Lengthy-term check assessment: Toyota C-HR Excel
Financial system: 41.3mpg
Folks actually don’t prefer to compromise. However when selecting a brand new automotive we’re so typically pressured to decide on whether or not we wish model or practicality, efficiency or low operating prices. Finances is a giant issue, too; is added package an even bigger boon than a decrease listing value and diminished month-to-month funds?
Nevertheless, as our time with the Toyota C-HR goes on, we’re realising it’s a automotive of many skills. Whereas few crossovers can declare to be really enjoyable to drive, our SUV has confirmed very succesful throughout its first 4 months on the Auto Categorical fleet.
• The most effective crossovers and small SUVs of 2018
That is partly as a result of the C-HR is predicated on the most recent TNGA (Toyota New World Structure) platform, which additionally underpins the wonderful hybrid Prius household automotive. Regardless of the raised suspension and chunky form, that is an agile, grippy and surprisingly entertaining crossover to drive.
The C-HR steers sweetly, and physique management is sweet. And whereas it gained’t win any drag races, the 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine feels punchy via the gears. It may be quick on response in the event you let the motor lavatory down in decrease revs, however place the C-HR in its hidden Sport setting and this turns into much less of an issue.
This can be a characteristic we conveniently stumbled throughout when enjoying with the SUV’s journey settings on a current jaunt to Suffolk. Deep inside the C-HR’s on-board laptop there’s a piece that controls the three drive modes. Every time you begin the engine, the Toyota flicks again to its default Regular setting – however discover issues additional and also you’re additionally offered with a pair of presets known as ‘Eco’ and ‘Sport’.
The previous is greatest averted, as a result of it dulls the automotive’s responses and makes it slightly sluggish. In Sport mode, nevertheless, the C-HR feels sharper and extra pressing.
But other than the marginally spikier throttle, the crossover’s grown-up driving manners stay intact. It’s actually extra enjoyable than a Nissan Qashqai or Renault Kadjar, and runs the class-leading SEAT Ateca fairly shut, too. Whereas not instantly apparent, it’s proof, if it had been wanted, that there’s a sliver of racing driver in all of us.
So these tempted by the rising desirability of crossovers not must compromise with a flabby or tender SUV. Actually, consumers after a fine-handling household automotive may do worse than take a check drive within the sharp, smartly-styled C-HR.
Alongside a few of Suffolk’s most interesting B-roads on our current journey, the Toyota dealt with brilliantly – shortly inspiring confidence from behind the wheel.
It’s quiet on the motorway, too, with little or no in the way in which of wind, engine or highway noise. The lengthy sixth gear means it settles down properly at 70mph, whereas our automotive’s adaptive cruise management system takes a few of the pressure out of longer journeys. On our run again to London on the A12, we managed virtually 48mpg.
The seats are snug and properly supportive, and whereas the contrasting black and brown trim isn’t to my style, it actually helps the automotive stand out.
The massive central touchscreen appears to be like dated alongside the methods from SEAT or VW, nevertheless it’s straightforward sufficient to navigate. I’m discovering it no hassle swiping via my saved radio stations, plus buddies and colleagues have typically commented on how clear the decision high quality is from the built-in Bluetooth set-up.
One other plus level for the C-HR through the current sizzling climate has been its ice-cold local weather management. It’s confirmed invaluable on longer journeys as temperatures have incessantly risen near 30 levels Celsius of late.
The ‘Fast’ setting lowers the cabin temperature very quickly – even after the automotive has been sitting for a number of hours in direct daylight.
We’re nonetheless affected by the automotive’s poor city gasoline financial system, nevertheless. It does appear to be enhancing, however as a result of a lot of my commute is spent in heavy metropolis site visitors, this stands out as our Toyota’s weakest characteristic.
This thought of, we’ll be trying to change our 1.2 T for a stint within the (hopefully) extra environment friendly C-HR Hybrid model sooner or later.
First report: Toyota C-HR
Angular Toyota C-HR crossover reminds us of origami. How does it unfold on the highway?
Financial system: 39.4mpg
Automobile design has come a great distance lately. Gone are the boxy, square-edged hatchbacks; they’ve seemingly been changed by curvy coupés and modern SUVs. The newest addition to the Auto Categorical fleet sits within the latter class, standing proud as one of many coolest crossovers on sale.
For the subsequent six months we’ll be operating the funky Toyota C-HR you see within the photos. It’s not the fuel-sipping hybrid, however as an alternative the punchy 1.2-litre turbo petrol mannequin, which toppled the all-conquering Nissan Qashqai in our highway check final 12 months. In mid-spec Excel trim it boasts loads of package, too.
• The most effective crossovers and small SUVs of 2018
Nevertheless, earlier than you’ve even turned the important thing, you discover what a distinctive-looking automotive it’s. There actually is nothing fairly prefer it on the highway – with its aggressive entrance finish, harsh creases and vanishing rear window line, it has a singular model typically lacking on this sector.
A few of the folds are so sharp, I liken it to a bit of intricate origami. It’s equally quirky inside, too, the place the quilted seats and gloss-black plastics give it a totally trendy edge. The massive central display looks like a little bit of an afterthought, however match and end is sweet and the dials are straightforward to learn.
Issues are equally plush within the again, though our automotive’s black trim means it feels very darkish and fairly claustrophobic on lengthy journeys. A panoramic roof would assist – though it’s conspicuous by its absence, even on the choices listing.
However that’s one factor we love concerning the C-HR already. An enormous quantity of package is included as commonplace. This Excel mannequin is our decide of the vary, and consists of 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, automated lights and wipers, a reversing digital camera and built-in sat-nav.
That’s the place the tech marvels stop, nevertheless. Regardless of that huge display, connectivity falls wanting the category greatest. You continue to can’t purchase a Toyota with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which may be irritating whenever you’re out and in of automobiles as typically as I’m – and no manufacturing unit infotainment system is pretty much as good because the smartphone makers’ efforts. We take the flexibility to plug and play without any consideration, nevertheless it proves how straightforward infotainment may be – making the C-HR’s failings on this regard much more obvious.
Our solely different criticism after six weeks and a couple of,000-ish miles is the shortage of cease/begin. You’d think about a model with an excellent report on hybrid tech and financial system good points would match a easy fuel-saving system corresponding to this as commonplace, nevertheless it’s not even an possibility.
Our common city journeys imply effectivity is struggling; on a current seven-mile journey in London the C-HR returned solely 23.7mpg. On longer runs, nevertheless, the cool crossover is proving way more succesful. It’s each quiet and cozy, and – offering you’re employed the gearbox – lots fast sufficient, too. What’s extra, this measly miles per gallon determine virtually doubles on the motorway, even when carrying a full roster of passengers and their baggage.
The newest addition to the Auto Categorical fleet appears to be like nice and drives properly. It’s snug on lengthy journeys, and Excel trim comes with a lot of the package you’d need on a household SUV. The dated infotainment system frustrates, and we’ve questions over the excessive city operating prices, however none of this could forestall the C-HR from being a massively succesful crossover.
*Insurance coverage quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old residing in Banbury, Oxfordshire, with three penalty factors.