Every so often I receive an email that really makes my day. That’s what happened when Vantage Toyota contacted me to see if I’d like to review the brand new Toyota C-HR.
Pleased that they had asked me for a review in my own words and not something akin to coverage from Richard Hammond and his mates, off I went to Vantage Toyota Blackburn to collect my vehicle for a long weekend.
While the wonderfully helpful staff at Vantage took care of the paperwork side of my test drive (which took all of 20 minutes), I had a little nosy around a C-HR that was being collected by it’s new owner that day.
The C-HR model was only released this month and the design is literally nothing like you’d expect from Toyota.
Its coupé profile, muscular styling and elevated cabin profile combine to create an entirely new breed of car.
It looks mean, meaty and like it’s full of attitude. Sporty and cool, with extra oomph.
Driving it away from the garage was just lovely. A far cry from the driving experience in my own, seen-better-days car, I practically floated it down the motorway and I certainly didn’t want to get out when I got home!
The C-HR is really clever too. Some of the features that stood out for me were:
Blind spot monitor
These are little orange lights on the wing mirrors that alert you to anything approaching from behind. Especially reassuring on the motorway.
I have reversing sensors on my current car and rely on them probably more than I should, so one of my first questions about the Toyota C-HR was whether or not it had sensors. Turns out it not only has sensors but a camera too. Very helpful!
Adaptive cruise control
I never use cruise control but my husband does, so it was he who was delighted to discover that not only does the C-HR have cruise control but it’s the most clever system he’s used. The C-HR will automatically begin to slow down when approaching another vehicle, and will speed up again if the road ahead is clear.
There are of course many more features that make the C-HR the game changer it is, and you can find the full specification on the Toyota website.
A smooth drive
The C-HR also has Eco, Normal and Sport modes. Despite being a 1.2l engine, sport mode was surprisingly nippy! We were really surprised at how responsive the car was, given it’s economical engine size. Naturally we had to try it on a variety of road types. We took it down to a local farm via the track that’s full of, er, ‘character’, through the town centre, down some cobbled roads and over Snake Pass – in the snow!
The drive is so comfortable regardless of terrain or where you’re sitting in the vehicle. The driving position is quite high, so despite being short I had a really good view of my surroundings, which actually made me a slightly more confident driver, I think.
Inside the car looks great. The trim along the doors and dash is funky, and all controls, bells and whistles are well thought out, easy to use and ergonomic. Space-wise, the C-HR is a great sized car for couples and those with a maximum of two children. Although we did all fit into the car comfortably enough, I would say it’s probably a tad too small for a family of five, particularly if you’re using a rear facing car seat in the back. For everyone else though, it’s a really great all rounder.
I think one of my favourite parts of doing this review was seeing people’s head’s turn. This is a brand new car to the market and so people are only just seeing them out and about – and that’s really apparent when you’re driving around in one that’s covered in stickers!
We had a ball test driving the Toyota C-HR and next week I’ll report back on the day trip we took it on to the Peak District. Bakewell Tart, anyone?