Almost all conversations about the second-generation Toyota C-HR crossover begin with a discussion of the cost of this car. Indeed, it is not cheap. However, this crossover knows exactly what it can put on the other side of the scale. Now I will tell you everything in detail – on the example of the Toyota C-HR GR SPORT with the most powerful hybrid and all-wheel drive.

Design: open up, a spaceship has arrived!

The Toyota C-HR crossover stands out for its futuristic design, reminiscent of a spaceship from future movies: a teardrop-shaped silhouette, a sharp shark nose and narrow laser headlights, retractable door handles for the first time for Toyota, and taillights with the red C-HR model designation between them – of course, with illumination! A bright, emotional, original design has always been a characteristic feature of the Toyota C-HR model, and this time this approach is once again successfully implemented in the production model.

The GR SPORT package does not radically change the car’s appearance, but adds even more flavor. For example, a black glossy grille or matte black 18-inch wheels. This is a successful combination with the contrasting two-tone body paint, where not only the roof, but also the curve of the rear pillar and even all surfaces behind the doors are highlighted in black. The phrase “No more boring cars” is quite suitable to describe the design of the Toyota C-HR: it is definitely not boring!

The new crossover Toyota CHR looks like a spaceship; however, this ship is clearly small: length – 4.36 meters; width – 1.83 meters; height – 1.56 meters; wheelbase – 2.64 meters. The car Toyota CHR already hints at the fashionable cross-coupe format by its name, because the designation CHR is an abbreviation of the words Coupe High Rider – ie: a coupe with an elevated body position (by the way, the ground clearance is declared at 154 mm). This has been the case since the first concepts of the Toyota C-CHR about 10 years ago. However, they had a 3-door body, but the production version of the first generation Toyota C HR has already received a 5-door body. For practicality?

The front of the Toyota C-HR is all about design again. And again, it’s about design with hints of a coupe car. After all, how else to explain this curved front panel that tries to create a separate cockpit for the driver. Or these seats with clearly defined side support. Or the steering wheel with red stitching and the digital instrument panel that seems to float out from under it. The front of the cabin is almost entirely built around the driver. Thankfully, at least the front passenger was left with an attractive round ventilation deflector and an additional shelf above the main glove compartment. But is the Toyota C-HR really about practicality?

The rear row of seats is a definite no, you shouldn’t even hope. Let’s be specific: a small amount of space was expected due to the size of the car, and the not-so-comfortable seating is due to the shape of the rear doors. But it was possible to add ventilation deflectors, heated seats, several USB ports (only one in the back), and this could somehow compensate for the above comments. For example, as the trunk does: a volume of 290-305 liters (depending on the version), several niches for small items, an electric lid drive – already not bad.

The front of the Toyota CHR interior matches the exterior: an interesting and original design, plus high-quality materials. However, there is only a minimal amount of space behind and everything is much simpler. The trunk is not a record, but it is quite sufficient and convenient.

Technology: all attention to hybrids

The second-generation Toyota C-HR crossover has a unibody design and is built on the TNGA platform, just like its predecessor. Fully independent suspensions are used in the front and rear, 4-cylinder engines are installed transversely – just like its predecessor. Even the wheelbase of 2.64 meters is the same as its predecessor. So what has changed? Hybrids have changed!

In general, the new generation Toyota C-HR is offered with three hybrid powertrains: two traditional HEV hybrids and one PHEV hybrid. But the latter is not available on the Ukrainian market – only HEV hybrids are available here. The entry-level option is a hybrid based on a 1.8-liter gasoline engine, which, together with an electric motor, produces 140 hp (versus 122 hp for its predecessor) and rotates the front wheels. A 2-liter hybrid is located one level higher, and it was installed under the hood of the test car. So: a gasoline 4-cylinder 2-liter M20A-FXS engine, a very high compression ratio of 14.0:1 and the Dual VVT-i system for changing the timing of the gas distribution; plus an electric motor and a hybrid continuously variable transmission e-CVT to combine the two engines. The gasoline engine develops 112 kW or 152 hp and 188 Nm; the electric motor produces 83 kW or 112 hp and 206 Nm; however, these figures cannot be added directly due to the different modes of operation of the engines. Therefore, the final result is somewhat lower – a total of 197 hp of power against 184 hp of its predecessor.

