Toyota C-HR Hybrid engines, drive & performance

Neat handling and easy-going comfort are marred by the Toyota C-HR Hybrid’s thrashy acceleration

Toyota C-HR
0-62mph Top speed Driven wheels Power
8.2-11.0s 106-112mph Front 122-180bhp

The Toyota C-HR's hybrid engines are mostly quite smooth and pleasant to use, despite its irritating (and compulsory) CVT automatic gearbox. It’s a particularly quiet and enjoyable car at low speeds around town, and also when you’re up to speed on faster roads – but getting up to that speed isn't fun.

Even under moderate acceleration – to join motorways or overtake on dual-carriageways, for instance – the CVT makes the C-HR too noisy and less enjoyable than it should be, with both the 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines.

However, the 2.0-litre's additional power means you don't have to push it hard as often as the 1.8-litre in day-to-day driving, so the overall experience is better. This is also helped by additional soundproofing introduced on both models as part of the late 2019 facelift.

Toyota C-HR Hybrid 0-62mph and acceleration

With a relatively modest 122bhp on tap, 0-62mph takes 11 seconds in the 1.8-litre C-HR – by no means a quick time.

Sure, a MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid is more expensive, but it can cover a useful 20+ miles on electricity alone and will also do 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds.

The 180bhp, 2.0-litre C-HR introduced in late 2019 is better, completing the benchmark sprint in 8.2 seconds and topping out at 112mph.

Handling

The Toyota C-HR deals perfectly with the UK’s narrow, twisty roads, and pockmarked surfaces. It’s engaging but relaxing, and who doesn’t want that? The well sorted suspension rewards keen drivers while ensuring passengers don’t feel jostled, and it’s also quiet on the motorway once up to speed.

Despite being on tall springs, the C-HR doesn’t lean too much in corners, the steering is well weighted and there’s plenty of grip to keep it feeling secure.

 

You can toggle through Eco, Normal and Power modes that change the responsiveness of the gearbox, steering and accelerator, but most drivers will be more than happy to stick the C-HR in Normal and leave it there.

The 2.0-litre model, introduced as part of the C-HR's facelift in late 2019, incorporates some suspension and steering tweaks to take account of its slightly higher weight, but there's no appreciable handling difference to be felt from behind the wheel compared to the 1.8-litre.