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Toyota C-HR review | Auto Express

The Toyota CH-R delivers a distinctive, funky look, which is crucial in this image-conscious crossover class. Inside, there are plenty of high-grade materials and a decent tally of kit, while the layout is good too, although the small back windows do make the rear feel a little claustrophobic.

Under the skin the C-HR uses the Toyota New Global Architecture which delivers composed handling and a comfortable ride, and you won’t find many cars in the class that can rival the Toyota hybrid for its advanced powertrains and real-world efficiency. 

Smartly styled, good to drive, practical and featuring a classy cabin, the C-HR is a tempting alternative to more mainstream crossover models.

About the Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR is a particularly stylish model in the Japanese manufacturer’s crossover line-up. When it was launched in 2016, it helped to spark a more innovative design approach that led to a range that now looks increasingly modern and desirable. C-HR stands for ‘Coupe-High Rider’; the car’s style mixing chunky crossover lines with a low-slung roofline like a coupe.

But while the looks are sporty, the C-HR is actually pretty versatile, and it rivals the very best crossovers, such as the SEAT Ateca, Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008, Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai. There’s decent space inside, too, yet the car’s individual style helps it stand out in the class.

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Even under the skin, the C-HR isn’t entirely conventional. Power now comes from Toyota’s 1.8 VVT-i or 2.0 VVT-i hybrid petrol systems – the former delivering 120bhp and the latter 181bhp. Both feature a CVT auto as standard, as this controls power flow between the petrol engine, electric motor, battery pack and wheels, and is front-wheel drive only. Buyers looking for plug-in hybrid power will have to wait for the second-generation C-HR model, due in the second half of 2023.

Four trims are available on the C-HR: Icon, Design, Excel and GR Sport – the latter replacing the old Dynamic trim level. Special editions such as the Orange Edition come and go from the price list, but thankfully, you don’t have to splash out on a higher spec C-HR to get lots of kit.

Icon trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone air conditioning, an eight-inch multimedia display, reversing camera, LED daytime running lights and a 4.2-inch multi-information display for the driver. Toyota Safety Sense, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, road sign assist and pre-collision alert, is standard across the range, too.

Design ramps up the style with 18-inch black machined-face alloys, intelligent parking assist, heated seats and privacy glass amongst the goodies, while Excel adds rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking, LED adaptive headlights, LED rear lights with sequential indicators, black leather upholstery and electrically-adjustable, heated front seats.

The GR Sport gets 19-inch alloys, dark tinted headlamps, special badges and red stitching on the leather steering wheel, but has no performance upgrades over other models. However you can pay extra for a black Alcantara interior and 576-watt JBL sound system.

Most Far Eastern car makers offer their cars with limited options – if you want more kit, you have to spend more on a higher trim level – but the C-HR has a variety of packs that allow you to personalise your car with extra kit or different looks. Prices for the C-HR start from around £29,000, rising to more than £35,000 for a top-spec model, although this remains competitive in the compact crossover class.

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