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Motoring Review

Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR is a car you quite easily may not even have heard of. It’s very much in the shadows of its rivals, like the Nissan Qashqai. You can pick up a new C-HR for £21,595, which is more than £2,300 than the entry level Qashqai, but the model we have on test here is the hybrid version with Dynamic trim – the top of the range. It costs £28,615 – so it had better be worth it. Whilst the car is a similar shape and size to the Qashqai, its roof slopes towards the rear far more so than the Nissan (think BMW X4/ X6) and that means there’s less room inside. But it’s got very aggressive styling and even the entry-level models have a lot of kit with it. The Dynamic comes with rear camera, touchscreen, DAB radio, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, sat-nav, smart entry and push button start, park assist – and that really is skimming the surface.

The C-HR shares a lot of its DNA with the Toyota Prius, so it’s only to be expected that the C-HR is available as a hybrid version which cuts fuel consumption to 72.4 miles per gallon. Its electric motor blends with a 1.8 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 122 PS and gets from a 0-62 mph in 11 seconds.

It also comes with a one-speed gearbox and, if that’s raised your eyebrows, don’t worry – it’s CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and its use is on the increase. That said, the lack of a traditional engine rev will take some getting used to, unless you’re used to driving electrics or hybrids.

In the C-HR, it does feel a little sluggish, even though its performance is comparable with the Qashqai and other rivals.

Whilst the C-HR is very well designed for a comfortable ride, the hybrid models are heavier, meaning you’ll get a more relaxed ride in the non-hybrid models. Nevertheless, Toyota has done a good job.

The extra weight of the hybrid also means it doesn’t handle quite as well as the purely- petrol-powered models, but this won’t be noticeable most of the time, unless you’re really looking to throw it round corners. If you are, the chances are you’ll be looking at a performance model and you won’t be after a hybrid.

The interior improves Toyota’s reputation of dullness and it’s a nice place to be, though you won’t struggle to find better interiors elsewhere. There’s plenty of room in the front, but the sloping roof means you won’t want to be in the back if you’re tall. Boot space is also disappointing in comparison with its rivals, with the folding seats not as convenient.

To sum up, the hybrid is great for fuel saving but adds plenty of drawbacks. And, coupled with the Dynamic trim, it makes it rather too expensive. The sheer amount of equipment means one of the lesser models should suffice for most. And, unless your focus

is fuel economy, so too should the petrol engine – without the hybrid.

FAST FACTS

• 2.0 T-GDi 275PSN Performance– as tested

• Max speed: 155 mph• 0-62 mph: 6.1 secs

• Combined mpg: 39.8

• Engine layout: 1,998cc four-cylinder petrol turbo

• Max. power (PS): 275 • CO2: 163 g/km

• Price: £27,995

By Tim Barnes-Clay

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