Sean Connery would have been able to outrun a lot more cops if he had been driving something a little more agile in the risque 1971 James Bond caper Diamonds Are Forever. So what if 007 had a tricked-out Mustang Mach 1? We all know that balancing on two wheels down an alley was a last resort and Bond would much rather have driven straight through unscathed.
What her majesty’s top secret agent needed at the time was something small, stealthy, acutely tuned, and inexpensive, because everybody knows it’s going to get blown to hell by the end of the film anyway. Enter the Toyota Coupe High-Rider, or C-HR, a crossover with sporty ambitions and a serious infatuation with precious gemstones.
Originally engineered as a Scion product, the curvy CUV has drawn a lot of attention since Toyota began teasing pictures and putting a bonkers concept version on display. While it may look wild to some, this crossover that retains quite a few of Scion’s old quirks and hallmarks, and infuses them with a performance punch that focuses more on handling dynamics than raw power.
But let’s also not overlook the primary purpose of this machine and so many others in this extremely competitive segment: It’s a practical everyday entry-level automobile, a car perfectly suited for parallel parking on busy urban streets while retaining the ability to to get around 30 miles per gallon on road trips. After spending an entire day in the C-HR with one of Toyota’s top product specialists, we came up with ten kick-ass characteristics C-HR shoppers are going to love, starting with its sensational steering wheel.