Toyota C-HR Dynamic

Hybrid 1.8

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

THERE was a time when trying to guess the make and model of the car up ahead was great fun with all sorts of weird and wacky designs and shapes to pick from.

Sadly, these days, most rival models appear identical to one another and look as if they have all come from the same mould.

Not so the Toyota C-HR though with its radical angular styling that sets it apart from every other vehicle in the bustling compact SUV sector.

There are plenty of sharp angles and creases up front accompanied by sculpted headlight clusters.

From the side, the car's rising waistline and sweeping roofline, along with high-set integrated rear door handles make for a very sporty profile and then at the rear, it all gets very unique.

Factor in the large rear spoiler and it looks like the car has been put through the most powerful wind tunnel on the planet and then left to set. The result is a sporty, distinctive and revolutionary take on design.

But that's not all. Toyota has selected the most sought-after gemstone - the diamond - as its design inspiration and there are hints to its precious status throughout the car.

For example, the lower grille has diamond-shaped grooves and the theme is most apparent within the car with gem shapes on the instrument clusters, door panels, speakers, air vents and even the headlining.

And the C-HR (it stands for Coupe High Rider) has plenty of kit to explore too with the likes of the Toyota Touch 2 with Go navigation system, an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, dual-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, automatic lights and wipers, plus plenty more besides.

Comfort levels are good with room for a couple of passengers in the back. The C-HR is billed as a family car and meets those expectations with good storage capabilities.

The 60:40 split folding rear seats mean the boot capacity can be increased from 377 litres to a respectable 1,160 litres. And there are lots of convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the car.

With Toyota's two decades of experience and know-how in hybrid technology, it will come as little surprise to learn the C-HR is indeed a hybrid. It is powered by a 1.8-litre petrol electric hybrid engine with a CVT gearbox and priced at £29,160 (including £545 charge for metallic paint).

Our car could reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.0 seconds, topped out at 105mph and, according to official figures, can deliver combined fuel economy of 72.4mpg with carbon emissions of just 87g/km.

The driver is treated to good all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position and all controls, dials and readouts are well positioned for ease of use with the main centre console angled towards the driver.

And when it comes to performance, the C-HR delivers an accomplished performance. It rides well and feels balanced out on the open road where the road-holding is confident and assured.

In town centres the car proved agile and easy to manoeuvre and it can easily hold its own on fast-moving motorways too, although the levels of road surface and wind noise did become more elevated at higher speeds.

The CVT automatic gearbox is smooth enough, but takes a little getting used to so as to avoid over-revving. Once mastered though, it offers plenty of punch and there is ample power on tap.

Toyota enjoys a great reputation for developing safe cars and the front-wheel drive C-HR is no exception boasting the Toyota Safety Sense system. This introduces pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, automatic high beam, road sign assist, traction control, stability control, hill-start assist and a full suite of airbags.

FAST FACTS

Toyota C-HR Dynamic Hybrid 1.8

Price: £28,895

Mechanical: 120bhp, 1,798cc, 4cyl petrol-hybrid engine driving front wheela via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 105mph

0-62mph: 11.0 seconds

Combined MPG: 72.4

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 87g/km

Bik rating: 22%

Warranty: 5yrs/60,000 miles

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