Toyota C-HR engines, drive & performance
The Toyota C-HR hybrid handles well, although the engine noise under harsh acceleration blights its overall refinement
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The Toyota C-HR's engines are mostly quite smooth and pleasant to use, despite its irritating (and compulsory) CVT automatic gearbox. It’s a quiet and enjoyable car both around town and on the motorway.
However, getting up to speed isn't fun. Even under moderate acceleration – joining a motorway or overtaking on a dual-carriageway, for instance – the CVT makes the C-HR noisier and less refined than it should be. Both the 1.8 and 2.0-litre engines are affected, the latter less so thanks to its extra power. Additional soundproofing introduced by a late 2019 facelift also helps.
Toyota C-HR 0-62mph and acceleration
With a relatively modest 120bhp on tap, 0-62mph takes 11 seconds in the 1.8-litre C-HR. This is by no means quick, although the 2.0-litre fares a little better, with its 182bhp sending it from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds. The top speeds of each powertrain are 105 and 112mph respectively. It’s worth bearing in mind that although the MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid is more expensive, it can cover a useful 20-odd miles on electricity alone and will also do 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds.
The Toyota C-HR deals well with the UK’s less-than-perfect road surfaces. It’s reasonably engaging through a corner thanks to its light steering, and its tall suspension springs ensure that there’s not much in the way of body lean when changing direction.
The ride isn’t perfect, though: we found that the 2.0-litre model (which is a little heavier than its 1.8-litre counterpart) never really settled down, with small but noticeable movements making their presence felt in the cabin even on supposedly smooth dual carriageways. It’s not a dealbreaker, however: the vast majority of time spent in the C-HR will feel relaxing for passengers and the driver.
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.
A GR Sport version of the C-HR, with tweaked suspension for sharper handling, joined the line-up in early 2021. However, we haven't yet driven it so can't comment on its merits until we do.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Toyota C-HR hybrid is an accomplished small SUV that boasts low running costs and bold styling
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe Toyota C-HR hybrid delivers impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions for a petrol-fuelled family SUV, but is some way off plug-in hybrid alternatives in both areas
- 3Running costsThe Toyota C-HR isn't the cheapest family SUV to buy, but its impressive fuel economy should save you money in the long run
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingThe Toyota C-HR hybrid handles well, although the engine noise under harsh acceleration blights its overall refinement
- 5Interior & comfortThe Toyota C-HR's dashboard feels well made and stylishly designed, although the infotainment system is a bit of a letdown
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Toyota C-HR hybrid is practical enough for small families, but there are more versatile and more spacious SUVs on the market
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Toyota C-HR hybrid offers more peace of mind on the safety and reliability fronts than most of its rivals