£20,995 - £28,990 Price range
- 5 Seats
50 - 60 MPG
Style-led SUVs are nothing new – these days even MG is trying its hand at the segment. Toyota, meanwhile, seemed to snooze through the coupe crossover craze that the Nissan Juke started in 2011, but now the Japanese giant has awoken from its slumber with the Toyota C-HR.
Despite appearances, it is bigger than the Juke. In fact, it’s more of a rival for models such as the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar, and Toyota RAV4. That gives the edgily styled Toyota a discernible advantage over the competition if you’re the kind of person who likes to get noticed.
To reel customers away from other carmakers, the CH-R’s interior features ambient lighting and piano-black plastic for an upmarket feel. The large infotainment screen, mounted high up, corresponds with the customary raised driving position for great forward visibility. Our only concern is the 370-litre boot that’s significantly smaller than all of its rivals but hey – those looks don’t come free.
Another potential worry is the lack of a diesel engine from launch, instead, customers will choose between a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol (borrowed from the Auris), which is available with two or four-wheel drive, and a 1.8-litre petrol-electric hybrid. The latter uses proven tech (and, sadly, the droning CVT gearbox) from the Prius to achieve a fuel consumption of over 80mpg and low CO2s for free road tax.
Trim levels will also be familiar to anyone who is au fait with the Toyota range – they include Icon, Excel and Dynamic. Icon gives you the basics such as air-con and an infotainment system, Excel adds sat-nav and a plethora of safety systems and Dynamic tops the range with LED headlights and bespoke interior upholstery.