The Toyota C-HR has been around for 16 years, but it still looks fresh today.
Despite being six years old, its futuristic design has really stood the test of time.
Especially when compared to many of its boxy, compact SUV competitors.
C-HR stands for Coupe High Rider, but those three letters aren’t the most important.
In this model, the letters GR make the difference.
And in case you didn’t know, let me explain, GR stands for Gazoo Racing – Toyota’s motorsport division.
But before you get excited like I did, think this C-HR is a bigger version of the crazy little 261hp turbocharged GR Yaris, which is a street rally car.
My test car was the C-HR GR Sport. Despite sporting many GR badges, it’s mainly just treated to a sporty exterior and interior design.
It looks really cool though, there’s 19-inch alloys and some black exterior trim for a meaner and moodier look.
Inside there are sport seats with black Alcantara and black leather upholstery with red and silver stitching, as well as GR logos and door sills with GR logo on the door sills.
The C-HR GR Sport is the kind of car Tommy Makinen’s wife would use to go shopping and to school.
And if you don’t know who Tommy Makinen is, tisk, tisk, let me explain again.
Makinen is one of the most successful world rally champions of all time.
He is a four-time WRC winner, a series he first won in 1996 and again in 1997, 1998 and 1999, all while driving the Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
In 2016 Makinen became team principal of Toyota Gazoo Racing and in 2018 they managed to win the WRC, giving Toyota its first manufacturers’ title since 1999.
He was also instrumental in the development of the great Toyota GR Yaris that I mentioned earlier.
The C-HR GR Sport, on the other hand, is powered by a punchy 2.0-litre petrol engine.
It also features Toyota’s hybrid technology, so together with the electric boost it produces 184 hp and 190 Nm of torque, making it quite a fast and fun SUV.
It’s front-wheel drive only, so loses traction in the wet, but in perfect condition it’s good for a 0-100km/h time of 8.2 seconds with a top speed of 180km/h.
Toyota C-HR GR Sport
Costs: From €40,660
Engine: 2.0 liters of petrol
Performance: 184 hp
0-100km/h: 8.2 sec
Top speed: 180km/h
real world: 40mpg
Emissions: 120g/km CO2
Euro NCAP: 5 Stars
Competitors: Cupra Ateca, Skoda Karoq, Nissan Juke, Kia Xceed, BMW X2
It’s not all good, the CVT transmission means gear changes aren’t felt.
And it just revs really high until you get your desired speed.
But apparently there’s a sport drive mode with a six-speed sequential Shiftmatic gearbox for a more dynamic, responsive drive.
Too bad I only discovered this after returning the C-HR to Toyota.
The handling is excellent, the steering is light – most Toyotas – but it’s really sharp and confident in corners.
The sports suspension, which is 10 percent stiffer at the front and 15 percent at the rear, as well as an improved anti-roll bar have undoubtedly contributed to this.
In terms of fuel economy, the C-HR will return 40mpg throughout the day.
But the person driving the car in front of me managed 46.3mpg, which is just ahead of Toyota’s official combined 49.6mpg.
Toyota doesn’t state purely electric range, instead it states the time the car spends in EV mode.
And the latest generation of Toyota hybrids can run at around 70 percent in EV under normal driving conditions.
And without much effort, I managed an impressive 60 percent EV driving.
As much as the exterior still looks modern, the same can’t be said for the interior as it’s starting to look a bit tired and in need of a modern makeover.
The infotainment is easy to use and thankfully Toyota keeps the use of knobs and buttons rather than condensing all controls onto a touchscreen.
But the screen is only 8 inches, the graphics look dated and the operating system is a bit sluggish at times.
But all things considered, the C-HR is a GRrrrreat Sport.
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8461706/toyota-c-hr-gr-sport-is-let-loose-in-the-wild/ The Toyota C-HR GR Sport is released into the wild – The Irish Sun