Who said a family car had to be boring? Wave goodbye to all your preconceptions and take a look at the Toyota C-HR. After sponsoring the Parkers Best Family Car award this year, our Digital Editor Jane decided to get behind the wheel and have a drive. Here’s what she had to say:
I always feel that becoming a parent means making practical decisions – say goodbye to your favourite handbag and hello to the nappy bag. Unsubscribe from the Laura Ashley catalogue and get ready for machine-washable furniture. Au revoir sports car, hello family wheels – until now. The Toyota C-HR looks and feels more like a sports car than you’d expect, with its bold swooping roofline, hidden back door handles and bright interior trimming. A modern family car that will keep your kids’ safe, whilst being fun to drive, what more could you want?
Those clever little details
Rest assured, Toyota have not swapped style for comfort in their SUV hybrid crossover, instead they have merged the two in perfect harmony. From large passenger foot wells to heated seats, the C-HR is a car the whole family will sit back and relax in, even on the most stressful of journeys. Further family friendly details are clear to see – from the decent sized boot, plenty of handy cubby space including a deep, lidded container between the front seats and a handy trinket tray for smartphone storage.
Driving made easy
When it comes to the drive, the C-HR is a dream to handle, with the 1.8-litre engine offering extremely responsive handling. From the city school run to the longer are-we-nearly-there-yet-filled drives, you’ll love how easy the C-HR is to move around the roads. It’s worth noting that the basic 1.2-litre engine is the only C-HR that comes with a manual gearbox. The automatic versions of the car are a Continuously Variable Transmission, which means you’re in for an almost silent ride (perfect with a sleeping-baby on board).
The Japanese manufacturer described this car as a ‘gamechanger’ and in my opinion, they are not wrong. According to Toyota, 75% of C-HR buyers are expected to choose the hybrid version of the car, which combines a 1.8-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, borrowed from the latest Toyota Prius. For the other 25%, the only other option offered is a 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine and at this stage, Toyota has no plans to offer a C-HR diesel.
Value for money
With the hybrid design comes outstanding value for money when it comes to the running costs, with the hybrid engine offering 74.3 mpg on 17-inch wheels and 72.4mg on the larger 18-inch wheels. The CO2 is also an impressive 86g/km keeping tax manageable, and Toyota are offering a five-year warranty.
Of course, there are always downsides and for some, the bright interior might be a turn-off. What’s more, as your tots grow up, the small back windows might restrict their view of the world as you travel. It’s also worth noting that the boot, whilst being big enough for most buggies, is smaller than that of competitors’ in the family car market, so if you’re trying to get a double buggy on board, it’s worth checking the dimensions beforehand.
Find a more in-depth review of the Toyota C-HR by our friends at Parkers here.