I don’t usually write about hybrids, but, in recent year with all the doom and gloom around petrol/diesel cars, I think it is about time we paid a bit more attention and love to these kids on the block.
I think Toyota C-HR Hybrid could be the perfect introduction if you suddenly feel the urge to join the eco-revolution.
Let’s keep an open mind and not compare this to Toyota Prius. There are already quite a large volume of materials on the internet, around what an uphill struggle it faced trying to convince car enthusiasts.
Toyota has continued this eco-friendly championship and have decided to upgrade the Toyota C-HR, with its own full-hybrid powertrain – a 1.8L 2ZR-FEX engine, which once again runs on a mix of petrol and pure electric power.
However, we need to ask ourselves the most important of the questions, is it any good?
The most striking feature of the C-HR, is its futuristic look. It has become something of the norm now, for electric/hybrid cars to have this space age design about them and almost every company tries their hand to make the next one even more futuristic.
The Toyota C-HR definitely has an air of Range Rover Evoque, the sculpted, elongated roofline, attempts and with some degree of success gives an air of self importance.
Toyota re-design is also apparent in other area, the wheelbase, for instance, is only 10cm longer than the dreaded Nissan Juke, It’s just 1,795mm wide too, which is smaller than the entry-level Range Rove Evoque (1,900mm).
Regardless, the Toyota C-HR looks big and powerful on the road – all thanks to the muscular haunches, a high bonnet, and the generally squat stature.
A quick peek inside, and you’ll find a comfortable and spacious interior. You get about as much legroom as you’d find from a Nissan Qashqai.
There’s a great selection of instrument panels and infotainment systems detail later, but needless to say there’s no shortage of buttons to poke and fiddle with.
This can be a little overwhelming at first, but most of the apparatus benefits from adequate and clear labelling.
The futuristic design on the exterior is further evident by the ridged, blue framing that brings the carries the vibe into the inside of the car.
All the talk of futuristic space design technology would be rather pointless if Toyota to release such a vehicle without jamming it with similarly space-age technology.
Space – The Frontier
The central element to Toyota’s C-HR Hybrid is the Toyota Touch 2 with Go infotainment system, where Drivers and passengers can easily interact through an 8-inch touchscreen that’s built into the centre of that rigid blue dashboard, we mentioned earlier.
This system does all the usual bits you’d come to expect, satellite navigation and Bluetooth-powered music playback. It also features built-in online connectivity, and boasts aux-in and USB ports.
Other useful features, is the parking assist. The back of the Toyota C-HR Hybrid is fitted with a rear-view camera that helps you navigate into tricky spots, and it even goes one step further and shows how best to aim your car into the space, and warns you if you’re at risk of backing into a wall.
The car is also fitted with a dual 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display for general driving metrics, which sits behind the steering wheel.
Furthermore Toyota has loaded the C-HR Hybrid with a smart entry system and push-button start, you’ll also benefit from automatic high-beam lighting, an electric parking brake, and rain-sensing front wipers that clear your screen automatically.
As the above wasn’t enough, there are some driving help too, such as, Lane Departure Alert will track road lanes, and alert you with noise if you start to drift – very helpful during a late-night journey. The wing mirrors are also fitted with lights that glow if it’s unsafe to change lanes; the car will measure the speed of vehicles in the next lanes to work out if you can safely move over.
A pre-collision system – which supports pedestrian detection – will warn you if you’re about to crash, and adaptive cruise control takes all of the pain out of motorway driving, slowing and stopping in kind with the traffic ahead.
The main reason many people will be buying a hybrid engine is for fuel economy. This means you can expect a fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg with the Toyota C-HR Hybrid (great for an SUV), and 86g/km of combined CO2 emissions.
Toyota C-HR Hybrid goes one step further; it’s actually a “full” hybrid, which means is capable of running on electric power alone.
Toyota has also helpfully fitted the car with a dedicated EV mode button, allowing the driver to switch the car entirely onto electric power. This means you’ll be able to drive the car at low speeds over short distances with zero emissions and fuel consumption.
The good news is that although it’s a seriously slick car that’s cheap to run, it wont cost you an arm and a leg to own. For a brand new model straight from Toyota, you’ll pay a starting price of just £21,065.