TEST Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i – The beginning of the long-term test

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A small, stylish Toyota hybrid will be keeping us company in the editorial office for several months. The report from the first roughly fifteen hundred kilometers will answer the questions of roominess, seat comfort, dynamics and consumption.

Design, interior


The second generation Toyota C-HR is at least as bold as the first. I got my hands on it in the highest specification with a two-liter hybrid, all-wheel drive and a total maximum power of almost two hundred horses, but also with a really fat price tag for what kind of car it is.

And what kind of car is it, really? As the best all-encompassing name, I thought of something along the lines of “sporty hybrid urban crossover”, but that sounds a bit like marketing gibberish. It’s clearly a hybrid crossover, but for city traffic it could use a better view from behind the steering wheel. It’s not like in a tank, but it can’t stand a comparison with the divine view from modern Subarus.

So it’s good that we have the C-HR for a long-term test, so we can get to know it a little better. And really find out what it’s really best for.


Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i

For now, let’s notice at least some design details, such as the giant and in a way two-story front lamps. The upper part, however, is only daytime running lights and blinkers, the headlights themselves, which by the way work quite well, are at the bottom. Toyota also does not forget about the classic fog lights at the bottom of the bumper.

It is also worth mentioning the folding handles, the closing of which can be heard from inside the car perhaps too clearly, or the glowing inscription “Toyota C-HR” between the rear marker lights. These are very long and you won’t miss them, but they don’t light up together with the daytime running lights. On the contrary, it is quite easy to overlook the reversing light, it is relatively small and inconspicuous – and only one, although there would be enough space for two.

Modern and old school

I pull the folded handle and fold myself into the driver’s seat. There is not a lot of space here, in a manner corresponding to the class of the car, but I don’t feel too cramped either. The lines of the interior suggest a driver’s cockpit with the center console slightly angled towards the driver. They clearly separate the passenger’s space, but the partition in the middle of the car also makes it difficult for him to access the drink holder.


Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i

The dominant feature of the cabin is, of course, the large display, to which Toyota also retained three buttons. Unfortunately, there’s no “Home” button between them, so when I want to jump out of Android Auto, it means at least two taps on the screen. I have no reservations about the graphics and clarity, the infotainment is in places, especially in the settings, a bit more complicated than I would like.

In one breath, however, it should be added that choosing a driver profile couldn’t be easier – after you pair the car with your profile in the smartphone app. This is sometimes not entirely straightforward, but once you get the hang of it, the car will choose a profile based on which mobile phone is connected to the car via bluetooth.

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For example, the seat settings are automatically saved in this profile, and if someone has moved the seat since your last drive, the car will ask if you want to adjust it according to the profile. However, the radio stations will not be transferred from another Toyota in which you were logged in with the same smartphone.

Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i


Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i

What the profile cannot save is setting the ISA speed notification method. In addition, it cannot be changed or turned off at all, or it is hidden so well that I could not find it in the car. Reliability isn’t exactly exemplary, although the system doesn’t make big mistakes like mistaking a sticker on a truck for a traffic sign.

In any case, the easiest – and only while driving – way to get rid of the whistling, unfortunately, is to completely turn off Road Sign Reading (RSA), an otherwise useful aid. This is done in the instrument panel, which can display quite a lot, but it is advisable to prepare the entrance to the settings in one of the three customizable screens.

In addition to the design settings, the dashboard allows you to choose what to display on the sides and in the middle. The selection is quite wide, there are different variants of fuel consumption and distance traveled, the output of adaptive cruise control and driving assistants, playing music or energy flows, including which torque currently flows to which wheel.

Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i


Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i

In the interior, the seats are also worth mentioning, which are – at least in this version – very good. They have good lateral guidance, the whole body holds in an exemplary manner even in the faster corners; of course in the car category. I also acknowledge that you can easily spend the whole day in them.

Along with that, it is an advantage that a 1.5 liter bottle can fit in the door, but it takes a little bit of grip to pull it out, so that you don’t hit the dashboard with it. It’s also rather curious that the door panel flexes quite significantly when I lean my left knee on it in a corner. I can only hope that it is designed this way on purpose and the filling can withstand twenty, twenty-five years of flexing.

Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i


Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i

The space in the back is of course a bit worse, but I can fit in “by myself” with a height of 184 cm. A bit of a disadvantage are the relatively small rear windows, the bottom line of which grows quite significantly, especially if a smaller person were to sit in the back. The door panels are also made of cheaper, harder plastic, but they have well-designed holders for smaller drinks – they are at the top of the armrest.

Finally, the size of the luggage is passable for its class, but it lacks hooks for bags. Fortunately, there are at least eyes, between which I can stretch a “rubber band” and fasten the purchase with it.

