Toyota C-HR (2016 – 2023) Review

Toyota C-HR (2016 – 2023) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Dramatic styling, efficient hybrid powertrains and excellent reliability make the Toyota C-HR a compelling used small SUV choice - just don’t expect the full package of SUV practicality.

+Characterful design. Efficient engines. Comfortable and well made.

-Cramped back seats. Rear visibility isn’t great. Dated infotainment system.

New prices start from £28,460
Insurance Groups are between 14–16
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The Toyota C-HR is a striking choice that blends cool design with hybrid technology and efficiency. It’s not the most practical option for families, but it delivers a decent drive, comfortable ride and usable technology. In the used small SUV sector, it's up against stiff competition from the likes of the Ford Puma, Honda HR-V, and Nissan Juke. Read on for our full Toyota C-HR review.

The Toyota C-HR is unquestionably one of the more interesting hybrid SUVs available. When everyone was buying regular, rather staid SUVs, along came this origami-inspired model with angles, creases and folds that made it look like a concept car.

It wasn’t like any other Toyota, and that probably attracted a new type of buyer to the brand, and this applies to the C-HR as a used option. Rivals have become more adventurous in their designs, but the Toyota is still a bit of a head-turner.

As our used Toyota C-HR review will explain, despite the unconventional design, it offers many of the company’s trademarks, such as petrol/electric hybrid engines, solid build quality, and good reliability.

The Toyota C-HR is affordable to run, with low Vehicle Excise Duty (VED, or annual road tax), good fuel economy, and reasonable maintenance costs.

Where it lets itself down is practicality. The tapered roof makes getting in and out of the back seats a little awkward at times, and once in there many adults are will find the space cramped, or perhaps even claustrophobic.

The rear design also doesn’t help when it comes to visibility, while boot space is way behind rival SUVs. In fact, it’s more in line with a small hatchback.

The level of standard equipment is good and, provided you aren’t looking for glitzy lighting or the latest in infotainment, the Toyota C-HR has everything most people really need.

It comes packed with safety features and technology, doing its absolute best to keep those inside and outside the car as safe as possible. It’s surprisingly good to drive, too.

Nonetheless the Toyota C-HR’s biggest draw is definitely its unique design, which helps it stand out from popular rivals like the more conventional SEAT Ateca, big-selling Nissan Juke and more upmarket Volvo XC40.

Prefer a new Toyota C-HR? Read our review here.

Ask Honest John

I want to buy a petrol hybrid, what would you recommend?

"I’ve had the old shape Nissan X-Trail for 9 years which has served me well until now. I’ve had problems with the water pump etc recently and it’s costing me money. Also I’ve recently lost my husband so I don’t need the huge space. To replace I’m looking for the same narrow shape car. I’m looking at a petrol hybrid. I’d like reversing camera as it’s proved useful. I love to be high on the road, looking for heated seats and a good reliable car. Another widow recommended her Toyota C-HR. I would like your opinion please."
The Toyota C-HR is a good suggestion and would meet your criteria, we would also suggest looking at the Toyota Yaris Cross and Hyundai Kona, both of which are compact but with good space inside, the option of petrol hybrid and are available with reversing cameras.
Answered by David Ross

Why am I still waiting for a second key for my new Toyota?

"I bought a Toyota C-HR brand new from a main Toyota dealership in January 2023. At the time, they were only issuing one car key fob due to the chip shortage on all new cars at the time. I am still being told that they are not available and that some people who had bought new cars back in November 2022 have still not received their second keyfob. They claim that this is market wide. Could you please confirm that this is the case as it seems unlikely as it's nearly 10 months since it's purchase. "
Toyota is a massive company and sells millions of vehicles annually. During the global semiconductor crisis, it was limited in the number of microprocessors it could buy from suppliers, so to avoid having to limit production it supplied new cars with just the one key from October 2022 to July 2023. The supply issue has now eased and the company is catching up with supply of spare keys to customers via a Field Service Action, which began in August 2023. Most customers are given their spare key when the car goes in for its annual service but because Toyota still needs to supply over 10 million new keys globally it will take a few months before they can all be united with their owners. It's an ongoing situation that Toyota says it is dealing with as quickly as it can, so hopefully you'll have the spare key for your C-HR soon.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Will my Toyota C-HR battery survive being parked up for a month?

"I am aware of the problems with the starter battery if the C-HR is not used regularly. I am away in the winter for about a month without the C-HR. What is the best way of insuring that the battery will not be flat on my return? "
The majority of vehicles might struggle with being left for a month without being started or driven, so we would suggest using a trickle charger for when your Toyota is parked up for a long period. We recommend the CTEK MXS charger, and you can read our review here:
Answered by David Ross

What is a suitable car for a retired couple?

"We have a Citroen C3 Picasso which we now wish to change. It has been a great success for a 6ft 1in man and 5ft 2ins wife. Motoring is local, South Somerset lanes, plus main and motorway driving in UK and Europe. We wish to change for a similar but petrol-engined type and size vehicle with high seating. Is there any such model in the Peugeot range? Other makes and models you can recommend will be sought out and considered seriously."
We would suggest looking at the Peugeot 2008 or 3008, both of which offer a raised seating position and are available with petrol engines suitable for both town driving and longer journeys. You could also look at the Ford Puma, Citroen C3 Aircross and Toyota C-HR as alternatives.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Toyota C-HR (2016 – 2023) cost?