Toyota C-HR in the

green with design

Toyota C-HR, front
Toyota C-HR, front
Toyota C-HR, side
Toyota C-HR, side
Toyota C-HR, rear
Toyota C-HR, interior

WHEN hybrids first hit the mean streets of emissions policing they were embraced by just about every film luvvie as the only way to travel to awards nights thus convincing the gullible that they did not have a V8 guzzler back at home, or a monstrously polluting private jet or two.

Hybrids went on to become the Mother Theresa of cars, a stairway to heaven without self-flagellation and sackcloth. Well almost.

People who cared about a dying planet, whichever one that was, bought into this costly salvation.

They came close to inspiring a new Cluedo suspect - Sergeant Slow.

Those who felt better about themselves after buying one then set about competing with each other for the best mpg and in so doing set new world records for dithering.

On top of that it was the law that externally these cars were to look as dull as a holiday in dense fog. And feature a five-leaf cannabis graphic to tell you how boring life has become.

If you had said that in 2018 Toyota would do a one-two at Le Mans with a hybrid you would have been burned at the stake of greenness.

But there it is, success for what is arguably the leader of the hybridisation parade.

Toyota has managed to seed hybrids throughout its range and the C-HR version combines green shoots with one of the most dominating and aggressive body shapes out there.

While this car is all about maximum mileage and 87g/km emissions, although this only offers tangible benefits in the first year with £10 tax, Toyota bills it as a fresh look at the crossover.

It is certainly that and while the result is less height in the rear there is none of that flavourless family-first feeling associated with much of the sector.

In fact I struggle to see it as anything other than a hatchback with flair.

There is a claimed combined mpg of 72.4mpg but the on-board computer was accusing me of 54mpg

This is from the 1.8-litre petrol engine and a constantly operating hybrid motor which together push out 120bhp. £28,085 in Dynamic trim.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that there is very little rocketry involved in the C-HR and it takes 11 seconds to reach 62mph.

Not that this really matters. You will be in no rush to leave a comfortable and inspired cabin.

All models come with pedestrian sensing radar and the aids for cross traffic and traction controls which keep us out of trouble.

For your comfort and convenience there is a touchscreen housing sat nav, intelligent park assist, warning sensors and a rear view camera.

Frankly little is missing for your £28,620, although the premium pack which adds leather, updated orchestra and metallic paint hikes this to £30,760.

That does, however, add to a smooth and refined drive.

There is nothing wrong with the car's handling it is just unlikely to become a favourite of the adventurous.

If you want a bit more engagement as they say in pointless meetings, try the 1.2 turbo version. Very sweet.

Rear seats split and with them both up the luggage capacity is 377 litres.

If there is one area for dissatisfaction it is the CVT gearbox which could not be any more obvious if it shouted its name every five miles.

The Toyota hybrid system is designed to run as often as possible on electricity and you can switch over short distances at low speed to full EV mode.

Ultimately what the C-HR says is that you are doing the best you can to clean up your act without developing a taste for slippers by the fireside and reducing the world to a 19th century crawl.

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