Ayup and welcome to this weeks Shimmy TV vehicle review. This week we’re testing the Toyota C-HR Hybrid, courtesy of Inchcape Toyota in Nottingham.
Now I have to admit, As a petrol head the C-HR isn’t my usual choice of car to review, but with the growing demand for lower emissions and the rapid growth of the hybrid market, I was looking forward to seeing what the C-HR had to offer.
First impressions of the new C-HR is its somewhat futuristic looks and sharp lines which may be a bit of a turn-off for some of the traditional Toyota customer base but I really like it! The C-HR I’m testing is the slightly higher spec Excel model which comes with 18” alloys as standard which make a huge difference and improve the looks over the 17” alloys that the lower priced Icon model comes with.
The Excel also comes with half leather interior, intelligent parking assist, Toyota Touch 2 with Go Navigation via the 8” screen, and smart entry with push button start, all for an extra £3000 over the price of the Icon and still under £25,000.
Inside the C-HR Excel you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the comfort and build quality. With the half leather heated seats, high gloss finish to much of the dash, along with the 8” screen which is super easy to use, the C-HR feels like a car with a higher price tag. All controls and equipment inside the C-HR are well placed and well built with plenty of storage space and cubbyholes. Taller passengers may struggle a little with head room especially in the back, and the shape and angle of the rear passenger windows can make you feel a little claustrophobic but in all, the C-HR is a pleasant place to be sat.
The Toyota C-HR is powered by a 1.8 litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor which puts out 121bhp, this is where I feel the C-HR is slightly let down. The C-HR feels nippy for about the first 10mph but after which it really doesn’t feel very nippy at all. Even when the accelerator is floored you get more engine noise than actual pace and the hybrid engine lacks midrange power. If out and out engine performance is what your after then the hybrid probably isn’t the engine for you. That being said, the hybrid is excellent at providing lots of miles for your gallon and is very economical and better than most for the environment, and while driving the C-HR I’ve seen as much as 65mpg.
One area where the C-HR has pleasantly surprised me is the handling! The C-HR is a joy to drive around twisty bends, hairpins and islands, with precise steering, great suspension, good breaks and almost zero understeer or flex in the body. The C-HR will have even a keen driver smiling down a twisty road.
After living with the Toyota C-HR for a week I can honestly say I’m a fan! Yeah it doesn’t massively impress with it’s out and out power, but everywhere else the C-HR exceeds. It’s good looking, well built, comfortable, stacked with technology and equipment, well priced, cheap to run, and handles great! I’m not surprised Toyota have seen such impressive sales of the new C-HR in its first year.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the review, Special thanks to Inchcape Toyota in Nottingham and thanks to our review sponsor Shane at Treadmark Wheels & Tyres in Nottingham. See you next time!