What a great car!
After driving a Ford Fiesta for ten years, my wife and I were in the market for a replacement vehicle. While the Fiesta had been reliable and well suited my wife, we both agreed that it was severely missing the driving assist technologies which are becoming increasingly prevalent in modern vehicles and thus offering a level of safety assistance we were seeking. Therefore, the criteria was to find a smallish “SUV style” vehicle with a suitably large range of driving assist features and technology. After considerable internet research, we narrowed it down to a Hyundai Kona, a Mazda CX3 and the Toyota C-HR. After test driving all three, it became clear that the Toyota C-HR best fitted what we were looking for. The Mazda CX3 had less load capacity and neither of us liked the dashboard. To get the required level of technology we required needed us to select a model which primarily seemed to use a HUD (Heads up display) which neither of us liked. The Hyundai Kona was a worthy contender but was let down by some cheap quality plastics in the interior. It would also prove noticeably higher in the change-over price than the Toyota. My wife and I also felt the Toyota’s seats were more comfortable with my wife complaining about how the Hyundai and Mazda headrests were “pushing her head forward”.
Having decided on the vehicle, we were able to source a 2018 runout model in stock at the local dealer with all the features required and at a great changeover price. This was the top of the range KOBA AWD model in Atomic Rush (Ruby Red pearl) paint and with the optional black roof. Please note that in the remainder of this review, I may be referring to features only on the KOBA model that are not on the base model C-HR.
We have had the vehicle for a couple of months now and have not regretted our decision one little bit. Specifically:
Exterior - Rather futuristic in design, the car is eye-catching from any angle. Fitted with 18” wheels and factory mags (no necessity to change these) there are super bright LED daytime running lights and LED headlights. High beam has an automated control that will automatically dip the lights when there is oncoming traffic. Falseing” is rare. The front indicators have a type of sequential strobing that points in the direction you are turning…a feature I have only seen on some “high end” vehicles. Only disappointment here is that the rear indicators don’t do the same but all rear lights are LED too so they are very bright and clear. The reversing lights are noticeably bright white and this is handy at night…although you also have parking sensors and a rear camera to assist. Handles for the rear two doors are rather high and could be out of reach for small children. They tend to blend in with the vehicle and make it look more like a two door than a four door. Vehicle also has “puddle lamps” giving you a light when stepping out of the vehicle at night. It’s a bit kitsch but these lights also display “Toyota C-HR” on the ground under the mirrors. At least you can turn off these lights if you choose.
Interior - Front buckets seats are probably the most comfortable of any car I have ever driver. You are surrounded by lots of plush soft plastics that all feel to be vey high quality. In fact, there is nothing about this car to make you feel that corners have been cut. Doors close with a solid reassuring thud. All windows are electric and feature automatic up and down…normally reserved for the driver window only. Control lighting is a soft blue and well laid out. There is a little bit of a learning curve on the dashboard LED screen as you can navigate left and right and top and down. You soon get to know where things are and you will probably end up leaving it set in one place all the time (Do you really need to keep monitoring the diagram showing where power is being applied to your four wheels and what the G-Rate is as you corner?). The only complaint I have here is to access one of the three driving modes, ECO, NORMAL and SPORT, you must navigate through this screen. A switch maybe on the centre console may have been preferable? Changing the driver modes alters the behaviour of the CVT transmission and air conditioning. Despite being a Constantly Variable Transmission, selecting SPORTS mode will make the transmission feel as if it has seven change points (like a “standard” automatic transmission). Nb. SPORTS mode automatically returns to NORMAL once the engine is turned off. NORMAL and ECO mode remember their selection until you change it yourself. In NORMAL mode, you can also override the automatic and “change gears” by pulling the transmission lever right and then tapping it forward or back to alter the ratio. At 6.1 inches, the Multimedia display for GPS and radio is a little on the small side but has other redeeming features. Even when the GPS is not in use, a female voice will alert you to such things as red light cameras etc. My favourite is when you receive a verbal warning of a school crossing zone ahead yet it will only warn you when the school zone is active…no false alarms for the rest of the day (or night). Only exception is during school holidays as these will be different from state to state. Radio works well and there is a USB socket for attaching a multimedia device (No Apple or Android Car). Strangely, the unit seems a bit dated as it also has a CD player (remember those?) And there is a blue fluorescent digital clock of a type I haven’t seen in cars for about twenty years? GPS works well enough and is updated with traffic alerts so it will offer you alternative routes. Map indicates it has a Q4 2016 update which is a little old for a car purchased new in 2019 but Toyota says that is the latest. There is also a feature to locate not only the nearest garages but also will display the cost of the fuel there. A weather forecasting app is present and you can even bring up the BOM weather radar. Data access is supplied by your bluetooth connected phone.
Driving - The many technology features of this car are astounding. The car handles superbly on its big 18” wheels which are pushed out to the four corners of the vehicle assisting in giving it a low centre of gravity. Controls are all well placed and easily used. Perhaps the most surprising is the electric handbrake. No more levers to pull. There is, instead, a switch on the centre console. You can activate it manually or leave it in “automatic” which apples the park brake every time you shift into Park. Likewise it releases the brake when you shift out of Park. Additionally, there is a “Brake Hold” next to it. Turning this on means every time you stop at traffic lights etc. the vehicle automatically applies the brakes. When the lights turn green, you just put your foot on the accelerator and go. You can’t even feel the brakes being released.....it's that smooth.
