The Toyota C-HR is nothing new. Launched in 2016, it conquered French roads thanks to its versatility and flashy, eye-catching looks. However, when it was released, its hybrid powertrain of only 122 hp gave it disappointing performance compared to its suggestive lines. With the 2019 restyling, a new 184-hp hybrid engine took its place under the hood of the Toyota C-HR. A new multimedia system allows you to enjoy a revised interface. Unveiling for the 2021 model year the GR Sport version, Toyota this time adorns its SUV coupe with a new look and an even better chassis. Does its ramification match its plumage? That’s what we’ll find out in this test.

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The Toyota C-HR Hybrid GR Sport 184 hp is priced at €38,000 excluding options.

This new 2021 version of the Toyota C-HR, marked with the GR Sport seal, is as singular as ever. The front end of the SUV features a matte chrome grille, a new, more aggressive front spoiler, a black finish around the headlights, the logo on the center of the bumper and on the fog lamp surrounds. At the rear, there is a specific aerodynamic extractor under the bumper, the logo on a black background, a black lacquered reflector frame, and the sides that receive GR Sport door sills and new 19-inch wheels.

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The interior benefits from a new chrome-plated centre console and grey doors, a perforated leather steering wheel with red stitching, an identified Stop N’ Go button as well as leather and alcantara upholstery with red and grey stitching directly inspired by the Gazoo Racing Team colours.

The ergonomics are well studied and everything falls perfectly in hand. As usual, it takes some time to get used to the various shortcut buttons, but the layout is coherent and you don’t waste too much time looking for a function. The air conditioning still has manual controls, and the steering wheel controls are used to navigate the instrument cluster on the right and to play with the various audio sources on the left. Even the screen retains convenient physical shortcut buttons on the sides. The aesthetics of the latter remain highly questionable, however, both in terms of the integration of the keys and the design of its interface, but we’ll come back to that a little later. </p

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©David Lefevre / Les Numériques

The

steering wheel and gearshift lever also feel great and the cockpit ergonomics are well thought out. We only regret the readability of the information on the trip computer, which is not always very clear. The Toyota C-HR is almost flawless, but there are still a few shortcomings in our opinion. First of all, the finish is decent but not crazy. The fit and finish is very good, but as is often the case, there’s too much hard plastic on the lower parts. Worse, the black lacquered veneer, which is supposed to enhance the overall look, feels very plastic and retains fingerprints. In the back, while passenger space is decent, there’s no USB port or pocket in the doors. The rear cabin is also not very bright due to the receding roofline.

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The trunk, lacking an easy opening, is frankly small (only 358 l under the shelf). This is 26 litres more than the Hyundai Kona, but 47 litres less than thee-2008

, which is not a model of habitability. In short, the C-HR is a compact SUV and should not be considered otherwise despite its 4.39 m length and 1.79 m width.

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The C-HR’s interface has been revised since the 2020 restyling. A new multimedia system, compatible with Apple Carplay and Android Auto is now available, and it is possible to update the navigation map remotely, via Over The Air technology. The 8-inch multi-function color touchscreen allows you to manage different customization configurations at the vehicle level, manage navigation, audio sources, view thermal and electrical consumption. Unfortunately, the order of the different functions remains relatively obscure, and the interface graphics are very dated. Calling up a function isn’t particularly slow, but navigating the interface requires a certain amount of concentration, which isn’t very practical when driving. We’d much prefer to use the Android Auto navigation (fila

ire exclusively), for example, rather than the lists of options of the home interface.

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Note that there are two USB Type A ports on the front, but none on the back. In terms of complaints, note also that the C-HR only has a rearview camera with just acceptable image quality, but no 360-degree camera or Park Assist function on our test model.

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The instrument cluster features two needle-type meters, one for the tachometer and the other for the engine load. In the centre is a 4.2-inch colour LCD display (10.7 cm diagonal). Navigation,trip, messages or driving modes can be displayed. All settings are made via the steering wheel controls (right-hand side). Accessibility of the functions is relatively easy thanks to the steering wheel controls on the right side, but the smallness of the screen forces you to concentrate on it while driving.

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©David Lefevre / Les Numériques


The C-HR has received the latest version of the Toyota Safety Sense system, which brings together a range of active safety technologies. The Pre-Collision System (PCS) is coupled with Emergency Steering Assist (ESA) linked to pedestrian detection and intersection traffic detection. An alarm sounds in the event of danger, and if the driver fails to react, emergency braking is activated.

