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Car Review

Toyota C-HR (2016-2023) review

Published: 27 Jun 2022


What is it like on the inside?

Decent, actually. Pre-facelift, the quality of the interior trim was one of our main points of criticism, but we’re pleased to say that things have improved tremendously on this front.

There are now far more soft touch surfaces and fewer scratchy plastics all round, so the C-HR is much closer to achieving the ‘premium’ feel so many manufacturers seem to chase these days. And that’s just as well, because the entry price for the C-HR has climbed significantly in recent years. More on that shortly.

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The interior is interesting-looking but maintains a sensible layout – not an easy thing to achieve in this day and age. You get physical controls for the air con (refreshingly user friendly compared to those going down the bung-it-all-on-the-touchscreen route), a sensible number of buttons on the steering wheel, a 4.2-inch digital instrument display next to the analogue speedo, plus an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen as standard.

This was updated in 2019 to Toyota’s Touch 2 system, which enabled Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity for the first time. Which was an especially good thing as it allowed you to plug your phone in and ignore how dated and useless Touch 2 actually was.

Fortunately, as of 2022 this now only features on base-spec cars (which most buyers will surely shun anyway), with a further update introducing Toyota’s latest Smart Connect+ interface. Though it’s still not perfect (it took several attempts for TG to connect to the car’s Bluetooth), the leap in progress here is vast. The graphics finally look like they belong in this century, for a start. Future over-the-air updates and a voice-controlled assistant promise much too.

One slight let-down is that there’s only one USB port in the C-HR, odd when we’re firmly gravitating towards universal USB-C cables at this stage. So whoever’s on the maps or music will be the only one able to charge their phone. 

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A nine-speaker JBL sound system is optional on the two uppermost trims, whereas the usual standard equipment will be a six-speaker setup – it’s worth noting how good the upgraded system’s sound quality is. Whether or not you think it’s worth the outlay is, of course, entirely personal.

Elsewhere there’s the option of either black cloth or black leather seats - both are perfectly serviceable. We’d like to be able to sit slightly lower in the car, with the steering wheel at a higher level. But truth be told, we rather be in a lower car, full stop.

As you’d expect, rear visibility isn’t brilliant - but you’ll have already accepted that compromise if you’ve even started looking at coupe-ified crossovers and SUVs. You’ll comfortably get two adults in the rear, but three will be pushing it. Legroom is fine on account of the foot space under the front seats, but we suspect you’ll begin to feel a little cramped on a longer journey.

Meanwhile, boot space measures 377 litres with the seats up and 924 with them down. It’s a decent size, albeit with a chunk lip should you need to load anything heavy. Rivals have the C-HR licked here.

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