Why we ran it: To discover whether this sharply styled crossover is Toyota’s most appealing petrol-electric hybrid yet
Life with a Toyota C-HR: month 6
Is the C-HR proof that hybrids don’t have to be the boring, exclusive domain of private hire drivers? - 27th December 2018
I live in London, so my view of Toyota hybrids has been coloured by dealing with the armada of private-hire Priuses seen on the streets of the capital. Thankfully, the Toyota C-HR is a little bit different.
Our now-departed executive editor, Matt Burt, initially ran the C-HR, and it rarely sent him into one of his trademark Cornish rages. That gave me an idea: I’d been running our Ford Fiesta long-termer but found the boot a bit small for my photographic kit (it’s a cliché for snappers to say that in long-term reports, but it’s true), so I asked if I could swap it for the C-HR and its crossover-sized boot.
I actually quite like the C-HR’s bold styling, with all those modern, angular lines. It stands out from the pack which, speaking as a photographer, I’ll always welcome. I particularly like the pronounced wheel arches and tapered lines over the rear haunch, which are offset nicely by the two-tone paint(I really liked the Nebula Blue colour and reckon the £545 metallic paint option is worth ticking). Like the Prius, the C-HR looks different, bold and futuristic, but unlike the Prius, it doesn’t bring to mind private cabs on their way to Heathrow.
I also wanted to know what it’s like to live with a hybrid powertrain. I consider myself a petrolhead and I’ve been sceptical about whether a full hybrid powertrain such as the C-HR’s could be engaging to drive. But much of my daily driving is on tight, congested roads. Matt lives in Basingstoke and was using the C-HR for his motorway commute, which wasn’t showing the powertrain at its best. In the city, with stop-start driving, I hoped the system would come into its own.