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©David Lefevre / Les Numériques


Lane Keeping Assist (LTA) allows the vehicle to stay centered on its line of travel. If the vehicle swerves without the turn signals being engaged, an alarm sounds and force is applied to the steering to help the driver stay in the lane. However, the system kicks in rather late and is intrusive when driving a little aggressively. Coupling the LTA with the adaptive cruise control (ACC) and traffic signal detection gives the C-HR a level 2 autonomous driving experience and allows you to cover the miles with peace of mind on fast lanes, especially since the assistance is activated very simply with the ACC.speedometer.

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Connectivity and App

The Toyota C-HR Hybrid GR Sport is compatible with the MyT companion app. Once an account is created, it allows you to take advantage of Toyota Online services such as parking location, fuel prices, Coyote, etc. But here again, you have to be willing to dive into the boring interface of theinfotainment. The application also allows you to have service reminders and maintenance appointments, to plan a trip from a distance or to find your vehicle. The interface is relatively complete but lacks a little fun. We would have liked to find remote locking or alarm activation functions as well.

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Handling and performance

Thanks to its new hybrid powertrain developing a total of 184 hp, the Toyota C-HR GR Sport is a very pleasant car. Under the hood is a four-cylinder petrol engine with 152 hp (190 Nm) and an electric motor with 109 hp (80 kW) and a maximum torque of 202 Nm. It’s mainly the torque available early on that allows the ultimately relatively contained mass (1485 kg) to move quickly.

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As you can see, the C-HR GR Sport is only sporty in its finish and doesn’t inherit the same aggressive attitude as its little sister, the Yaris GR. In fact, the opposite is true: the continuously variable transmission and e-CVT clutch completely smooth out the engine’s slightest sporting intentions. The latter is even too noisy at the top of the rev counter. It’s on torque that it’s driven and it’s preferable not to drain the battery to keep the extra power. Also note that shifting the gearbox into sequential mode is unfortunately of little use, as the automatic transmission always takes over.

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This is a bit unfortunate because, in addition to an aggressive silhouette, the

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he C-HR is very well suited to dynamic driving. Toyota’s suspension, steering and tire choices allow the C-HR to offer excellent handling and cornering stability. The front end is precise and the rear end winds up without a hitch. Comfort is maintained even on relatively rough roads. All in all, this SUV drives smoothly and is comfortable for its occupants. It can accommodate energetic driving, but its linear character will calm the wills of fiery drivers.

The 184 hp Toyota C-HR has a battery capacity of 1.31 kWh. When slowing down and braking, it recharges, recovering kinetic energy through a generator that converts it into electricity. This energy is then transferred to the electric motor in certain phases, particularly when starting or supporting the combustion engine. Toyota claims to be able to drive up to 80% in electric mode in the city.

In practice, the EV mode doesn’t allow you to drive more than 2 or 3 km in the city and the combustion engine is activated regularly depending on the load required. The C-HR’s combined fuel consumption remains reasonable, however, with an average of 5.5 l/100 km (6.4 l in the city, 4.1 l on the highway and 6.1 l on the highway). These results are still close to the WLTP standard of 5.2 l/100 km given by the manufacturer. With its 43-litre tank, the combined range measured is therefore 808 km. These results place the Toyota C-HR GR Sport at the top of our comparison in terms of range… while waiting for new models with even greater endurance.

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Strong points

  • Look.

  • Handling.

  • Driving pleasure.

  • Comfort.

  • Autonomy.

Weaknesses

  • Too linear a character.

  • Trunk space.

  • Rear visibility.

  • Aging infotainment.

Conclusion

<img src=”https://dyw7ncnq1en5l.cloudfront.net/assets/2021/07/15/1626354564488/newebfrontstyleguide/build/img/svg/like-v.svg” alt=”we tested it, we liked it” />

More aggressive aesthetically than on the road, the Toyota C-HR GR Sport 184 hp is a compact SUV, with a linear character. It nevertheless knows how to take care of the comfort of its occupants thanks to a pleasant finish and a rich equipment. Its handling is above reproach, and above all, its hybrid powertrain gives it a good mixed range. Nevertheless, you have to keep in mind that its unique look is detrimental to its trunk volume and rear visibility. Not to mention those who are allergic to the continuously variable transmission. We also regret the relatively complete infotainment system, but its interface is very outdated. It’s a shame, because the competition hasn’t been idle. The hybrid version of the Kia Niro is less powerful and less stylish, but it has a more family-oriented feel. The same goes for the Renault Captur E-Tech

, which is also less powerful, but offers excellent driving pleasure and is more spacious. Sub-Notes

  • Ergonomics and design
  • Comfort and equipment
  • Connectivity and application
  • Handling and performance
  • Battery life and charging