The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Toyota C-HR is technically an SUV, but don’t expect to feel as though you’re behind the wheel of a Range Rover. Even compared with rivals of a similar size, such as the Nissan Qashqai, you sit quite close to the ground. Whether that's a good thing or not comes down to personal preference.
There are certainly no major ergonomic issues. The seat and steering wheel move freely to adjust for different body shapes, and the seat itself is comfortable, although entry-level Icon models miss out on adjustable lumbar support.
The ‘layered’ dashboard means the heater controls are easy to see and reach, but we’d prefer rotary controllers rather than toggle switches to adjust the temperature.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
This is one of the C-HR’s weaker areas, and you can probably guess why by looking at the car’s shape. That heavily styled rear end makes it hard to see what’s behind you when you're reversing, and the small rear side windows don’t help.
Fortunately, all versions have a reversing camera to help get around the issue. However, while the image displayed is pretty clear during the day, it can be a bit grainy in the dark. Parking sensors are an option on entry-level Icon trim, while Design models and above come with front and rear parking sensors and even a system that will manoeuvre the car into a parking space for you.
The view out of the front is generally good, although the front pillars get in the way a bit when pulling out of junctions. Put simply, it's altogether easier to see out of the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq.
Sat nav and infotainment
All C-HRs come with Toyota’s Touch 2 system, which uses an 8.0in touchscreen and has Bluetooth phone connectivity and a DAB radio. Upgrade to mid-spec Design trim (or above) and you’ll also get built-in sat-nav that connects to the internet to give live traffic updates and other information.
The screen is positioned high up on the dashboard, making it easy to glance at while driving. Less impressive is the clunky interface. The menus and screen layout just aren’t very user-friendly, although you can now bypass them altogether because Toyota has finally decided to include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard.
The standard six-speaker sound system is decent enough. The more powerful optional JBL sound system (exclusive to Excel and GR Sport C-HRs) delivers good sound quality, even when you really crank up the volume.
Toyota isn’t famous for its classy interiors, but the C-HR's isn’t bad at all. It’s not in the same league as the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 but most of the plastics around the driver and front passenger are appealingly dense and everything feels more solidly screwed together than in the Toyota Prius.
It's not as smart in the back as in the front, though. For example, the plastic on the insides of the doors feels a bit low-rent.
A little pricey, but otherwise a fine family SUV
There are far better all-rounders in this class
Classy, comfortable and great for safety. A former What C...
Stylish, practical and comfortable, too