Toyota C-HR (2016-2023) Review & Prices

The Toyota C-HR is a stylish family car with a cheap-to-run hybrid engine. It’s not quite as practical as plenty of other less eye-catching SUVs, though

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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Sci-fi styling
  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Frugal hybrid engine

What's not so good

  • CVT gearboxes
  • Feels quite cheap in places
  • Noisy at motorway speeds

Find out more about the Toyota C-HR (2016-2023)

Is the Toyota C-HR a good car?

The Toyota C-HR is a compact SUV that’s easy to drive and cheap to run, and it’s also ideal for those who tend to lose their vehicle in a car park, because it certainly stands out.

Some small SUVs are little more than hatchbacks with slightly raised suspension and a few extra plastic bits. Not so the Toyota C-HR – its name stands for Coupe High Rider – which looks like the sort of car the Jetsons might use.

Sure, you get a bunch of chunky black plastic bumpers and side skirts, but the Toyota C-HR’s angular headlights, strongly creased sides and swooping coupe-like roofline make it look much sportier than a conventional boxy SUV. A 2019 update gave the car scrolling LED indicators, new front and rear bumpers and new head and taillights, so it now looks even more striking.

If you'd like your C-HR with a more sporty-looking edge, you can go for the GR Sport version. This gets you 19-inch wheels, a larger front grille and a deeper rear bumper.

Climb inside, and you’ll find the Toyota C-HR’s interior looks just as flashy as its exterior and quality was improved slightly in 2019 with soft-touch plastics used on the insides of the front doors. GR Sport models are also available with swanky Alcantara sports seats, if you're willing to pay extra.

A streak of trim stretches from the front doors all the way across the dashboard and you get plenty of embossed plastics that mimic the C-HR’s diamond-patterned grille. Sadly, while some of these surfaces feel lovely and soft, the lower third of the dashboard and all the plastics in the rear seat are hard.

That said, the Toyota feels like a very solid car so it’s a shame the infotainment isn’t also a solid performer. It’s nowhere near as easy to use as the system you get in a VW Tiguan, but since Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard, you can avoid Toyota’s system and use the far more intuitive controls of your smartphone.

Toyota’s styling department really took its brave pills with the C-HR – it looks like nothing else on the road. Whether or not that’s a good thing will be up to you…

The Toyota C-HR isn’t quite as roomy as a Tiguan, either. Sure, there’s ample space for tall adults in the front but the tiny rear windows and sloping roofline make it feel rather dark and dingy in the back. The boot’s significantly smaller than in almost all other similar-sized SUVs, too.

These small windows also make the Toyota C-HR rather tricky to see out of, but at least it comes with parking sensors to help you avoid low-speed bumps. The steering’s nice and light too, so you won’t struggle to drive it through tight city streets and the suspension does a fairly good job ironing out bumps and potholes.

It’s not quite as relaxing to drive as the Peugeot 3008 – you can blame the rather intrusive wind and tyre noise for that – but the Toyota C-HR handles twisty roads surprisingly well. It has plenty of grip and barely leans in tight corners, so your passengers shouldn’t have any reason to feel car sick.

The 2.0-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine doesn't feel particularly sporty, but it's both reasonably smooth and returns decent fuel economy. It’s just a shame that the CVT automatic gearbox forces the engine to make an annoying din when you accelerate hard.

Check out our Toyota C-HR deals page to see the latest offers. There are also some used Toyota C-HR deals available at carwow, and you can have a look at other used Toyota models, too. If you want to get the best price for a car that you're selling, use our sell my car service to change your car through us too.

How much is the Toyota C-HR?

The Toyota C-HR (2016-2023) has a RRP range of £36,080 to £36,080. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,631. Prices start at £33,449 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £353. The price of a used Toyota C-HR (2016-2023) on Carwow starts at £12,342.

