The design of Toyota’s new C-HR is a break from Toyota tradition in the shape of a four door hatchback while it sits high enough to give the feeling of being in a compact SUV.
And the car gets noticed. Everywhere that I drove at least one person that I met knew that it was the new Toyota C-HR, so the marketing team at Toyota have got the message across.
Out on the road, where I drove more than 1,200km while venturing to West Cork during my test drive week, I found the car to be smooth and easy to drive.
The interior is modern and clear to use and I was comfortable quickly after the Bluetooth phone set-up and ready to go.
The large 8in Toyota Touch is the most obvious interior feature that just jumps out at you.
Set-up here was easy and intuitive and I found it easy to get to grips with the features that it offered.
For me that meant a set-up without having to resort to the owner’s manual, which means it’s a system clear to follow.
Toyota offers two petrol based engine options for the new C-HR, either the choice of a 1.8 hybrid or a 1.2 litre turbo-petrol engine.
My car was the latter and it delivered smooth power to the six-speed manual gearbox.
While I drove the petrol version the obvious first comparison has to be its hybrid counterpart because that’s the choice that most C-HR buyers will have to make.
On paper at least, the hybrid version has to come out on top, with diesel engine type efficiency and a cleaner burn of the fuel for a lower CO2 rating and more importantly a lower running cost.
The figures show that the hybrid version, which costs about €3,000 more has almost double the official economy performance giving you 28.6km/litre (80mpg) versus 17km/litre (47mpg) in the 1.2 litre turbo-petrol version that I drove. That makes the hybrid choice in the new C-HR to obvious one.
That choice was confirmed from personal test drive where I found that the performance settings have a big impact on the economy level of the car.
On day one I drive in the normal driving mode before I discovered the Eco option.
And that Eco driving option made a significant difference to the otherwise thirsty C-HR adding a further 10% to the economy level.
The overall economy level that I achieved was poorer than I had expected from the modern 1.2 litre turbo-petrol engine but to be fair it was only marginally off the rated figure of 16.7km/litre (6.0l/100km or 47mpg).
That limits the range that I expect from a modern car and the 50-litre capacity fuel tank meant more stops than I would have liked.
This aspect of the C-HR made me look at other petrol engine compact SUV’s and the choice of the Nissan Juke with its 1.2 litre turbo-petrol engine came to mind as well as the Honda HR-V with a slightly bigger engine and the new Opel Mokka X.
I found that the petrol powered Toyota C-HR option to be the least economical of the bunch and also the most expensive starting at €26,895.
It’s also the longest and has the longest wheelbase so that’s why it was comfortable and stable on the wide range of motorway, city and rural roads that I drove across.