TOYOTA C-HR: a true model of efficiency

IN a world that changes on a daily basis, there comes along the
occasional car that disproves the theory that things can’t improve.

Toyota’s latest version of the C-HR is such a vehicle. And as such it
will do its bit to ensure that the Japanese giant’s reputation for building decent hybrid cars remains unsullied.
They have developed a habit of ensuring that each subsequent upgrade is just that – a decent upgrade on what went before, while still retaining the practicalities that people bought the car for in the first place.

Toyota’s full hybrids are engineered to run on power from their petrol engine and their electric motor but they’re also capable of running on electric impetus alone – which is what makes a full hybrid different from other mild versions.

The salient point is the knowledge that it will run on electric power as often as it can, which means fuel savings for you as well as lower exhaust emissions.
Those savings are evident when you switch off after a run, as the dash display shows how much of the journey you’ve actually completed on electric power. It can, on occasions, be a bit of an eye opener.

You can see when it’s running on electricity when on the move as there’s a green EV icon in the instrument display.

I have to admit I’m not a great fan of the ‘elastic band’ electric CVT transmission, which is intrusively noisy under strong acceleration, but which settles down under more sedate progress and then becomes barely noticeable.

C-HR, by virtue of its swooping lines, sharp edges and big roof spoiler, has a refreshing style not very much in evidence when you look elsewhere, and it also manages to disguise the fact that what we have here is a car that is actually a pretty decent family size, yet still looks like it’s had a successful spell at Weightwatchers.
If you’re up front there’s no problem. There’s loads of space and coupled with a really decent driving position, behind the wheel  (which has more buttons than a big girl’s blouse – 13 if you’re interested)  is a good place to be. The interior is top quality with its wrap round dashboard. The only discernible drawback is the height of the centre console on the passenger side, which conceivably would make it an issue for the driver to exit the car on the left hand side in the unlikely event of a breakdown on a motorway.

You get Toyota’s Safety Sense set-up, which includes adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beam assistance and road sign recognition. Other useful features are  front and rear cross traffic alert with auto brake, sonar front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.

Standard kit on all models is good and includes a touchscreen infotainment system which is set high, central, visible and easy to use.

Overall, it offers a comfortable ride with competent handling and as a bonus is easy to drive.


Toyota C-HR Excel

Price: £38,150
Engine: 1.8 litre, four cylinder,
Power: 138bhp
Torque: 225lb/ft
Transmission: Electric CVT
Top speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Economy: 57.6mpg
CO2 emissions: 110g/km

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