Borneo launches the Toyota C-HR Turbo

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The official version of the Toyota C-HR has gone on sale here, with one key advantage for buyers over parallel imported versions

SINGAPORE — If you’ve been coveting a Toyota C-HR after seeing them on the roads (often in the terrifying hands of Private-Hire drivers), but have been wary of the unpredictable nature of buying a car from a parallel importer, then good news for you: the funky little crossover is now officially available from authorised dealer Borneo Motors.

As previously reported, the Coupe-High Rider (that’s what Toyota says C-HR stands for) comes in two trims: the Active model will set you back $119,988, while the Luxury model will cost exactly $10,000 more (both prices with Certificate Of Entitlement). The differences are cosmetic, and the best way to spot a Luxury version is to look for the LED headlights and their ‘wink’ style turn signals.

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The sole engine option will be a 1.2-litre turbo petrol with 114hp and 185Nm. Despite not being a hybrid, the little motor will still return decent fuel economy of 6.4L/100km. It’s aided in that by an efficient Continuously Variable Transmission, with seven pre-set ratios that let it mimic a seven-speed gearbox.

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CarBuyer understands that adding the 1.8 Hybrid to the range is still “under consideration” by Borneo’s management.

With the C-HR’s “diamond architecture”-themed exterior and palette of in-your-face colours (17 combinations in total), Borneo is clearly targeting a more youthful demographic with this car.

But whatever the age of the buyer, he or she can rest easy in the knowledge that the C-HR is big on safety.

toyota chr borneo motors price singapore reviewThis is a safe place to be

Both versions of the car are available with Toyota Safety Sense P. No, it’s not an early warning device for incontinence, but a suite of advanced safety tech, which will help ensure you don’t actually encounter a pee-your-pants situation.

The Safety Sense P bundle includes Lane Departure Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and a Pre-Collision System. There are also seven airbags and eight parking sensors all around the car, as well as a rear cross traffic alert system — reverse out of a parking spot, and sensors alert you if an unseen car is in danger of chopping across your rear.

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As a deal-sweetener for early buyers, Borneo will be holding a “Diamond Hunt” lucky draw. Reflecting the 1.2L engine and “diamond-cut” styling of the car, customers who buy a C-HR from now till February 28th stand a chance to win a 1.2-carat diamond.

That should help the C-HR at an increasingly crowded time for the crossover market; this weekend’s Singapore Motorshow will also see the introduction of other pint-sized Sport Utility Vehicles such as the Hyundai Kona, Citroën C3 Aircross and Seat Arona. Other rivals include the existing Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai.

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But Borneo can take comfort in at least one thing. The company’s C-HR is similar to the Australian market version, in that it is a front wheel-drive model. Parallel importers, who buy their 1.2-litre turbo versions from Japan, will have to pay for the all wheel-drive model, since that is how the car is configured for its home market.

That gives Borneo a pricing advantage, and gives its customers the chance to avoid paying extra for all wheel-drive, which is largely unnecessary in our market. The official C-HR has many foes to face, but one of them isn’t its unofficial self.

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Jon Lim