Our most popular versions of the Toyota C-HR (2016-2023) are:

Model version Carwow price from
2.0 Hybrid Excel 5dr CVT £33,449 Compare offers

The Toyota C-HR has no shortage of alternatives, it sits slightly above the more budget-oriented SEAT Ateca and Nissan Qashqai models, being more comparable in price and specification level to the Peugeot 3008 and VW Tiguan. 

The hybrid engine and great standard kit make it a desirable choice amongst the sea of mid-sized SUVs, although if you want extra space and/or pace, there are more suitable alternatives to pick from.

If that’s not a major concern and you are smitten by its funky styling, then we’d opt for the Design trim with the 2.0-litre hybrid motor.

Performance and drive comfort

There’s a sportiness to the C-HR without it feeling overly hard over bumps, although it’s not the most refined at motorway speeds 

In town

The C-HR’s seating position isn’t quite as lofty as you get in a Peugeot 3008, but you still get a commanding view out, aided by a pair of small triangular windows at the base of the pillars. The well-weighed controls and smooth CVT automatic gearbox give the C-HR a laid-back feel around town.

The base Icon trim gets 17-inch wheels, with 18-inchers standard on the Design and Excel trims, and with either the ride comfort is decent over most road surfaces. The GR Sport does get sportier 19-inch items which mar the ride a bit. More concerning is the tiny rear window and wide rear pillars, both conspiring against you when reversing into parking bays. Fortunately, all trims come standard with front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Excel trim also gets Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Monitoring.

The self-charging hybrid engine is capable of travelling for short distances on electric power, although you’ll have to be a bit sensitive with the accelerator to avoid the petrol engine springing into action.

On the motorway

The C-HR feels stable at motorway speeds, with enough power in reserve for overtaking – especially with the larger engine. Both power units get pretty vocal when pushed though, a common issue in cars equipped with CVT automatic gearboxes. In this case it gets drowned out slightly by the tyre and wind noise that are a constant companion on motorway journeys.

While the C-HR comes with plenty of driver aids to ease fatigue on longer trips, a Peugeot 3008 or VW Tiguan offer a more refined driving experience. 

On a twisty road

The Toyota C-HR delivers a pleasingly sporty drive along a twisty stretch of road. It grips well and there’s not much lean through fast corners, and the ride isn’t too firm either. It is a touch more engaging than most SUVs in its class, but not quite as enjoyable as the SEAT Ateca.

Space and practicality

The C-HR has a great driving position, although that cool sloping roofline limits rear passenger headroom and boot space

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, offering enough adjustability to accommodate most shapes and sizes. Taller occupants may find that they bump the roof-mounted grab handle when climbing into the C-HR, though. Both front seats are heated with the driver getting power adjustable lumbar support. 

Storage space is decent, you can hide items out of sight in the roomy glovebox or central storage bin. The door bins are big enough for some large bottles, and the cupholders placed between the front seats will take the biggest coffee cups around. A tray situated ahead of the gear lever will accommodate your phone or other loose items.

Space in the back seats

The angled roofline and shallow rear windows can make it feel a bit claustrophobic, especially for tall passengers. Leg and knee room is pretty decent though, and there’s enough width to accommodate three adults in comfort – as long as they aren’t beanpoles. ISOFIX mounting points are clearly marked, although slotting a seat into them can be a pain as the rear doors don’t open very far and the low roofline will have you bending down as you place your child in the seats.

A pair of shallow cupholders are moulded into the rear doors, and there’s front seatback pockets for your tablet. No C-HR is offered with a folding centre armrest.

Boot space

The C-HR offers decent boot space when compared to a conventional hatchback but falls well short of other small SUVs. You get 377 litres with the rear seats in place, a Peugeot 3008 offers 520 litres as does the VW Tiguan.

The narrow opening, substantial loading lip and lack of an adjustable boot floor only make it that much trickier to load in larger items. The rear seats fold down in a 60:40 split expanding boot space to 924 litres. This also pales in comparison to most alternatives.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The C-HR has a futuristic-looking interior with plenty of standard kit. Unfortunately, some sub-par cabin materials let it down

The C-HR is marketed as a premium small SUV, and while an update in 2019 addressed some interior trim issues, it’s still not quite as ‘premium’ inside as its pricing might suggest. That said, the hard and scratchy plastics that are left have been relegated to the footwells and other less noticeable areas.

