Toyota is a fascinating company with a fascinating history. Founded in 1937, the company was one of the first Japanese automakers to sell its goods in the UK and arrived here in 1965. Since then, Toyota has sold more than three million cars here and began building models in Derbyshire in 1992.
Today Toyota is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world and vies for supremacy with the Volkswagen Group. Outstanding design and driving pleasure were less obvious until recently, but are no longer forgotten; and the C-HR is proof of that with its distinctive design and engaging dynamism.
- Toyota C-HR (2017 date) – Crossover has sharp looks, a decent cabin, and good equipment, backed by Toyota’s reputation for reliability.
The C-HR was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 2016, but the first cars weren’t delivered until January 2017 in the UK. Buyers could choose between a 114 hp 1.2-liter turbo engine or a 120 hp 1.8-liter hybrid. While the hybrid only came on the market with front-wheel drive and a CVT automatic transmission, the 1.2T was offered in manual or automatic form, the latter with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Car group tests
There was a choice of Icon, Excel, and Dynamic moldings, with a design note in June 2018; In April 2017, a hybrid limited edition was introduced, which is limited to just 100 units. The 1.2T engine was discontinued in November 2019 when a 180-horsepower 2.0-liter hybrid version was launched along with improved infotainment, with all C-HRs receiving Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Which one should I buy?
The 1.2 liter petrol is cute enough and will suit you best if your mainly long-distance freeway trips are yours. But for most users, the hybrids will make the most sense, and these will likely sell as easier too. All C-HRs are well equipped, even the entry-level Icon has 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic windscreen wipers, two-zone automatic air conditioning, a hi-fi system with six speakers, an eight-inch multimedia display and a rear-view camera.
Excel cars get 18-inch wheels, privacy glass, ambient interior lighting, heated front seats, sat-nav, partial leather trim, front and rear parking sensors, Keyless Go, automatically folding exterior mirrors and an additional safety kit. Dynamic Trim has LED headlights and a black roof, but is essentially a sportier version of the Icon with most of the luxury features of the Excel.
Alternatives to the Toyota C-HR
Small crossovers are among the most popular cars available, so brands have adopted them. The Volkswagen Group offers Skoda Karoq, SEAT Ateca and VW T-Roc, all of which impress with their workmanship, clean handling and efficient engines. The Ford Puma is a bit smaller, but impresses with its practicality, value and an appealing driving experience. Peugeot’s 3008 is another strong competitor, with its fast availability, sharp prices and upscale cabin.
The Nissan Qashqai is comfortable and versatile, the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson are inexpensive and reliable, while the sharply styled Mazda CX-5 has a premium cabin and great dynamics. None of these cars come as hybrids; If that’s important to you, take a closer look at the Lexus UX, which is closely related to the C-HR.
The 1.2T in manual form can pull 1,300 kg; 1.2 ton cars can haul 1,100 kg, but the 1.8 and 2.0 hybrid models can only haul 725 kg.
Very few C-HRs come with a manual transmission, so it’s mostly CVT. It’s not the smoothest transfer so make sure you are happy with it.
Entry-level Icon vehicles have no blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic warning; Until the 2019 facelift, the lane departure warning was an option.
The most popular thread on the UK C-HR owners forum revolves around cracked windshields, with damage being most likely in the upper right corner of the glass.
Some owners complain about wind noise from ineffective window and door seals, as well as navigation errors. Smaller children can have a hard time reaching the back door handles, and the cabin is gloomy once inside.
The C-HR’s dashboard is far from boring, but it’s not oversized. In fact, it’s very user-friendly, with a decent mix of physical and touchscreen controls. The cabin is also very well made, with lots of high quality materials and more space than you might expect. There’s room for five adults if they’re not too big, and the trunk is okay at 377 liters with the rear seats folded or 1,164 liters with the seats folded down; many competitors are better, but those numbers make for a decent level of practicality.
You can buy a Toyota C-HR from as little as £ 5,197 on our sister site BuyaCar.
All C-HRs require maintenance every 10,000 miles or 12 months, with maintenance alternating between smaller and larger ones. These cost £ 190 and £ 340 respectively without the need for new timing belts as the motors are chain driven. Toyota does not offer discounted services for cars from the third birthday, as is the case with many manufacturers, but if you have your model serviced by an official dealer, the warranty increases by one year, up to 10 years and 100,000 km.
If it’s a hybrid, the battery warranty is up to 15 years, and if you’re faced with an unexpectedly high bill (£ 300-3,000), some retailers offer up to six months of interest-free credit. There are a number of service plans that don’t save you money, just pay monthly.
The C-HR has been recalled six times so far, all between December 2017 and November 2019. The first campaign was started because the hybrid drive was not properly screwed and could come loose; the second came in January 2018 because some cars were fitted with fuel tanks that could leak.
The reason for the third recall in February 2018 was faulty software that could cause the ESP to malfunction.Fire, while the rear wheel bearings of 3,297 C-HRs built between June and August 2018 were incorrectly installed.
Driver Power owner satisfaction
A fifth place in the Driver Power Owner Survey 2021 is a deeply impressive result and shows how happy C-HR owners are with their cars. The C-HR achieved good results in all areas, with no bad grades in any of our 10 categories. The owners were most impressed with the ride and handling, which won a silver medal while third place speaks for itself for the exterior design and construction.
In a world of plug-in hybrids, the C-HR is already showing its age in terms of drive technology, because it only has a small battery with no plug-in option. But there’s still a lot about this compact crossover that appeals to, including the quality interior, efficient hybrid engines, and sharp styling that still looks fresh. The driving experience can’t quite compete with the most addicting models in its class, and with the current buoyant market for super-mini-size crossovers, the Toyota faces stiff competition. But the ace up the car’s sleeve is its manufacturer’s reputation for unparalleled reliability. So if you want a little crossover that is painless to own, the C-HR should do the bill very well.