On the road in the Toyota C-HR Hybrid SUV

In Car Reviews, Toyota by Tom Scanlan

It’s the age of the SUV! It’s also the age of the Hybrid SUV!

Tom Scanlan goes all futuristic in the Toyota C-HR Dynamic Hybrid 1.8 CVT
Therefore, Toyota simply can’t go wrong with the Toyota C-HR (coupe high rider), can they, even if they do call it a Crossover.

The only thing against them selling millions of them is that other manufacturers are on the same band wagon. Be that as it may, the C-HR is quite something. For starters, the way it looks, love it or hate it, I actually really like the rakish sporty look.

During my week with it, a number of people, both friends and strangers, remarked on the futuristic design of the C-HR, with its combination of sharpness and curves and two tone paintwork. Also intriguing was the top mounted rear door handle (still quite unique but nothing that new in that Alfa Romeo did a similar trick with their 156 twenty years ago). The rear of the car and the high mounted rear-lights also attract attention.

Hybrids have of course been around for ages, but it is still a pleasant feeling to glide off in near silence before you can – just – detect the petrol engine joining in. In this case, it was a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder a gentle 97 bhp. The total maximum output as a hybrid is 120 bhp, enabling the car to arrive in leisurely fashion at 62 mph in eleven seconds. Top speed is 105 mph.

The technology that allows the low emission figure of 87 g/km and an official combined fuel consumption figure of 72.4 mpg comes at a cost. The test car was priced at £28,025 before options. The fuel consumption in my week with the C-HR registered at a healthy 65.2 mpg on the trip computer.

As a family vehicle (a small family with kids who don’t yet know what claustrophobia means), it works well enough. The space in the rear is the issue and, with darkened windows already small and above shoulder height, my adult passengers didn’t much enjoy their journey. Rear three-quarter vision was also a touch compromised by the design.

Aside from that, the car proved to be a pleasant machine to waft about in, particularly in town traffic with only electricity moving you forwards.

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It was nice and quiet, in any case, out on the open road and handled nicely.

Being a full hybrid, it is able to run on electric power alone – there is an EV setting allowing this, provided the hybrid battery has enough charge in it and that your driving is gentle, for example in your use of the throttle. Also, any extra demands made, such as full air-conditioning or having the rear screen heater operating, will mitigate against full EV mode. Gentle braking helps to re-generate electric power, though. If not already, this hybrid could get you to become a smoother, more thoughtful driver!

Owners of hybrids tell me that they do tend to look frequently at the instruments that show the state of charge and the ever-changing situation invariably occurring as the car is driven along. Hopefully, this fascination, although not quite rabbit-in-the-headlights, does not lead to potential danger through not keeping the eyes glued to the road.

To keep the driver informed, there are controls on the steering wheel that you can ‘toggle’ to seek out various pieces of information.

Apart from it’s clever hybrid technology, this Toyota will turn out to be a typical performer in its class in providing nice enough versatile transport, at least for the front two occupants, and with enough carrying space at the back for average trips.

Car reviewed: TOYOTA C-HR Dynamic Hybrid 1.8 CVT – Base Price On the road £14,595 before options 0-60mph 11 secs Top speed 105mph Fuel Economy combined 72.4mpg CO2 emissions 86g/km Engine 1798cc 4-cylinder turbo petrol and motor hybrid system Max Power [email protected] rpm Torque [email protected] Transmission CVT front-wheel drive

  • Love it or hate it looks

  • Low emissions and economical

  • Great hybrid solution

  • Slightly tight in the back

About the author
Tom Scanlan

Tom Scanlan

'Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars. He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0. In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.'

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