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Toyota C-HR Dynamic 1.8 Hybrid

Date: 12 January 2018   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Think of Toyota and one of the first cars that is likely to spring to mind is the Prius. The Japanese carmaker's heritage is ingrained in hybrid technology, and 20 years, three generations and close to 10 million global sales later, the Prius has been a phenomenal success for the brand.

But now that everyone is finally catching up with the recent upsurge in demand for SUVs, Toyota needed to react quickly to bring another hybrid to market that would appeal to company car drivers and car buyers alike in 2017.

Enter the C-HR.

The new C-HR is the first model in Toyota's range to combine all the benefits of the Prius underpinnings and hybrid engine with eye-catching and futuristic looks. It's rare to see so much of a concept car creep over to production and the C-HR has been a huge sales success so far because of this combination of distinctive looks and low running costs.

But the design is not without its drawbacks, most noticeably in terms of practicality and space. Headroom is particularly restricted in the rear because of the cars coupe-esque roofline, while legroom is on the tight side too. The middle seat should only be used on rare occasions, while the boot, at 377 litres, is also on the small side compared with other cars in the sector.

Because of the small rear windows, the interior also feels quite dark; not exactly a criticism, but it doesn't help the car to feel more spacious either. 

Hybrid power

Under the bonnet of our test car is a 1.8-litre petrol engine and a 53kW electric battery, offering a combined power output of 122hp. The 0-62mph sprint takes 11 seconds, while the immediacy of torque available from the electric battery means the car feels much quicker from 0-30mph than the figures suggest.

Toyota C-HR Side

It's not the most refined or pleasant hybrid system we've used and the petrol engine can be noisy when it kicks into life. On the motorway, however, the C-HR makes an ideal cruiser and around town the car's compact dimensions also make it easy to drive; add to that the silent start-ups and traffic driving and overall behind the wheel is a pleasant place to be.

There's not much on offer in the way of feedback from the C-HR steering, but it's accurate nonetheless, while the suspension does an excellent job of soaking up the potholes and bumps in the road.

Safety sensing

All grades of C-HR come equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes features like a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, a traffic sign recognition tool and automatic high beam.

Toyota C-HR Interior

You can choose the C-HR in three trims. We're testing top-of-the-range Dynamic grade, which, considering the car's £27,940 P11D price tag, comes with plenty of toys including leather upholstery, dual-zone air-con, 18in alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, keyless entry and start, rear view camera and sat-nav.

Interior quality is a bit of a mixed bag. A few cheap and tacky materials are used and as we've already mentioned, it feels quite tight and gloomy in the cabin, especially in the rear. Although there's plenty of colour and features inside to brighten the interior up, it won't be to everyone's taste, while the infotainment system and trip computer display look a little dated too.

However, another area where the C-HR really impresses is running costs. A combined fuel economy of 72.4mpg will please most fleet managers, while CO2 emissions of just 87g/km are much lower than petrol or diesel rivals. Sure, plug-in hybrids deliver more impressive stats, but they're currently more expensive, so the C-HR is a good steppingstone in the interim. Residual values also impress, with rivals like the Nissan Qashqai  and Hyundai Tucson struggling to match our test car's 41% figure, while the low running costs on offer with the hybrid system make the C-HR one of the cheapest SUVs in terms of whole-life costs, equating to just 52.3p per mile.

Toyota C-HR Detail

There's a lot to like about the C-HR and the sums really do add up. For those fleets struggling to make plug-ins and EVs work for their company, the C-HR is a great solution that will prove cost effective compared with conventional powertrains. The fact that it looks good too is the icing on the cake. 

P11D Price: £27,940

Fuel consumption: 72.4mpg

CO2 (BIK Band): 87g/km (20%)

BIK 20/40% a month: £93/£186

Engine size/power: 1,798cc/100hp +71hp 53kW battery


Verdict


8/10
  • Futuristic design
  • Good value for money
  • Low running costs
  • Impressive residual values
  • Small boot
  • Lack of rear headroom
  • Interior will not be to everyone's taste

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