New Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2019 evaluation
Three years and roughly 50,000 UK gross sales later and the C-HR has obtained a mid-life refresh. The up to date mannequin brings improved inside tech, revised styling and a brand new hybrid engine to the occasion. Toyota reckons that it’s each extra refined and extra partaking to drive, too.
• Finest plug-in hybrids to purchase
Even just a few years on from its debut, the C-HR manages to chop a particular determine, so there wasn’t a lot have to fiddle with the styling. Because of this, the brand new automotive’s exterior spruce-up is delicate: reshaped bumpers entrance and rear give a cleaner look, whereas the lights at each ends now use LED tech. There are three new colors to select from (together with the orange in our photos) and a few totally different 17- and 18-inch wheel designs.
The dashboard positive factors a few new trim items right here and a few additional smooth contact plastics there, however the inside seems largely the identical as earlier than. A budget digital clock has disappeared, however sadly the massive C-pillars – and the terrible over-the-shoulder visibility and darkish, gloomy again seats they create – stay. A 377-litre boot is effectively down on different crossover rivals, however about the identical as a VW Golf-sized hatchback.
Beforehand, Toyota homeowners needed to endure one of many weakest infotainment programs available on the market. Regardless of minor enhancements, they may nonetheless should – it’s fussy to take a look at and fiddly to make use of. At the least it’s not as a lot of a difficulty because it as soon as was, as Toyota has lastly built-in each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as commonplace.
Extra vital information comes beneath the bonnet. With over eight out of each 10 UK C-HR consumers choosing the hybrid, Toyota has dropped the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol unit.
That signifies that the vary now kicks off with the present 1.8-litre hybrid. The piston aspect is essentially the identical as earlier than, however the electrical system now attracts vitality from a lithium-ion battery that’s smaller, lighter and extra highly effective than the earlier nickel-metal hydride merchandise.
And now there’s a brand new range-topping hybrid to select from, too: a 2.0-litre, twin e-motor system with 182bhp and 202Nm. The extent of intelligent tech the two.0-litre utilises may take up the whole house of this evaluation, so all we’ll say right here is that the varied improvements conspire to make the two.0-litre unit probably the most thermally-efficient combustion engine available on the market, a fifth lighter than Toyota’s earlier 2.0-litre, and 50 p.c extra highly effective than the 1.8, but solely 10 p.c much less gasoline environment friendly.
And on the street, it manages to impress – for probably the most half, at the very least. Efficiency is powerful sufficient and the powertrain may be very clean in on a regular basis driving, however beneath onerous acceleration it’s nonetheless blighted by an analogous drone of revs to the 1.8. Blame the CVT gearbox for that. Nonetheless, its additional muscle signifies that it doesn’t have to be labored onerous as usually because the smaller unit (so the disagreeable noise occurs much less usually), and it’s refined at gentler throttle openings, thanks partly to soundproofing enhancements all through the up to date C-HR vary.
Toyota has tweaked the steering and the suspension of the two.0-litre fashions to regulate for slightly additional weight up entrance relative to the 1.8. Nonetheless, with out testing the pair back-to-back there are few apparent variations. In different phrases, the C-HR remains to be one of many sharper dealing with crossovers available on the market whereas delivering a reasonably managed trip, too. The steering doesn’t supply up a lot really feel, however it’s exact.
However what of its effectivity? On our Portuegese check route, the C-HR managed an indicated 59mpg – at the very least till we encountered motorways, the place that determine dropped into the 40s. Do loads of city driving, and Toyota claims that it’s doable for as much as 80 per cent of mileage to be coated in electrical energy alone. We logged a rating nearer to 60 per cent.
With CO2 emissions of 92g/km, the two.0-litre releases simply six grammes extra CO2 per kilometre than the 1.8, and locations it effectively under just about any rival on this class – an enormous plus for firm automotive customers.
As an possession prospect, the Toyota is near the highest of the category, too. A 5-year/100,000-mile guarantee is among the many most beneficiant out there. Not that you simply’re prone to want it, as our Driver Energy survey exhibits that the C-HR hardly goes incorrect anyway.
Costs for the two.0-litre – out there in all however the entry degree Icon trim – begin at £29,645. Like-for-like it’s £1,620 pricier than the equal 1.Eight mannequin – a value that we’d say is effectively price it for the additional efficiency on supply. The Orange Version pushed right here, which options 18-inch alloy wheels, a black/orange two-tone paint job, leather-based seats and a JBL sound system, is the priciest mannequin at £32,595, however solely 500 can be offered within the UK.
• Finest SUVs to purchase now
These numbers place the C-HR on the dear finish of the category. It’s roughly on a par with the equal Peugeot 3008 – a automotive that’s extra spacious and feels extra particular inside, however can’t match the Toyota’s gasoline financial system and emissions figures. Nonetheless, you would purchase one other of our class favourites, the Skoda Karoq, for considerably much less, and a Renault Kadjar for much less nonetheless. After all none of them have the Toyota’s hybrid tech.