Review: Toyota C-HR (2016)
Outstanding ride, road holding and handling. A pleasure to drive. 1.2 petrol or 1.8 hybrid. Solid build quality. More power and performance from 184PS 2.0 C-HR from January 2020. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard.
Rear headroom is tight for tall adults. High load deck. 1.8 Hybrid wasn't as fun to drive as the 1.2 manual. No diesel engines.
Toyota C-HR (2016): At A Glance
- New prices start from £21,880, brokers can source from £20,650
- Contract hire deals from £225.47 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 14–16
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
After years of playing it safe with dull but worthy cars, the C-HR is a welcome return to more interesting car design for Toyota. But angular, coupe-crossover styling isn’t all the C-HR has going for it – it’s economical, practical and good to drive. The only problem is its steep price.
There is no diesel engine choice, just a 1.2-litre turbo petrol or a 1.8-litre hybrid. The hybrid is obviously the one to go for if you drive in town and value economy, but both are quiet and refined. Most buyers will be happier with the 1.2-litre though, since it has a slick manual transmission and perky, if not blistering performance. Performance was singnificantly increased from the 2020 model year with anoptional 2.0 litre 184PS petrol engine, while the 1.2 turbo petrol was dropped from the UK model line up.
On country roads the C-HR’s handling really shines. The suspension does a great job of blending accurate and grippy handling with smooth, quiet ride quality. For potholed roads and speed bumps it’s very impressive. And ideal for typical British tarmac.
Inside, there’s a stylishly laid out and well-built cabin with plenty of neat touches like a coloured dashboard inlays and door cards. It’s comfortable up front, with plenty of adjustment in the driving position. The back row is fine for most but legroom can get a little tight with tall occupants up front.
The boot is well-shaped and provides plenty of space at 377 litres, so there won’t often be cause to fold the rear seats down. But for those bulky loads they do fold, although unfortunately not flat, which will make getting some things in and out awkward.
All versions of the C-HR come well-equipped, with a touchscreen system, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, auto high beam and lane departure alert. The essentials are all standard, but higher trims gain leather upholstery, navigation, automated parking and other luxuries.
Apple CarPlay and Android auto were added to the C-HR infotainment spec from 2020 model year.
There’s not much wrong with the Toyota C-HR. The bold styling might not be everyone’s cup of tea and, despite a Real MPG of 58.2 for the 1.8 hybrid, the lack of a diesel engine might reduce the appeal for high mileage drivers. But the generous standard equipment, strong build quality and excellent road manners make up for any shortcomings. List prices are high compared to the competition - but being a Toyota you can expect this to be incredibly reliable.
What does a Toyota C-HR (2016) cost?
Toyota C-HR (2016): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
The interior of the C-HR isn’t quite as radical as the exterior, but it has some fun flourishes like vibrant dashboard inlays and a sort of cubist motif on the door cards. It’s very well put together, with a sense of hardwearing longevity, but some of the materials don’t feel quite as plush as those in German rivals.
The driver’s seat offers a lot of adjustment, so getting comfortable is easy. Taller passengers will struggle in the back, though – the sloped roof limits head room and legroom can be tight depending on who is sitting up front. There won’t be any problems for children though.
Storage space is good, with plenty of little cubby holes and cup holders to make day-to-day life easy. There’s plenty of boot space too, at 377 litres. That’s more than enough for shopping trips, but there is a load lip to get heavy items over and, while the rear seats fold to free up 1160 litres of capacity, the load deck isn’t flat.
There may be a few practical limitations, but there are no complaints when it comes to equipment. As standard the C-HR comes with plenty of gadgets including a touchscreen, Bluetooth, auto lights, auto main beam, adaptive cruise control, auto emergency brakes, dual zone climate control, road sign recognition and lane keep assist.
Buyers can liven up the styling of the C-HR with various accent packs, which add coloured details to the bodywork, along with different alloy wheel designs, plus there are accessories for the interior including DVD players and iPad holders to make life easier for those with children.
Standard Equipment (from launch):
Icon is the base grade and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, Toyota Touch 2 8-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, USB in, Aux in, Bluetooth connection, multi-function steering wheel, reversing camera, electronic parking brake, auto headlights, auto wipers, dual-zone climate control, LED running lights, auto emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assistance, road sign assist, auto high beam and adaptive cruise control.
Excel adds 18-inch black alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, intelligent park assist, heated front seats, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitor, lane change assist, part leather upholstery and navigation.
Dynamic adds two-tone roof, LED headlights, tail lights and foglights.
Child seats that fit a Toyota C-HR (2016)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Toyota C-HR (2016) like to drive?
The Toyota C-HR is available with just two engines – a 1.2-litre turbo petrol and a 1.8-litre petrol hybrid. The 1.2 is available in a few forms – a six-speed manual, a CVT auto or a CVT auto with all-wheel drive. But we’d recommend sticking to the manual – it’s a slick, easy transmission and suits the C-HR well.
It might only produce 115PS, but the little 1.2-litre is a good match for the C-HR, producing enough torque to keep up with traffic and get past slow movers. It’s quiet, too, so is a good companion on the motorway. Claimed economy is just shy of 50mpg, but realistically if you want really strong economy the hybrid is a better bet.
Officially it’s capable of more than 70mpg and in every day driving it will deliver more than 50mpg. It’s a very well proven, reliable engine shared with the Prius, so should prove trouble free in the long run. The smooth CVT auto works best in town and on the motorway though – it can be loud and lethargic on country roads.
Through corners the C-HR is very good, thanks to suspension that balances neat, grippy handling with good ride comfort. Potholes and speed bumps are dealt with quietly, yet there is a reassuring amount of traction and little in the way of body roll through twists and turns.
The C-HR impresses elsewhere too. It’s quiet on the motorway and comes with adaptive cruise control as standard, so long journeys are easy. Rear visibility could be better for tight urban environments, but a reversing camera is standard and automated parking assist is available on all but entry-level models.
|1.2 Turbo||47 mpg||10.9 s||135 g/km|
|1.2T||46–48 mpg||10.9 s||136 g/km|
|1.2T Automatic||48 mpg||-||135 g/km|
|1.2T Automatic 4WD||42–45 mpg||11.4 s||144 g/km|
|1.8 Hybrid||72–74 mpg||11.0 s||86–87 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Toyota C-HR (2016)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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