In addition to the power increase, there are many other minor improvements: the powertrain is 15% lighter overall; the new Li-Ion battery is lighter (-1.5 kg) and can deliver more peak power; lower revs while driving on the highway to reduce noise – claimed to be about 500 revs at the same speed. Plus, in the case of the 2-liter hybrid, the drive can already be front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Moreover, ADW-i all-wheel drive is realized through the use of a separate electric motor. Earlier, the first-generation Toyota C-HR crossover could also have all-wheel drive, but it was implemented mechanically and offered only for the 1.2-liter turbo engine – that is, all-wheel drive was not combined with hybrid versions, which will be very popular. Now the concept has changed: AWD-i all-wheel drive can be combined with the most powerful 2-liter hybrid and is realized thanks to a separate rear electric motor: we have 30 kW or 40 hp of power and 84 Nm of torque to drive the rear wheels. Isn’t that enough? But remember the example of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid with a similar AWD-i all-wheel drive system, where the electric motor develops 121 Nm of torque, but thanks to a separate gearbox, 1300 Nm of torque is delivered to the rear wheels – more than 10 times the ratio!

The Toyota CHR crossover is offered in two hybrid versions in Ukraine, and the older 2-liter hybrid can be with front or all-wheel drive – this is the option that was presented in the form of a test car. However, the addition of a rear electric motor does not change the total power: we have 197 hp for both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions. However, the weight of the car changes significantly: the lightest versions of the Toyota CHR with a 1.8-liter hybrid have a minimum of 1505 kg; versions with a 2-liter hybrid and front-wheel drive weigh at least 1540 kg; and the Toyota CHR crossover with a 2-liter hybrid and all-wheel drive is already at least 1610 kg, which is a lot. Other interesting passport numbers and figures for the Toyota CHR 2.0 Hybrid AWD-i: fuel consumption in the city cycle – 3.7 liters per 100 km; fuel consumption in the country cycle – 4.7 liters per 100 km; acceleration 0-100 km/h – 7.9 seconds; top speed – 180 km/h. So…

Behind the wheel: smooth and lively acceleration, soft suspension

The main characteristic of the Toyota C-HR crossover is its softness and smoothness of response. This is evident from the first meters of the road, especially when the road is uneven. After all, the car has a fairly comfortable suspension that carefully softens all vibrations and impacts, even from large pits or ledges. Moreover, the chassis does its job quite quietly, the rear independent suspension does not allow the wheels to whirl in winding bends, and the moderate body height results in the same moderate rolls in the turns, even with the soft suspension. By the way, the steering wheel makes about 2.7 turns from stop to stop and is quite light with standard settings. In other words, this is a crossover for comfortable everyday life.

The same can be said for the engine. The hybrid gasoline-electric engine delivers smooth, yet lively acceleration. This is reminiscent of an electric car: you accelerate as if on a straight line, but the speed indicators change quickly. Depending on how hard you press the accelerator pedal, the car starts moving only on the electric drive with the gasoline engine connecting later – or the latter kicks in almost immediately if you need maximum dynamics. In any case, you will hear this moment with your ears; although otherwise, the Toyota C-HR is surprisingly quiet.

In addition, the hybrid offers flexible control of deceleration and energy recovery: a joystick switch allows you to select not only the usual P-R-N-D modes, but also B-mode for more intensive energy recovery and storage. How much can you save? Not much: you can cover a maximum of 1-1.5 km on the electric drive alone, and then only if the battery is fully charged and you are driving slowly. After all, when you reach 30-40-50 km/h (depending on the intensity of acceleration at that moment), the gasoline engine is already in operation. But the electric motor still actively helps – both in overcoming traffic jams, where it reduces fuel consumption, and during dynamic accelerations, where it adds power.

The smooth (but not slow!) hybrid engine is a good match for the soft suspension settings. This is a good option for daily use; however, from a car with the designation GR SPORT you already want more: stiffer suspension, sharper steering wheel, sound saturation during acceleration, even if it is synthesized. We can mention the DRIVE MODE system for changing driving modes, but they barely affect the character of the car. By the way, among the several modes there is also a CUSTOM mode, where you can customize the settings to your liking. My own observations: acceleration to “hundred” fits into 8.6-8.7 seconds, in the city an average of 5.5-6 liters per 100 km is obtained, although the minimum can be at the level of 4.3 liters (free roads and smooth driving style), and the maximum reaches about 7 liters (traffic jams and/or dynamic driving style). On the highway at a speed of about 100 km/h, fuel consumption is 5.5 liters. The test car was still running on winter tires, so you can expect a slight improvement in the results on summer tires.

