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Toyota C-HR review

2024 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.3 out of 53.3
” Good up front, less so in the rear “

Pros & cons

  • Efficient
  • Quality feel up front
  • PHEV's punchy performance
  • Not all that practical
  • Rear quality well behind the front
  • Not as dynamic as it looks

Written by Alan Taylor-Jones Published: 10 November 2023 Updated: 13 November 2023


This is the second generation of the rather popular Toyota C-HR, a hybrid-only SUV that puts style above space. With the addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain for the first time, could this be one of the best hybrids out there?

It’s similar in size to a Skoda Karoq, although we’d argue more rakish alternatives are more natural rivals. This includes the Renault Arkana which is also available with hybrid power. Alternatively, there’s always the Cupra Formentor.

The C-HR isn’t available with quite as much power as the Formentor, and there isn’t the option of four-wheel drive in the UK. You do get the choice of 140hp or 197hp self-charging hybrids or the aforementioned plug-in hybrid. This ups power to 223hp and makes the acceleration brisk, if not outright fast. The claimed EV only range is 41 miles giving CO2 emissions of 19-20g/km, good news for company car users.

Toyota C-HR rear driving
C-HR’s now come with alloy wheels up to 20-inches in diameter. They don’t help the ride.

With a new platform, fifth-generation self-charging and third-generation plug-in in hybrid powertrains and the promise of a premium interior, Toyota has certainly gone all in. That’s especially true of the styling that’s even more extravagant than its predecessor.

What’s it like inside?

Toyota has listened to criticism and made the C-HR’s interior far more appealing, at least up front. There’s a greater spread of soft-touch materials, higher-resolution screens and a classier feel all round. It retains physical controls for the heating, buttons on the steering wheel and the infotainment screen is mounted high, making it an easy car to interact with.

Entry-level Icon trim gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen and 7.0-inch driver’s display that we’re yet to try. Move up a rung and both screens are boosted to 12.3-inches with a higher resolution and more features. The infotainment is responsive, looks good and has easy to follow sat nav. Alternatively, all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Toyota C-HR dash
Quality up front impresses, and there are plenty of physical controls, too.

The driver’s display isn’t quite as intuitive as what you’ll find in a Cupra Formentor, but still shows a wide variety of information clearly with sharp graphics. Space up front is plentiful, even with a panoramic sunroof fitted, although things aren’t as jolly in the back.

For a start, the door cards are almost all hard, scratchy plastic and would look more at home on an Aygo X supermini. Rear legroom isn’t particularly impressive for the class and neither is headroom. You’ll get four six-footers in, but those in the back won’t be particularly happy.

The boot is also on the small side, maxing out at 388-litres in the 1.8 Hybrid. Choose the 2.0-litre and this drops to 364-litres, with the plug-in likely to have even less. There’s a little bit of a load lip and no two-level boot floor, while the rear screen’s angle limits room when you remove the parcel shelf. A Cupra Formentor is more practical, let alone the boxy Karoq.

Toyota C-HR interior rear
Rear head and legroom aren’t great for a family SUV in this class.


The driving position is fundamentally sound with seats that have a good array of adjustment including driver’s lumbar on all but Icon. They’re comfortable on longer journeys and hold you in place reasonably well if you’re cornering hard.

The rear seats are much flatter, while the centre perch isn’t sculpted or particularly wide. There’s also a small tunnel for the centre occupant to contend with, but it’s not very tall. The Isofix mounts on the rear outer seats have plastic covers and are easy to slot into, saving plenty of sweating and swearing.


Euro NCAP are yet to test this generation of C-HR, but its predecessor performed very well albeit in 2017. A new platform designed to appease tougher testing should mean the current model does even better, although only time will tell.

Toyota C-HR front driving
Like it or not, the C-HR is certainly distinctive.

All versions of the C-HR come loaded with safety and driver assist tech. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, road sign assist and adaptive cruise control. Lane departure assist is also included, and it can also assist with the steering on the motorway and other clearly marked roads that aren’t too bendy.

What’s it like to drive?

Performance for the 1.8-litre self-charging hybrid isn’t particularly sparkling. It takes a leisurely 10.2 seconds to get from 0-62mph, so while it’s not out of its depth on motorways, shorter sliproads won’t be fun. Driven normally it feels strong enough, with the electric motor helping it feel responsive on light throttle openings. It’s smoother than the old C-HR’s 1.8-litre engine, sounding less brash and a more natural rise in revs as you accelerate.

The 2.0-litre self-charger is much peppier with an 8.1 second 0-62mph time, although it never feels particularly fast, especially off the line. It’s a coarser engine than the 1.8 and is more liable to hold revs at a single uncomfortable point if you pin the throttle. However, ass it’s that much more powerful, you don’t work the engine as hard in most scenarios.

Toyota C-HR front cornering
While competent enough in the bends, the C-HR isn’t much fun.

If you after the quickest C-HR you’ll need the PHEV. The additional power drops the 0-62mph time down to 7.3 seconds, making it quicker than the equivalent Cupra Formentor. It’s not only faster outright, but it feels the most responsive to a jab of the accelerator pedal than the regular hybrids. All versions have easy to modulate brakes with a natural feel.

Initially the C-HR feels good on the road, with reassuring weight and precision if little feel. It’s easy to string corners together although do it too quickly and you’ll feel the body leaning from side to side and making it feel less agile than a Formentor. It’s also less neutral, the C-HR running wide at the front earlier. All in all, it’s safe but not that much fun.

Ownership costs and maintenance

Even with some enthusiastic driving, it’s not too hard to get over 50mpg from the self-charging hybrids. Economy will be even better in town where the cars can run in electric mode more of the time. The PHEV’s efficiency will depend on how much you charge it, but even with a flat battery it’s an efficient machine.

Toyota C-HR boot
Boot space is on par with your average family hatchback. The 1.8 gets the biggest boot of them all.

If you’re planning on keeping your car a while, Toyota’s warranty is the best in the business. As long as you get your car serviced at a Toyota dealer, you get 10 years or 100,000 miles of cover.

What models and trims are available?

There are four core models in the range and a top-spec Premiere Edition that’s only on sale for a year. Things kick off with Icon which gives you auto wipers and lights with high beam assist, keyless entry and start, a reversing camera, climate control, 17-inch wheels and the equipment we’ve mentioned already.

Design is predicted to be the big seller, adding rear cross traffic alert with auto braking, front and rear parking sensors, ambient lighting, a rear USB port, a wireless phone charger, dual-zone climate control, 18-inch wheels and heated front seats amongst other things.

Toyota C-HR rear cornering
We’d argue the 1.8 Hybrid makes the most sense, although the PHEV is tempting

Next up is GR Sport which adds 20-inch alloy wheels, two-tone paint, a head-up display, upgraded ambient lighting, a JBL stereo, Alcantara seats with electric driver’s adjustment and a noise reducing windscreen. Excel is more luxury oriented so gets smaller 19-inch wheels, adaptive high beam, lane change assist, front cross traffic alert, a panoramic camera, synthetic leather and suede seats and a black roof.

Premiere adds a few items that’d normally be optional including a panoramic roof, digital rear-view mirror, digital key and real leather seats. We’d probably stick with Design.

What else should I know?

The rear door handles are no longer hidden in the window surround, they’ve moved to the door like a normal car. Well, not entirely normal. Like the Range Rover Velar and Mercedes EQS models, the handles sit flush with the body until you approach with the key. Get close and they pop out automatically before retracting again when you start driving.

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