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Driven: 2024 Toyota C-HR 2.0 HEV. Image by Toyota.

Driven: 2024 Toyota C-HR 2.0 HEV
Is the new-look C-HR an improvement on its popular predecessor?


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2024 Toyota C-HR

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The old Toyota C-HR was nothing if not divisive. Strikingly styled and with design at its heart, the hybrid crossover was surprisingly successful, but now it's time for a new model to take the baton. More modern in its image and built with European customers in mind, it probably won't divide opinion as much as its predecessor, but will it prove as popular?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Toyota C-HR GR Sport 2.0 HEV
Price: From £50,305
Motors: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol with 83kW electric motor
Battery: 4amp/hr lithium-ion
Transmission: e-CVT automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 197hp
Torque: 206Nm (e-motor), 152Nm (petrol engine)
Emissions: 110g/km
Economy: 57.7mpg
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Top speed: 112mph
Boot space: 364 litres


One of the main reasons why the new C-HR won't be as divisive as its predecessor is the styling. Admittedly, the front end is bold and the lines are sharp, but we imagine fewer customers will be calling this car 'ugly'. In fact, we rather like it, and we thought the old C-HR was hideous. Yes, the nose is a bit fussy, but the C-HR is cool and clean and stylish from every other angle, and we even quite like the black rear end. We found quite a lot of drivers having a good look at the car on the road during our test drive, too. Obviously, that's partly because the car is so new, but the head-turning prowess is definitely there.


Toyota interiors have not always been a strong suit for the brand, but the Japanese firm tried to liven things up with the old C-HR. The new model isn’t quite as bold, but it still feels a bit more interesting than some Toyota products, thanks in part to its curves and edges. It feels more claustrophobic than it is, though, because the styling seems to crowd around you a bit.

All that said, there’s something nice and robust about the way the cabin is made, even if some of the materials feel quite cheap. The bare plastic on the arm rest, for example, is a bit of a disappointment, but it feels as solid as a rock, so you know it’ll stand the test of time. That’s just the Toyota way.

Fortunately, the Toyota way has improved when it comes to infotainment tech, and the C-HR gets Toyota’s latest touchscreen system. More visually pleasing than its predecessors and easier to use, the system is a vast improvement on what went before, even if some of its menus are occasionally awkward. Thankfully, it doesn’t house the climate controls, which are still located in a bank of physical switches that’s ergonomically far better than any touch-sensitive system.

Less appealing, however, is the suite of safety systems on board. While it all sounds wonderful, the assistance tech is really irritating, and turning it off isn’t always easy. The speed limit tech, which bongs at you if you dare to exceed the prescribed limit, is particularly annoying. Not because we’re speed demons, but because it doesn’t always know what the correct speed limit is. You can be doing a mundane 36mph in a 40mph zone, but if the system thinks you’re in a 30mph zone (which it does all too often) you’ll get an irritating bong from the dash.

Obviously, not all the tech is so annoying – the autonomous emergency braking system, for example, is a useful safety net that you’ll hopefully never need or notice – and while we know the speed limit system is a legal requirement for manufacturers these days, the tech is still not good enough for use on the road. Which means you switch it off, and then you might as well not have it. In fairness, Toyota is by no means the only manufacturer that hasn’t quite nailed this technology. In fact, we have never seen a system such as this work properly, which makes us suspect it isn’t really feasible in the real world. Lawmakers, we hope you’re taking notes.


The C-HR may be playing at the smaller end of the family SUV market, competing with the Seat Ateca, VW T-Roc and Mazda CX-30, but those cars offer noticeably more space inside. The C-HR isn’t too cramped – there’s enough space for those in the front and kids will be absolutely fine in the back – but getting four tall adults in there would be a bit of a squeeze. And the car feels even less spacious than it is because of the dark materials everywhere.

