here are even more extreme examples.

The star car here is the C-HR TRD, which wears a suite of accessories bearing the Toyota Racing Development name. This two-tone red car with black roof adds on a front spoiler, rear spoiler, trunk lid spoiler, front grille garnish, prominent black overfenders, 17-inch gloss black wheels and plastic garnish between the rim spokes (the silver bits). The package costs 75,900 baht (RM9,447).

Also on display is the C-HR wearing a full Modellista kit. This pearl white example looks fetching from afar, but closer inspection reveals rather garish bits – the fake “gills” on the front wing make no attempt to look legitimate, and the twin pipes are as simulated as they come. Nice rims, though. The Modellista parts aren’t yet available in Thailand officially, but there will be no shortage of private importers.

The C-HR is made at Toyota Motor Thailand’s Gateway plant in Chachoengsao, which exports the B-segment SUV to over 100 countries, including Malaysia. Two engine options are available here – a naturally aspirated 1.8 litre and a hybrid 1.8 litre. The 1.8 Dual VVT-i motor makes 140 PS and 175 Nm of torque, and is paired to a CVT automatic with seven virtual ratios. As is the norm in Thailand, the engine is E85 compatible.

The hybrid model combines a 2ZR-FXE Atkinson-cycle 1.8 litre engine (98 PS/142 Nm) with an electric motor with 72 hp and 163 Nm. Max combined output is 122 hp, but there’s plenty of torque from rest. The battery that powers the motor is a nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) unit.

Toyota claims fuel economy of 24.4 km/l and CO2 emissions of 95 g/km. Toyota’s hybrid system is well-proven, but there’s a five-year warranty for the system and 10-year warranty for the hybrid battery for peace of mind.

The 1.8L can be had in Entry and Mid trim levels, while the Hybrid comes in Mid and Hi variants. The base 1.8 Entry (979,000 baht, RM120,954) comes with auto halogen projector headlamps, LED tail lamps, 17-inch alloys, black fabric seats, seven-inch touchscreen audio (USB, AUX, Bluetooth) and seven airbags (front, side, curtain, driver’s knee).

The top non-hybrid C-HR, the 1.8 Mid (1.039 million baht, RM128,367), adds on fog lamps, leather and keyless entry/push start.

The Hybrid Mid (1.069 million baht, RM132,083) will net one all of the above plus full LED headlamps, full LED tail lamps and T-Connect telematics. The top 1.8 Hybrid High (1.159 million baht, RM143,203) gets the full works, further adding on navigation and the Toyota Safety Sense pack.

Not every Thai customer will want to sport-up a crossover that’s already heavy on design, which is why Toyota Thailand offers a big catalogue of non-TRD official accessories for the model. Options range from exterior colour accents (red, chrome) to a floral tissue box cover and matching pillows!. Some are practical, some are tacky, but there’s probably something for every taste.

The Toyota C-HR is now available in Malaysia for RM145,500. We get a 1.8 litre naturally aspirated engine in a single spec from UMW Toyota Motor. The first 50 customers received their new set of wheels last week.


GALLERY: Toyota C-HR Modellista