You’ve heard the expression: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Toyota doesn’t appear to have heeded the advice as far as its revised C-HR compact Crossover is concerned.
Two things I vividly remember from driving the previous version was how smoothly and quietly it drove.
With this newer model, it tells me it has made extensive improvements to noise, vibration and harshness to minimise road, wind and engine din intrusion.
I can’t tell you how much better it works because I don’t remember it being an issue first time around. Anyway, we’ll take its word for it that it’s quieter.
Is it any smoother? I’m not sure either because I remember saying it was the smoothest car I’d driven for a long time.
This time, I had the 1.8-litre hybrid which benefits from having a lithium-ion battery pack. It was sprightly and I didn’t hear much noise from engine or transmission even when I pressed hard.
Given that it has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) you’d expect a bit of lag-boom (that’s when the engine’s revs-per-minute do not change in direct relation to accelerator input). It didn’t; it hasn’t been an affliction for a long time.
What is, was and looks likely to be an affliction for a while is the rash of buttons on the display, dash and steering wheel. Far, far too many altogether. And difficult to find sometimes. Now there’s a case of something being ‘broken’ and still needing to be fixed. Ironic, no?
The darkness in the rear, a result of the car’s design that wraps metal around small-ish window/rear-screen apertures, was probably the biggest criticism of the previous model. It has not solved it but it didn’t seem as nocturnal as before. Otherwise it is a nicely decked out, comfortable cabin.
All this is part of many, but relatively minor changes to the car. They include styling improvements front and rear, including new front bumper, honeycomb grille and high-mounted integrated fog lamps. Is there a car with more curves and edges on it in the market?
As well as the 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain, there is a sporty 2-litre version.
The test car was, predictably, at its fuel-consumption best around town though it fared well on a late evening trip to Wexford and back. The 122hp 1.8-litre manages a Toyota claimed 4.8l/100km. I’d go a bit higher than that.
With emissions from 109g/km (depending on model), road tax is €190. Prices start at €30,620. My Sol version on test costs from €35,550.
Nice car; now go fix the buttons.
Standard (Luna) trim includes 17ins alloys, 8ins Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Pre-Collision system with pedestrian detection, LED headlights/rear combination lamps, front fogs, rear view camera, dual zone climate control, lane departure alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, road sign assist, automatic high beam.
‘Sport’ adds alloys, front/rear parking sensors with automatic braking, rain sensor, heated front seats.
‘Luna Sport’ adds bi-tone body colour, smart entry, LED BI-PES headlamps/fogs, electric/retractable door mirrors.
‘Sol’ spec adds Sat Nav, Intelligent Parking Assist (Simple IPA), rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive front light system.
There is a Luxury Pack option of black perforated leather, JBL premium sound system, nine speakers and a heated steering wheel.