Toyota C-HR Hybrid review: the stylish SUV just got a whole lot better

 2020 Toyota C-HR Hybrid

The Toyota C-HR’s concept-car-for-the-road looks certainly divide opinion, and have done since it was launched in 2016.

What can’t be denied is that it stands out from the crowd. And if you bemoan identikit hatchbacks and SUVs, that’s surely to be celebrated, whether you’re a fan of its wild curves and creases or not.

The C-HR’s sales success suggests quite a few people are; it’s proven a bit of a hit for Toyota, stealing sales from the Nissan Juke and Peugeot 3008 in the process. Of course, the zeitgeisty 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain hasn’t hurt it either, despite the fact the 1.2-litre non-hybrid has always been a slightly better car to drive.

But now, Toyota has shoehorned in the much-vaunted 2.0-litre hybrid from the Corolla, and while it’s done so, it’s given the C-HR a bit of mid-life botox. Time, then, to find out whether this extrovert family car still warrants its popularity; read on and register or login to find out our decisive verdict.

Pros: Good ride and handling balance, excellent new hybrid option, impressive reliability record

Cons: Claustrophobic rear seats, tiny boot, fiddly entertainment system

What's under the skin?

It isn’t just the new engine that’s big news, though. Toyota’s redesigned the suspension with the aim of improving ride comfort. Sadly, though, this new setup only comes on the 2.0-litre hybrid version – the 1.8 remains largely as before. All new C-HRs do, however, get a tweaked power steering system that, Toyota says, has improved feel.

Toyota’s ditched the 1.2-litre petrol engine, so now the only C-HRs you can buy are the hybrids. That means the range kicks off with the old 120bhp 1.8-litre model, with the 182bhp 2.0-litre costing £1,640 more – just over £26 for every extra brake horsepower and that upgraded suspension thrown in for free, which doesn’t sound like too bad a deal.

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