Toyota C-HR review

With decent handling to back up its eye-catching looks, there’s more to like about the Toyota C-HR than just hybrid efficiency

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

  • Head-turning looks
  • Smart cabin
  • Great ride and handling
  • Thrashy hybrid drive
  • Tiny rear windows
  • No diesel
Representative Example - Personal Contract Purchase: Cash Price £10,000.00, Deposit £1500.00, borrowing £8,500.00 over 4 years at 7.4% Representative APR (fixed). 47 monthly payments of £132.04 followed by a final payment of £4127.50. Total cost of credit £1833.38. Total amount payable £11,833.38. Based on 8,000 miles per annum. Excess mileage charges apply if exceeded. Finance subject to status 18+ only.

The Toyota CH-R delivers a distinctive, funky look, which is crucial in this image-conscious crossover class. Inside, there are plenty of high-grade materials, and a decent tally of kit, while the layout is good and features plenty of bright colours. The small back windows do make the rear claustrophobic, however. 

Under the skin the C-HR uses the Toyota New Global Architecture which delivers composed handling and a comfortable ride, while not many cars in the class can rival the Toyota hybrid for its advanced powertrains and efficiency. 

Smartly styled, good to drive, practical and featuring a classy cabin, the C-HR is a tempting alternative to more mainstream crossover models.

About the Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR is the newest addition to Toyota's crossover line-up, a range that was spearheaded by the RAV4 when it first launched in 1994. While the RAV4 has grown in size and maturity over the years, the C-HR aims to inject some style into the line-up. C-HR stands for 'Coupe-High Rider', and the car's styling mixes chunky crossover lines with a low-slung roofline like a coupe.

But while the looks are sporty, the C-HR is actually pretty versatile, and it rivals the very best crossovers, such as the SEAT Ateca, Skoda Karoq, Peugeot 3008, Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai. There's decent space inside, yet the car's individual style helps it stand out in the class.

Even under the skin, the C-HR isn't entirely conventional. Power now comes from Toyota's 1.8 VVT-i or 2.0 VVT-i hybrid petrol systems - the former delivering 120bhp and the latter 181bhp. Both feature a CVT auto as standard, as this controls power flow between the petrol engine, electric motor, battery pack and wheels, and is front-wheel drive only.

Four trims are available on the C-HR: Icon, Design, Excel and GR Sport - the latter replacing the old Dynamic trim level. Special editions such as the Orange Edition come and go from the price list, but thankfully, you don't have to splash out on a higher spec C-HR to get lots of kit.

Icon trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone air conditioning, an eight-inch multimedia display, reversing camera, LED daytime running lights and a 4.2-inch multi-information display for the driver. Toyota Safety Sense, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, road sign assist and pre-collision alert, is standard across the range, too.

Design ramps up the style with 18-inch black machined-face alloys, intelligent parking assist, heated seats and privacy glass amongst the goodies, while Excel adds rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking, LED adaptive headlights, LED rear lights with sequential indicators, black leather upholstery and electrically-adjustable, heated front seats.

The GR Sport gets 19-inch alloys, dark tinted headlamps, special badges and red stitching on the leather steering wheel, but has no performance upgrades over other models. However you can pay extra for a black Alcantara interior and 576-watt JBL sound system.

Most Far Eastern car makers offer their cars with limited options - if you want more kit, you have to spend more on a higher trim level - but the C-HR has a variety of packs that allow you to personalise your car with extra kit or different looks. Prices for the C-HR start from around £29,000, rising to more than £35,000 for a top-spec model, although this remains competitive in the compact crossover class.

For an alternative review of the Toyota C-HR, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...

More on C-HR

Show me:
Best used small SUVs and 4x4s 2022
Best used small SUVs and 4x4s header
Best cars & vans
17 Aug 2022

Best used small SUVs and 4x4s 2022

If you're after a little extra style without breaking the bank, then check out our guide to the best used small 4x4s and SUVs
Volkswagen Taigo vs Toyota C-HR: 2022 twin test review
Volkswagen Taigo vs Toyota C-HR - header
Car group tests
25 Jun 2022

Volkswagen Taigo vs Toyota C-HR: 2022 twin test review

Small coupé-SUVs go head to head, as the new Volkswagen Taigo takes on the Toyota C-HR
Top 10 most reliable 4x4s and SUVs to buy 2022
Most reliable SUVs header
Best cars & vans
23 Jun 2022

Top 10 most reliable 4x4s and SUVs to buy 2022

We reveal the most reliable 4x4s and SUVs you can buy according to the 2022 Driver Power survey
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2022 results
Driver Power - best cars to own header image
News
15 Jun 2022

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2022 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2022 Driver Power results!
Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022
Best hybrid SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans
7 Jan 2022

Top 10 best hybrid SUVs to buy 2022

From mild to plug-in hybrid, we reveal the best hybrid SUVs you can buy
Best used hybrid cars
Best used hybrid cars - header
Best cars & vans
7 Jan 2022

