Scott Kovacevic with Toyota's new SUV, the CHR, in Gympie.
Scott Kovacevic with Toyota's new SUV, the CHR, in Gympie. Renee Albrecht

Best of both worlds for SUV

LOOKS can deceive, and this is a good thing for what can be described as the angriest car on the road, the Toyota CHR Koba.

From the swept back eyes of the headlights to the down-turned mouth, the CHR seems to send a clear message - that everything in its path should get out of the way.

It is a car with designs on being a stealth bomber, which is quite fitting for a compact SUV; a car caught between two worlds.

But while the car's looks are not made for everyone, the driving experience is.

For starters, there is no handbrake; it turns off when you shift into drive.

It also has automatic high beam and a tonne of modern driver aids like lane departure assistance and active cruise control. This is the perfect car for those uninterested in driving's more tedious details, which means the experience itself has to deliver. And the CHR does.

It has power. It has comfort. It is easy to drive, with clear sight lines on almost all sides, except the back which suffers from the ever-growing issue of Ned Kelly-itis.

Fortunately, this can be offset with a rear-view camera which drastically reduces the chance that you'll accidentally back over your child's bike and have to fork out for a new one for Christmas.

And although the car is pitched for families, the rear door handles are as confusing as a turtle in the Sahara desert.

They're advertised as "hidden” to accentuate its dynamic appearance, but what they really are is inconvenient.

After all an SUV (even compacted) is geared towards family life. But unless you're prepared to carry a step ladder with you on your family outing then be prepared to spend a decade opening the door for your children.

While this is a problem, fortunately Toyota lets you prevent others from popping up, with a virtual builder on their website.

Now, you can discover that lime green racing stripes on a fluorescent orange car is a vomit-inducing affront to the gods long before the car arrives on the lot for you to drive away in. In fact, you can actually build your own car, with the most options ever offered by Toyota on a vehicle.

Of course, the bottom line for many is the cost, and given you can have almost everything you want in a car for between $33,000-$40,000, between two worlds seems like a pretty good place to live.