Toyota C-HR in review

What has the motoring press said?

The UK’s motoring press have been putting the Toyota C-HR through its paces. Below we have a look at what they had to say, from the compact SUV’s launch event in Madrid to first drives on UK roads.

UK road tests

Andrew English, The Daily Telegraph (print):

“You’ll not find a better example of a hybrid drivetrain than this"

“The C-HR is set up soft but with good body control. So the car barrels down the road, breathing over undulations but not crashing through bumps. It’s strange to drive something so softly sprung but with such good basic handling.

“The C-HR could have been ghastly, but to Toyota’s credit it is not. In fact, it’s likeable and in allowing a softer, more relaxed suspension, is good to drive, too.”

Toyota C-HR, exterior Silver, top view, white background.
Toyota C-HR, exterior Silver,  lifestyle street background

“The 1.2-litre petrol is remarkably agile by small SUV standards, staying upright and hanging on gamely through tight twists and turns. Even its steering is accurate, delivering enough feedback to give you confidence through faster bends while staying light during low-speed manoeuvres.

“[It] rides quite well; it isn’t soft and wallowy like some SUVs, so there’s no nausea-inducing body bounce along undulating roads.

“The optional 10-speaker JBL system delivers good sound quality, even when you really crank up the volume.

“[The C-HR is] decent to drive, generously equipped and the hybrid version makes a lot of sense as a company car.”

Matt Saunders, Autocar:

“Thoughtful design and high-quality fit and finish are in plentiful evidence. We like the teardrop-shaped cupholders particularly, made to better admit a travel mug with a handle.

“The car steers with meaty feel and plenty of directional keenness, countering body roll well enough to maintain good resistance to understeer and responding as crisply when adding lock mid-corner as on initial turn-in.

“It rides with balance and sophistication – with just enough gristle in the gait to feel closely controlled over bigger bumps, but quietly and with decent suppleness.”

Toyota C-HR, exterior Silver, front close-up view, white background.

European press launch – Madrid, Spain

Maggie Barry, Daily Record:

“[Toyota has] given the C-HR a distinctive look and added in a touch of quality that customers are going to love. And, of course, Toyota being Toyota, it is incredibly environmentally friendly.

“Inside, the C-HR is glamorous, plush and well finished – a bit of a gem actually, which might explain the diamond design cues throughout.

“The hybrid has a great turn of speed and is very well balanced [and] the 114bhp 1.2 petrol is a sweet performer, with impressive reactions on open roads or in town.

“This is a very important vehicle for Toyota and one that is going to challenge quite well-established rivals.

“It is the stranger in town, the newcomer roaming the streets as the dust stirs up the tumbleweed… you can very definitely drive happily off into the sunset with the C-HR.”

Paul Horrell, Top Gear:

“When we first saw it at motor shows, the C-HR made a big impression. Now we have reviewed it on the road, we can say this small Toyota crossover sure keeps its impact among traffic. Its striking looks are backed up by a genuine commitment in the dynamics and cabin quality.

“It’s fun in a way we seldom get from crossovers. The C-HR rolls little and steers with consistent alacrity. It’s very easy to place accurately on the road, and at the limit doesn’t understeer much. It feels secure but will adjust its angle a little on the throttle. And yet the ride is pliable with little sideways rocking. That’s the proof that the well-contained cornering roll is down to a low centre of gravity.”

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