While we praise Toyota for converting a bold concept as it lies and runs into series production, it was easier for the C-HR after all. For the crossover, which from the beginning (from the first generation) has been profiled as downright extravagant, in short, the distinctive lines of the design concept have made their way into the series more well-trodden than with more conservative models. Thumbs up anyway.
All the more so because it is not always easy to follow up on a stylistically successful predecessor. Toyota did it for me – you can tell from the first glance that it’s a C-HR, but you won’t confuse the novelty with its predecessor. Among other things, thanks to the recessed handles, which are more effective than useful, but basically why not.
And one more design compliment – similar cars are usually very polarizing, but with the Toyota C-HR, I would say that the majority will like it. Please correct me in the discussion. Get on now!
Inside in luxury
Or a Lexus? Forgive the cliché, but the comparison to Toyota’s luxury division is very apt. Inside I really felt more like a Lexus model, Toyota has gone to great lengths to add a matching interior counterpart to the stylish exterior.
Huge progress has been made by infotainment, where Toyota used to have a significant deficit. I currently spend the most kilometers in the Corolla Cross and it is solid old school. The C-HR is two to three generations apart from the aforementioned model, the 12.3-inch display (the instrument panel under the steering wheel is the same size) offers modern and fast graphics, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto cannot be missing. Toyota is also preparing a digital key and car control via mobile, these functions will arrive later. In short, however, customers who buy the C-HR now won’t come either – thanks to Over the Air updates, they can “upgrade” their car with a digital key.
Toyota is one of the laudable exceptions, which despite digitization does not concentrate all control in touchscreens, but still entrusts the ventilation to a separate panel with buttons, for example. When I think about it, in the case of the C-HR, Toyota managed to prepare a really extremely refined and detailed interior.
Of course, the space in the back is not bad, I sit behind me (with a height of 181 cm), my head doesn’t even touch the ceiling (but really only a little bit), but despite the intergenerational improvement, it’s still a little darker here. In our test cars, the panoramic roof (almost one square meter) tried to brighten the space, but the C-HR does not offer 100% full-fledged family seating in the back. We have other Toyotas since then.
The panorama is interesting in itself, thanks to the fact that it reflects infrared radiation, there is no need for a roller blind, which brings me back to the mentioned overhead space – it would be worse with a roller blind. We’ll see how it will be in a really hot summer, but in sunny weather around twenty degrees, I didn’t miss shading.
Four drives, the differences are not big
During the test drives, we had at our disposal a basic hybrid 18, a more powerful two-liter hybrid with front axle drive and four-wheel drive. It didn’t just get to the plug-in hybrid, which will arrive in March.
And honestly, if you told me I only drove one version, I wouldn’t bet. That there will be a practically imperceptible difference between the two-liter with front- and all-wheel drive is probably nothing surprising, even though 4 × 4 is realized by means of an electric motor on the rear axle, which contributes 33 horsepower. However, it is also quite difficult for him to recognize the difference between an eighteen-liter and a two-liter. And we are already talking about the system performance of 103 vs. 145 kW. Maybe with a stopwatch in hand, maybe somewhere on a straight section, where I would switch from car to car and give full throttle several times in a row, then I would probably learn to distinguish between the two engines. But when my colleague and I swapped the 18-litre for a 2-litre and set off on the same test route, we first checked the paperwork to see if we really had the more powerful C-HR. It’s strange, the acceleration to 100 km/h takes 8.1 seconds (the four-wheeler is even two tenths faster), while the 18-cylinder engine needs 9.9 seconds to speak for the rather significant dynamic rebound of the two-liter.
However, when I then added gas – and calmly more forcefully – in all three cases there was a very smooth, but somewhat more hesitant response. Fortunately, unlike the already mentioned Corolla Cross, the hybrid units in the C-HR are not so loud. You may be familiar with the typical Toyota hybrid expression – acceleration, revving the engine – it persists throughout the acceleration period, which inevitably means a monotonous and often inaudible sound. Even in the C-HR, however the fifth generation of the hybrid system has moved in this direction as well, you know about the four cylinders during acceleration. Still a bit more than I would like for me.
However, what Toyota’s hybrids have had for years is efficiency and thus really low real fuel consumption. Toyota indicates averages of around five liters, which is also confirmed by our short test experience. Here, too, all three engines agreed practically to the tenth. If you don’t bother the hybrid with frequent highway trips with speeds above the Czech speed limit, you’ll simply drive for five or less.
On the high-quality roads in Ibiza, it is quite difficult to assess the comfort of the new C-HR’s suspension, during the whole day of testing we encountered only one significant deceleration lane. The Toyota did not do badly on it even in the twenties, but towards the Czech roads, I would venture to predict that the C-HR will be stiffer overall. Even in the C-HR corners, it held very well, leaned at least, and the steering was not bad either. In the era of electric boosters, I wouldn’t talk about feedback from the front wheels anymore, but in the C-HR I had at least the remote feeling that the front wheels were actually there somewhere up front. And that I even slightly perceive what’s going on under them. The C-HR is very pleasant to drive and actually quite fun to drive. It’s not just a flat process like the Corolla Cross. That I keep talking about it… The Toyota Corolla Cross is not a bad car, but I found the CH-R to be better in practically everything. However, the more practical Corolla Cross is more suitable for family duties.
Straight away with a discount
We will definitely break it down in the classic weekly test in the Czech Republic, but after a short experience in Ibiza, I think that you can stay with the basic 1800 with a power of 103 kW with a clear conscience. In this case, the price list starts at CZK 859,900. But – the importer provides a discount of CZK 125,000 from the start, which you can extend by another thirty-five thousand when buying your car. After taking into account both bonuses, we then arrive at CZK 699,900, which seems to me to be a very good offer.
If you really want a more powerful two-liter, prepare CZK 829,900 (again with both discounts), the four-wheeler is sixty thousand more expensive, and the plug-in, even with the discount, will cost you at least CZK 1,039,900.
You can order the new Toyota C-HR now, the first pieces will arrive to customers at the end of the year.