Toyota C-HR - Used

Car Review

Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid Orange Edition, front static
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid Orange Edition, side
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid Orange Edition, rear
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid Orange Edition, cabin
Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid Orange Edition, boot

COUPE crossovers have been around in larger sizes - think BMW X6 and Merc GLE - for a few years, but all the smaller and medium offerings were more family oriented estates apart from the Nissan Juke, and its styling and size are not to everyone's taste.

Enter the funky and angular Toyota C-HR in 2017, which was developed specifically for the European market and comes with sharp and swooping lines more akin to a concept car than a production reality, and much more sporting handling than Toyotas had previously been known for.

I've driven more than 300 miles in a day over all kinds of roads in them, and thoroughly enjoyed all three different power units on offer.

Most on the market seem to be front wheel drive, but the two hybrid models, which have a standard CVT automatic gearbox, are available with four wheel drive.

The entry engine is a lively 1.2-litre turbo petrol with 113bhp. It brings up the 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint in 10.6 seconds and is claimed to be good for 47mpg economy.

I have to say that when I drove one, it didn't achieve anywhere near that in the real world, giving me a best of 40mpg in very mixed driving.

Then come two petrol/electrics - there are no diesels - which Toyota calls self changing hybrids. This means they cannot be charged from the mains but the batteries are charged from the petrol engine when cruising or braking.

The electric system then boosts performance when needed or saves fuel at cruising speeds and around town when there is power in the batteries.

The earlier hybrid is a 1.8 that was available from launch with the 1.2. This is the same unit fitted to some Toyota Prius models and it has 120bhp with the standard automatic box. That's enough for zero to 60 miles an hour in 10.6 seconds and best economy of an excellent 72mpg.

Finally there is a 2.0-litre hybrid that boasts 184bhp and dispatches the sprint in just 7.9 seconds. This one is good for 53mpg at best, and of course, both hybrids have very low emissions.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 1.2 turbo, which produces 113bhp and drives through a clever six speed manual gearbox.

There is decent power for overtaking when needed, but you do have to use the revs and this hits economy.

The 1.8 hybrid has superb economy but feels a little breathless when pressed, while the 2.0-litre offers the best of all worlds.

The CH-R is a new breed of Toyota that is much better to drive, just as the company intended. The suspension gives a comfortable ride over most surfaces, but it also takes sharp changes of direction in its stride.

The steering is a little lacking in feedback, but it still feels positive and direct through the corners, instilling confidence in the driver.

An excellent driving position and supportive seat means comfort is great even over 200 mile journeys and all kinds of surfaces.

Rear space is a little tight, but there is room for two adults or large children, and the boot is also a decent size. However, the hatch is very heavy, and really needs stronger gas struts to make it easier.

Equipment in mid-range Dynamic trim includes sat nav, traction control ( which lower order cars don't have oddly), loads of airbags and electronic safety devices, parking sensors, big alloys, audio remote, heated seats and cruise control.

Pay about £11,700 for a '19 19-reg Icon 1.2 turbo, or £21,200 for a '21 21-reg Dynamic 2.0 litre hybrid auto.


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