Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Bold interior won’t be for everyone…
  • …it is functional and easy to use
  • Media system trails behind rival setups

In many respects, the inside of the C-HR is more extraordinary than the outside – again, especially for a Toyota. Not only is the dashboard noticeably angled towards the driver, it's interestingly designed and contributes to a cocooning feel inside the car. But most prominent of all is the infotainment screen, standard on every model, which sits proud at the leading edge of the dashboard in a distinctive asymmetrical frame.

While this is a detail that appears to be lifted straight from the original C-HR concept car, it works well in practice – placing what is a generously large screen high-up in the driver’s eye-line, making it easy to check without looking too far from the road. As part of the car's mid-life updates late in 2019, the C-HR received a much-needed update to its media system. Physical shortcut buttons around the outside aid ease of use, but it's still a way behind the systems you'll find in a VW, though not as frustrating as the heavy reliance on the touchscreen in the DS 3 Crossback. The best news is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, making it far easier to get on with. One thing to note about the infotainment - the graphics and fonts on show look very old - they're similar in style to a Casio watch.

Much of the exterior is shaped to make you think of diamonds, and reinforcing this message there is a diamond motif throughout the interior – from the shape of the button clusters on the steering wheel and below the infotainment screen to the unusual cut-outs in the roof lining. It gives the C-HR a design consistency that has often been lacking from Toyota interiors.

Wacky styling means it won’t be for everyone

Toyota is taking a bit of a risk with the C-HR’s interior. The design is so bold that it will potentially put off more conservative buyers – especially when dressed with the bright blue and dusky purple trim standard on the top-spec Dynamic model. More muted choices are available lower down the range, but you still get all kinds of textures in the door panels.

We like the layered design to the dashboard and the diamond-patterned door inserts, even if these are rather hard to the touch. But there are still large swathes of bland-looking plastics, which do make the intricacies elsewhere seem a little tokenistic.

Is it comfortable?

  • Toyota did development work in the UK
  • C-HR deals with bumpy surfaces well
  • Both versions are quiet and refined

Toyota completed development work on the car here in the UK – and promises that the particular challenge of our roads has been taken into account.

Indeed, on rougher sections of road, the shock absorbers exhibit a fine ability to deal with bumps quickly and comfortably. The C-HR’s platform has been reinforced in key areas with the aim of making it especially rigid, which helps in these circumstances. It does also make for a rather heavy vehicle, though, with top-spec models weighing over 1,500kg.

Our only criticism here is that the C-HR tends to shake laterally very slightly when driving over straight bumpy roads. Fundamentally this isn’t an uncomfortable car (far from it), and excellent seats also help with this, although it's unfortunate that you'd probably want the electric seats of higher-spec cars to really adjust it fully.

Once up and running, both hybrid versions of the C-HR are quiet unless revved hard. Noise is suppressed from outside the car very well indeed - especially road noise - but wind noise can become noticeable at higher speeds. The hybrid can, however, operate on electric power alone for longer distances than you'd expect, and even when the engine does kick in, it's not overly intrusive unless you really floor it. Unsurprisingly, it is whisper quiet in EV (electric vehicle) mode.