Boot space for our 2.0-litre test car measured 364 litres – almost 80 litres down on the T-Roc – although the 1.8-litre C-HR models get a little more space (388 litres) because they have a smaller battery. Avoid the plug-in hybrid if boot space is your most important consideration, because that offers just 310 litres of luggage space. You’d get more from a VW Polo.


Unsurprisingly for Toyota, the new C-HR is available solely in hybrid forms. There's a basic 1.8-litre option with 140hp, a 2.0-litre hybrid tested here with 197hp, and a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid with 223hp. In truth, the 1.8 is likely to be the most popular, as it's the cheapest and it's offered with the most trim levels, but it's the 2.0-litre, 197hp option we tested.

As with so many hybrids, the refinement is strong up to a point, with the engine proving quiet enough around town or on more open roads, as long as you don't put your foot down. That's partly because the electric motor takes so much of the strain, taking over whenever you ease off or you're travelling at low speeds. But when you stamp on the pedal on the right, the car combines the might of the motor and the engine to roar its head off. Relaxing it is not, although it does subside the minute you lift off the accelerator.

That said, there's no doubting the hybrid system's efficiency. Officially, the 2.0-litre hybrid will manage 57.7mpg, while the 1.8-litre unit gets just over 60mpg. Given the 2.0-litre version is two full seconds faster to 62mph (it still isn't rapid, but it's quick enough), it's the more appealing option for us.

Ride & Handling

One of the big selling points of the old C-HR was the way it drove, with remarkable agility for something high-riding. That came at the cost of comfort, it's true, but it made the old C-HR pretty good fun on a country road.

The new model is not as engaging. It doesn't feel quite as nimble or as alert, but that doesn't stop it from driving nicely. The body roll is well controlled and the steering response is relatively sharp, even if the wheel isn't especially feelsome, while there's evidently plenty of grip. It isn't as good as the Mazda CX-30, but that's no insult to the Toyota, which remains a very pleasant car to drive.

It's also reasonably comfortable, with a ride that seems slightly more supple than before, although the 20-inch alloys of our GR Sport-specification test car didn't do much to help on that front. As a result, the car still hit some potholes quite hard, but we're prepared to believe smaller wheels might make it a bit more pliant. And given our test car rode perfectly acceptably on the motorway, any improvement would be a welcome but not necessarily vital addition.

What we would like to see, however, is a bit more refinement, and not just from the hybrid system. Even with the engine off and the electric motor on, there was quite a lot of road noise in the C-HR's cabin at motorway cruising speeds, and that made it a less enjoyable long-distance companion than we were hoping it would be.


C-HR prices start at £31,300, which makes the car a bit more expensive than some of its peers. The slightly larger Ateca comes in at £28,385 in base trim, while the cheapest Mazda CX-30 costs £25,350. But then the Toyota does get hybrid tech as standard, and the entry-level Icon model is hardly ill-equipped. You get 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, an eight-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay smartphone integration and push-button ignition with 'keyless' entry.

In fairness, the more upmarket Design model will probably appeal more, with front and rear parking sensors, a 12.3-inch touchscreen and satellite navigation, as well as a black contrast roof. But you need the £38,160 Excel model before you get a panoramic roof and a rear-view camera, and that still only gives you the basic 1.8-litre hybrid system. Only the GR Sport model and the Premiere Edition (£40,655 and £42,730 respectively come with 2.0-litre power).

Anway, the point is that the C-HR is not cheap, and with a small boot and little in the way of premium materials, it doesn't necessarily feel like great value.


While the new C-HR remains imperfect, it looks set to carry on where its predecessor left off. It's less quirky, but much more attractive as a result, and it feels a bit more polished in some ways. The hybrid system is efficient, the car is bound to be reliable, and it drives pleasantly, even if it never really engages. It isn't our favourite small SUV by any stretch of the imagination, but it will tick a lot of boxes for customers.

James Fossdyke - 3 Apr 2024    - Toyota road tests
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2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.

2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.2024 Toyota C-HR HEV. Image by Toyota.


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