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In-depth reviews

Toyota C-HR review - Interior, design and technology

Bold exterior styling and upmarket interior help the C-HR shake off Toyota’s dowdy image

Toyota has gone for bold with the design of the C-HR. Not only does its blend of coupe styling cues and jacked-up suspension help it stand out in this class, it’s neat detailing also boosts its kerb appeal.

Heavily based on the C-HR concept that made its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the Toyota stands out from the compact crossover crowd. In fact, apart from the adoption of a five-door layout, the production version looks remarkably similar to the show star.

Like upmarket machines such as the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe, the C-HR features a low roofline that gives it the rakish profile of a coupe. This illusion is heightened by the fact the  handles for the rear doors are hidden in the C-Pillars.

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Yet it’s the Toyota’s daring combination of creases, curves and eye-catching angles that really grabs the attention.

All versions get alloy wheels and distinctive LED running lamps, while Dynamic models stand out at night courtesy of their bright LED headlamps and tail lights.There are a number of optional paint colours to choose from, some of which are available with a contrasting black finish for the roof panel.

Climb aboard and it’s clear that Toyota hasn’t limited its bold approach to the exterior. The wraparound dashboard places the driver firmly at the centre of the action, while multiple shapes and textures give the interior a funky look. Neat details include the diamond pattern that’s repeated in the door trim, headlining, multi-function wheel buttons and climate controls.

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Toyota has given the interior a lift courtesy of some coloured accents, including a smart dark brown upper dashboard on the Excel model, a dark purple upper dashboard and anodised blue deco line on the the Dynamic, and light blue ambient lighting on the front doors of all but the Icon trim level.

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However, it’s the quality of the cabin that really grabs your attention. Soft touch plastics are used throughout, while gloss black inserts add a touch of class. As you’d expect from Toyota, everything is solidly screwed together.

Toyota hasn’t scrimped on the standard kit, either. All versions get climate and adaptive cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, an auto dimming rear view mirror and eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The Design adds sat-nav, keyless entry, heated seats, parking assist and power folding mirrors, while the flagship Orange Edition gets all this plus a JBL premium sound system with 9 speakers and 18-inch matt black alloy wheels.

ALL C-HR models including the entry-level Icon get Toyota’s Touch 2 infotainment system. This features an eight-inch touchscreen mounted high up on the dash in your eyeline, making it easy to see and use on the move. Moving up to the Design trim level adds the Go sat-nav system, which costs about £750 to add to Icon cars.

DAB and Bluetooth are standard, while the Go unit adds navigation and access to Toyota’s connected services. Pay for an online subscription and you also get real-time traffic info and Google Street View, plus certain apps can be downloaded, including Internet radio and social media programmes.

However, smartphone connectivity options are limited compared with rival systems, while the graphics aren’t as sharp, either; this lets the otherwise neatly integrated look down a little. Pinch and swipe gestures aren’t recognised either, so zooming in and out of the map can be tricky when you’re on the move.

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