Best used hybrid cars

Want to switch to electrified driving but on a budget? Try one of our best used hybrid cars
Toyota launches suite of updates for 2022 Corolla and C-HR
Toyota Corolla hatch 2022
News
2 Dec 2021

Toyota launches suite of updates for 2022 Corolla and C-HR

Toyota Corolla and C-HR gain a new infotainment system, some extra paint options and fresh trim
Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR: 2021 group test review
Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR
Car group tests
23 Oct 2021

Renault Arkana vs Toyota C-HR: 2021 group test review

Toyota's C-HR is an exceedingly competent small SUV, but does the new Renault Arkana have it beat?
Used Toyota C-HR review
Used Toyota C-HR - front
Used car tests
9 Sep 2021

Used Toyota C-HR review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Toyota C-HR covering the C-HR Mk1 (2017-date)
New 2021 Toyota C-HR GR Sport on sale now from £31,395
Toyota C-HR GR Sport - front
News
21 Jan 2021

New 2021 Toyota C-HR GR Sport on sale now from £31,395

The performance-inspired Toyota C-HR GR Sport crossover features a racy makeover and new suspension
Hot new Toyota GR C-HR set for 2023 launch
Toyota GR C-HR render
Toyota C-HR SUV
12 Feb 2020

Hot new Toyota GR C-HR set for 2023 launch

Hot Toyota GR C-HR crossover will take on the Volkswagen T-Roc R, using the same three-cylinder turbo engine as the GR Yaris
Toyota C-HR vs Peugeot 3008
Toyota C-HR vs Peugeot 3008 - header
Car group tests
21 Jan 2020

Toyota C-HR vs Peugeot 3008

The revised Toyota C-HR now comes with extra hybrid power. We compare it to petrol power in the Peugeot 3008
New Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020 review
Best hybrid SUVs
Road tests
19 Dec 2019

New Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020 review

The updated Toyota C-HR SUV now comes exclusively as a hybrid, but has it been improved?
Updated 2020 Toyota C-HR revealed
2020 Toyota C-HR
News
1 Oct 2019

Updated 2020 Toyota C-HR revealed

Toyota has launched a revised version of the C-HR, with updated styling, tweaked hybrid powertrains and a reworked chassis
New Toyota C-HR EV makes Shanghai Motor Show debut
Toyota C-HR EV - Shanghai front
News
16 Apr 2019

New Toyota C-HR EV makes Shanghai Motor Show debut

The Toyota C-HR EV has been revealed in Shanghai, but there are no plans to sell it in Europe
Hyundai Kona vs Mitsubishi Outlander vs Toyota C-HR
Hyundai Kona Electric vs Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV vs Toyota C-HR - header
Car group tests
28 Nov 2018

Hyundai Kona vs Mitsubishi Outlander vs Toyota C-HR

Is the all-electric Hyundai Kona a better SUV buy than a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or the hybrid Toyota C-HR?
Toyota C-HR Hybrid: long-term test review
toyota c-hr long termer static
Long-term tests
9 Nov 2018

Toyota C-HR Hybrid: long-term test review

Final report: Switch to hybrid Toyota C-HR pays big dividends with fuel economy
Toyota C-HR revised for 2018 with new Design trim
News
27 Jun 2018

Toyota C-HR revised for 2018 with new Design trim

Mid-sized crossover shaken up as Toyota adds an additional model line to the line-up
Toyota C-HR R-Tuned lodges ‘world’s fastest crossover’ claim
Toyota C-HR R-Tuned  show pic
News
1 Nov 2017

Toyota C-HR R-Tuned lodges ‘world’s fastest crossover’ claim

World’s fastest crossover has been revealed at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Toyota C-HR R-Tuned offers 600bhp and trick suspension
Toyota C-HR Hy-Power signals future Toyota performance cars
Toyota C-HR Hy-Power - Frankfurt show front
News
12 Sep 2017

Toyota C-HR Hy-Power signals future Toyota performance cars

Toyota's beefed-up C-HR Hy-Power has been revealed at Frankfurt as a concept, but a production version is expected to follow
Range-topping Toyota C-HR Limited Edition on sale now
Toyota C-HR Limited Edition - side
News
18 Apr 2017

Range-topping Toyota C-HR Limited Edition on sale now

Flagship Toyota C-HR throws in flashy paint, big wheels and leather seats to rival Range Rover Evoque
Toyota C-HR vs SEAT Ateca vs Nissan Qashqai
Toyota C-HR vs SEAT Ateca vs Nissan Qashqai - header
Car group tests
4 Feb 2017

Toyota C-HR vs SEAT Ateca vs Nissan Qashqai

The bold new Toyota C-HR is here - can it gain some ground in the crossover market from the SEAT Ateca and Nissan Qashqai?
New Toyota C-HR 1.2 turbo petrol review
Road tests
20 Dec 2016

New Toyota C-HR 1.2 turbo petrol review

We've already tried Toyota's fashionable new crossover in hybrid form, but how does the standard petrol model stack up?