But it’s disappointing that this particular car conforms so closely to that dry, plodding, one-dimensional Toyota hybrid type, given that it has been designed and engineered in so many other ways to represent a bolder and more exciting take on the crossover.
It wouldn’t have taken much, surely, for the C-HR’s hybrid powertrain to create a more athletic impression than the low-emissions crossovers it’s up against: the 1.5 and 1.6-litre diesel options from the Nissan Qashqai, Seat Ateca and Renault Kadjar ranges. Given the strides Toyota showed with the current Prius, which shares the C-HR’s hybrid powertrain, that didn’t feel like such an unrealistic expectation before we drove the car.
But the C-HR is not only relatively slow but also feels reluctant. The powertrain has Eco, Normal and Power modes, as Toyota hybrids tend to, and part of the problem is that they’re switched not via a button on the centre console (as they have been on every hybrid Toyota we can remember) but via the drive computer and the buttons on the steering wheel spokes. So you can drive for a long while without realising that there’s a way to mitigate the deadness of the accelerator pedal’s initial travel.