Engine, driving characteristics


The C-HR is primarily a city car, but in my week it also drove quite a bit in the countryside and on highways. In all cases, one thing is most striking about the driving performance, namely the behavior of the drivetrain during acceleration. Of course, the car has an e-CVT transmission, which has a single planetary gear and changes the speed ratio between input and output using a second, auxiliary electric motor.

But it has no virtual stages, which means that if I add more gas, the car revs the engine to five thousand revolutions and holds it there until it reaches the desired driving speed or until I take off. It’s efficient, the C-HR can eventually accelerate quite nicely, it’s just not pleasing to the ears – and some car-loving passengers might laugh at it – and it takes some getting used to. But when, after reaching the desired speed, you release the gas pedal and the engine immediately stops, the laughter usually passes.

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Two hundred horses may seem like quite a lot for a car whose primary purpose is urban and suburban traffic, but it is precisely on winding districts that they make the two-liter C-HR much more usable. The transition from a low speed in a corner to a higher one for the straight is easier and faster, the dynamics are seriously pleasant. The rather slow steering gear is just a little annoying in corners.

The rear electric motor is not twice as powerful, offering only 45 hp and 84 Nm, but thanks to the transmission, there is enough torque at the wheels to help significantly when starting from a standstill. It can even dig through the rear wheel when I want to set off dynamically on an unpaved surface, and it can hold even in steep exits, for example on gravel. Tested with four adults inside and a full trunk and roof box.

When driving faster, however, the behavior of the car is not particularly noticeable, its purpose is really mainly to help when starting, whether in terms of dynamics on asphalt. After all, our testing and comparison of the two-liter AWD-i with the “overpowered” 18-liter, which you can watch in the video, clearly shows this dynamic.

Consumption? Depending on how you drive

One would expect low fuel consumption from a hybrid, but this is not exactly the rule – after all, it is the same for all other types of drive. I spent a total of over 1,500 kilometers behind the wheel of the C-HR and as long as I drove calmly and smoothly, my average combined consumption was around 6 liters per 100 km. The car handles city and suburban traffic for less, at least 5 l/100 km.

However, when I chased the little Toyota like an inflated goat, always standing on the gas and not being shy about the speed, the average easily climbed to around 7.5 l/100 km. Even that’s not a bad number for how dynamically I drove. The hybrid drive is also an advantage here, because at least part of the kinetic energy during deceleration is stored in the traction battery and then helps with the start.

Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i


Toyota C-HR 2.0 AWD-i

The camera system around the car also deserves great praise, which makes it easier to find your way even in tight spaces, and is mainly activated by a physical button on the center console. It’s a little drowned out, but it’s still better than having to shift into reverse or rummage through the display to activate it.

Finally, I also praise the excellently functioning semi-autonomous driving system. Highway driving is much easier with it, it works beautifully reliably. It does not suffer from false alarms from the emergency braking assistant, nor does it catch on things on the road that are not valid horizontal traffic marking lines.

Conclusion


As a result, the most powerful hybrid C-HR is quite a capable car that is not afraid of a trip quite far outside its comfort zone. I wouldn’t go off-road with it, even though it’s a crossover and has all-wheel drive, but it’s the four-wheel drive that makes me really like it.

But then there is a certain elephant in the kitchen, and that is the price. The standard list price of 1,264,900 crowns for this version of the Executive Premiere Edition is, don’t be angry, hellishly high. The current discount offer of 125,000 crowns can bring it down to just under 1.1 million, but even so, paying that much money for such a small car – no matter how capable – simply requires a certain determination for this particular model.

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Of course, the price can be reduced a little by choosing other equipment, but to get these great sports seats, you have to choose at least the Executive version, which before the discount comes to 1.12 million and after that, including the fifty thousand bonus for the purchase of an old car for 945 thousand crowns.

It’s still not enough, but the C-HR should never have fought with a low price, it has advantages elsewhere. After all, a six-figure price is more palatable for a car of this size. And besides, this orange piece will get plenty of opportunities to justify its price tag in our long-term test.

Pluses

  • all wheel drive
  • seats
  • semi-autonomous driving

Cons

  • sound manifestation of the hybrid system
  • price
The cheapest version of the model CZK 859,900 (C-HR 1.8 Hybrid 140 e-CVT Comfort, 103 kW, FWD)
Base with tested engine CZK 989,900 (C-HR 2.0 Hybrid 200 e-CVT Style, 145 kW, FWD)
Tested car without extra charges CZK 1,264,900 (C-HR 2.0 Hybrid 200 e-CVT Executive Premiere Edition, 145 kW, AWD-i)
Tested car with equipment CZK 1,112,400 (C-HR 2.0 Hybrid 200 e-CVT Executive Premiere Edition, 145 kW, AWD-i) (sale price)


The article is in Czech

Tags: TEST Toyota CHR AWDi beginning longterm test

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