The quality of the switchgear and buttons is good though, and while there’s a predominance of dark fabrics, they are of a high quality. The dark theme extends to the gunmetal dashboard trim on the Design trim, although Excel and GR Sport models get silver dashboard inlays.

Ambient lighting in the door bins and cup holders enhances the interior ambience, and fully electric black leather seats are standard on the Excel trim and optional on the base Design trim.  

The 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the base Design trim still uses the ageing Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system. It has the benefit of physical shortcut buttons running vertically down either side of it, but the graphics are outdated, and it isn’t the most intuitive to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, though, so you can bypass Toyota’s setup if you want to.

The rest of the range gets the much better Toyota Smart Connect system. It’s still an 8.0-inch screen but the interface is far more modern and it includes wireless smartphone integration, sat nav and smart voice assist. There’s a physical knob for the volume, and the climate control still has actual buttons to push, which is far more useable on the move than you get in some other cars’ more ‘modern’ buttonless designs. You only get one USB slot up front though. 

The driver display retains digital dials with a small 4.2-inch digital display nestled between them, it’s clear and easy to read but looks a bit old-fashioned compared to the full-size digital displays found in the VW Tiguan and Peugeot 3008.

The Icon, Design and GR Sport trims get a six-speaker audio system, while the Excel trim gets a much-improved 576-watt 9-speaker JBL premium sound system as standard.

MPG, emissions and tax

The Toyota C-HR is available with a single self-charging petrol-electric hybrid engine, which comes with a CVT automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive as standard.

The 181hp 2.0-litre engine has a 0-62mph time of 8.2 seconds, which is quick enough for everyday driving, with decent fuel economy of 53.2mpg. Most alternatives use smaller turbocharged petrol engines for their mid-spec models, giving them slightly quicker in-gear acceleration but poorer fuel economy. What the Toyota C-HR unit suffers from is excessive droning when pressing on, an unfortunate side-effect of the CVT automatic transmission. In most other situations, the engine is smooth and unobtrusive, and is capable of short bursts of electric-only driving.

The C-HR used to be available with a 121hp 1.8-litre engine, which was the same unit found in the Prius, here delivering an impressive 57.6mpg and 112g/km of CO2. Now only found on the used market, the 11.0-second 0-62mph time is nothing special but on par with most entry-level small SUVs in this class. 

Safety and security

The Toyota C-HR scored a full five-star rating during Euro NCAP testing in 2017. Its 95% adult occupant safety score is particularly impressive, although it’s worth noting that testing procedures have become more stringent in the intervening years.

Still, every C-HR comes well equipped with active and passive safety features, some of which used to be optional extras at launch. Every trim comes standard with adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera and Toyota Safety Sense 2. This is a suite of safety features including road sign assist, pre-collision assist and a lane keeping assist system.

Reliability and problems

Toyota regularly features at the pointy end of reliability surveys and the C-HR does its fair share in contributing to the marques stellar reliability scores. Recent owner surveys have shown that this little SUV was rated highly for its styling and fuel economy, too.

Every C-HR comes standard with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. That’s on par with most alternatives aside from the over-achieving Hyundai (five years/unlimited mileage) and Kia (seven years/100,000 miles) offerings. The interesting bit is that if you have your car serviced annually at a Toyota authorised repairer you get an additional 12-month/10,000-mile warranty up to a maximum of 10 years and 100,000-miles. There is also a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on the hybrid components. That’s two years longer than the industry standard.

There have been five recalls so far for the Toyota C-HR, these ranged from a potentially serious unintended airbag deployment to a radar sensor that may need initialisation. If you are considering buying a used example of this model, it’s always a good idea to ensure that the car you are considering has had all the remedial work carried out.

Buy or lease the Toyota C-HR (2016-2023) at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £36,080 Avg. Carwow saving £2,631 off RRP
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