Express & Star

Crossover raises the bar for Toyota

Toyota’s striking mid-level crossover stands out in many ways with its sleek and dynamic shape with sharp creases, angles and high-riding stance.


The vehicle has always been stylish, but now the profile is even more dramatic and features a unique coupe-like silhouette, larger alloy wheels and a shortened ‘hammerhead’ frontal design.

If you like gizmos such as flush-fitting door handles, then it has them and it also features full LED headlights with integrated turn indicators, and in case you missed it, the model name is integrated into the rear light bar and is illuminated as you start up or switch off.

Toyota makes much of it being ‘customer-centred’ and includes premium features such as ambient lighting with 64 colour options, a panoramic roof and rear privacy glass.

The cabin feels light and airy with robust, high-quality fixtures and fittings and a piano black plastic finish. There are neat chrome finishes and blue stripes throughout the cabin to emphasise the car's eco-friendly nature.

In practical terms, a reasonably spacious 388-litre boot will accommodate most needs.

The latest line-up includes the latest addition, a two-litre plug-in hybrid which joins the 1.8 and 2.0-litre models, powered by the fifth generation Toyota full hybrid electric system. This system delivers a stronger combination of power and efficiency. There are three trim levels, Icon, Design tested here, Excel and GR Sport

The 1.8 HEV system on this model has a combined total output of 138bhp. The electric motor is always in operation in full hybrid, and the petrol engine kicks in at any speed, depending on the battery charge and driving conditions. You can monitor your driving performance using the myriad dials and readouts on the 12.3-inch touchscreen, which also controls smartphone connectivity, sound system, and cloud-based navigation.

A 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display in the binnacle delivers instant information to the driver.

On the road, performance is brisk with the petrol/electric combination delivering decent pace and excellent fuel economy of approaching 60mpg. It accelerates to 60mph in just over 10 seconds, a second quicker than its previous incarnation and the claimed economy of nearly 60mpg, which, with careful driving, was not far off the mark.

Designed with the European market in its sights, the ride is comfortable with the suspension working efficiently to iron out all but the worst of the lumps and bumps our dismal roads have to offer. Handling is also decent enough, it’s no performance car after all, but it feels stable with responsive and direct steering.

All models are well-equipped, even the entry-level version, with 17-inch alloy wheels, powered/folding door mirrors with auto-folding function, smart entry, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and automatic wipers.

Move up the grades and the creature comforts expand, with the likes of a climate control system that incorporates nanoe-X air quality technology to combat viruses, bacteria and odours in the cabin.

Other advanced features include Toyota Safety Sense, which alerts drivers to potential crashes and provides assistance like autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian recognition.

Other safety features include lane departure alert, traffic sign recognition, auto full-beam headlights, blind spot monitor, cross-traffic alert, and lane change assistance.


  • Toyota C-HR Dynamic Hybrid 1.8 CVT

  • Price: £34,685

  • Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,798cc, 4 cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via e-CVT transmission

  • Max speed: 106mph

  • 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds

  • Combined mpg: 58.5

  • Insurance group: 20E

  • CO2 emissions: 108g/km

  • BiK rating: 26%

  • Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.