How much does Toyota C-HR cost and who are the competitors

The new Toyota C-HR crossover in Ukraine is offered with two hybrids, front-wheel or all-wheel drive, in five configurations – a total of nine variants of the car. There are also several more option packages and a variety of body colors, including pearl or two-tone.

The Toyota C-HR Live crossover starts the program, offering the following: Reflex LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, driving mode selection system, keyless entry and engine start, rearview camera, heated front seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, digital 12.3-inch instrument panel, multimedia system and 8-inch touchscreen display, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) active safety system, front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, central airbag and driver’s knee airbag, etc. The cost of Toyota CHR 1.8Hybrid Live – from 1.376 million UAH or $34.4 thousand.

The next variant is the Toyota C-HR Active crossover, which adds black glossy 18-inch wheels, interior background lighting, wireless charging, a center armrest, a multimedia system with a 12.3-inch display, and more. The cost of Toyota CHR 1.8Hybrid Active – from 1.46 million UAH or $36.5 thousand; the cost of Toyota CHR 2.0Hybrid Active – from UAH 1.54 million or $38.5 thousand.

A step up is the Toyota C-HR Lounge with additional equipment: a black glossy grille and contrasting black roof, LED searchlights, combined fabric/leather/suede trim and interior contour lighting, electric trunk lid, sporty seat design, electric driver seat settings and memory, and an air ionization system. The cost of Toyota CHR 1.8 Hybrid Lounge – from 1.55 million UAH or almost $39 thousand.; the cost of Toyota CHR 2.0Hybrid Lounge – from 1.63 million UAH or $41 thousand.

The top of the model line is the Toyota C-HR Premium crossover, which additionally features the following: floodlight matrix headlights, automatic dimming of the zone of possible dazzle of an oncoming car, perforated leather seats, a surround view system, automatic parking assistant, etc. The cost of Toyota CHR 2.0 Hybrid Premium – from 1.74 million UAH or $43.5 thousand.; the cost of Toyota CHR 2.0 Hybrid AWD-i Premium – from 1.865 million UAH or $46.6 thousand.

We should also mention the Toyota C-HR GR SPORT, whose equipment level is approximately equal to the Premium package (including certain option packages) plus original interior design and trim: GR SPORT grille, black matte 18-inch wheels, perforated steering wheel trim, leather/suede seats, etc. The cost of Toyota CHR 2.0Hybrid AWD-i GR SPORT – from 1.87 million UAH or $46.7 thousand.

The maximum level for the Toyota C-HR means matrix headlights, black 18-inch wheels, all-round visibility, air ionizer, suede trim and contrast stitching, seat setting memory; however, even in the maximum version, it is impossible to get ventilation of the front seats and heated rear seats, a glass panorama sunroof, a premium audio system, etc. On the other hand, from the start, there is a digital instrument panel with several design options, a set of TSS safety systems, and dual-zone climate control. You can add a few more items of equipment and/or a powerful 2-liter hybrid – and reach the optimal versions of Active or Lounge price $37-40 thousand.

Now let’s discuss competitors; there are a lot of them, so I will give examples of the top 5 cars. First, there’s the Volkswagen T-Roc: it’s already old and in Ukraine without all-wheel drive, but it drives well and costs less. The crossover CUPRA Formentor offers even more emotional design, turbo diesel, all-wheel drive – but at a slightly higher price. If you need an economical diesel engine, a cool interior with a massage seat and 3D devices, and a lower price, then there is the Peugeot 2008: it is a competitor to the Toyota C-HR with an initial 1.8-liter hybrid.

Next: if you add more dimensions and a more powerful gasoline engine option, you can consider the DS 4, which can already compete with a 2-liter hybrid. I’d also like to mention the new generation of Hyundai Kona: a nice smooth hybrid, comfortable suspension setup, a well-designed interior, and more passenger amenities in the back. Finally, we can also mention Honda cars, and two at once. For example, the Honda HR-V compact crossover does not surprise with its power, but it impresses with its economy and interior transformation capabilities. And the crossover Honda ZR-V offers larger dimensions, better dynamics, and a good chassis setup – albeit at a higher price. Stop: seven cars have already been released; and it’s still easy to beat the competition…

Toyota C-HR test drive: is the high price justified?

The car was provided by Toyota Ukraine