With the radar cruise control, you are able to “dial in” the exact digital speed you wish to be travelling at. The radar enables the vehicle to not only follow a preceding vehicle (at one of three available distances you can set), but is also capable of bringing the vehicle smoothly and safely to a complete stop if the vehicle in front stops eg traffic lights. When the lights change the vehicle waits for you to give a single tap on the cruise control wand (or accelerator pedal) and it will again move off and follow the vehicle in front.
The ride is refined with bumps well cushioned and the Bridgestone Potenza tyres fitted seem quiet and sufficiently grippy.
Performance - This is the area where you will see most complaints about the C-HR. Unless you are a racing fanatic that wants to constantly engage in traffic light duels, this complaint is unfounded! Yes….the 1.2L Turbo engine is not a powerhouse but lets just assume (for the sake of the argument) you are a “normal” driver. The engine is perfect around the city and surprisingly good on the open road. I have seen others saying you will notice its breathlessness around windy hills. Far from it. My wife and I have driven it around some windy hills in northern NSW and up Mt Cootha in Brisbane. Not once did we find it lacking. If I was to lodge a complaint with the engine, it would be because it requires the more expensive 95RON fuel rather than the cheaper 91RON. On the other hand, the vehicle is very fuel efficient and we generally using around 7.6L/100km in the suburbs. During running in while holding a steady 80km/hr on the open road, the fuel computer was registering a steady 4.4L/100km
Technology - This is where the C-HR really shines. There are so many things but here are just some:
*Radar Cruise control
*Blind spot mirrors
*Rear Cross traffic alert
*Rear camera and front/rear parking sensors
*Pre-collision braking ( for vehicles and pedestrians)
*Lane departure alert (with steering access)
*Hill start assist
*Rain sensing wipers
…and so it goes.
Warranty and Servicing
The C-HR has a 5 year/unlimited Km warranty but if you always service it with a Toyota Dealer for the five years, they will cover the drivetrain for a further two years. No reason not to have it serviced with a dealer as services are annual and capped at $195 for the first five years. Three year roadside assist is also included.
So what is wrong with it?
*Well, its not perfect. With so much technology on board you would think it would automatically lock the doors when you drive off….afraid not.
*Rear seat occupants may feel a little claustrophobic in the back due to the high-rise design of the rear doors. This would potentially impact young children but they will probably have their attention fixated with a screen and won’t notice. Probably best regarded as a two door vehicle and you won’t be disappointed.
In conclusion, it is a very enjoyable vehicle to drive and I would recommend anyone thinking about a small SUV to take a C-HR for a test drive. It really is a brilliant little vehicle.
Purchased in February 2019 at OldMac Toyota.
Love my new CH-R Koba
What an eye turner. I purchased a White one with black roof. Almost got the yellow one, but glad I didn't. Matt at Toyota Croydon couldn't have been more helpful. The turning circle is amazing, and with all the bells and whistles, and yes, like a previous reviewer has said, it feels like I'm driving a Lexus.
Purchased a 2018 toyota koba teal with white roof, sooo many people keep stopping and telling me love your car its certainly an eye stopper. Love the style, the automatic hand brake, vears me back if i accidentally go over a white line, side mirrors fold back when locked, everything is accessible on the steering wheel, have always driven Toyota's but this car is unbelievable, love love my Toyota.
Slated at launch for being slow—but this car is surprisingly zippy!
Got down to two choices; the Mazda CX3 and the CHR. After first testing the CX3, expected the CHR to lack the same grunt, but this car really surprised. Also more advanced in technology and safety, and somehow seemed more roomy inside, and in the hatch area. Great cornering too. So far (one year) nothing has gone wrong. Love driving this car.
A Lexus with a Toyota badge
This is a real suprprise package. The top of the range C-HR Koba model has all the latest technology, all the goodies that you expect on a Lexus and drives surprisingly well. My initial concern was that a 1.2 litre motor, albeit turbocharged, would not be man enough for what is an extremely solidly built car. But I was wrong. The motor is fine for both city and country driving and the digital speedo helps ensure that it does not run away from you. The car is exceptionally well built and the doors close with a very satisfying clunk. I understand it was one of the few cars that have transitioned from concept to production with minimal changes. It really is a head turner. Having had four Lexus cars we sold the NX to get the C-HR. A clever touch is the rear door handle. See for yourself. Wish I could give it 10 stars.......
Beautiful yet fast
I love this car, it handles so well on the roads and has really decent speed for a SUV turbo. Very quiet on the road, and a very smooth drive even over bumpy surfaces. I love the smooth line diamond detailing interior and the added safety features including lane departure alert. It's not a big SUV but it isn't overly small either so it makes for great driving in the cbd area. Running costs are great for a yearly service capped at $195 every year for the first 5 years. Beautiful sleek design that doesn't make it look like a boring family car. What's there not to love.
I had been waiting for this car before it was even released to Australia and I was not at all disappointed. The standard comes packed full of safety features you would need to pay extra for in other models and brands. Performance is super smooth and handles corners well at fast speeds. Don’t find this to be noisy at all. For a 1.2 litre turbo I’m impressed at how fast it can go in an uphill freeway. I love the sleek diamond design inside and the compact small suv feel as I’m nervous about driving big cars. I do find the boot to be quite limited in space but you’d expect that with a hatchback like design. Running costs are exceptional with only once a year services capped at $195 each time. Haven’t had any issue with performance but find using expensive fuel to be the costly part in keeping this car running at top performance.
This car turns heads! I feel so safe in this car! Love it!!
I got the 4WD CHR, base model, CVT auto, in 'Atomic Rush' which is a cherry red colour which shines very glittery in the sun, & the colour looks darker on dull days. This car turns heads everywhere I go! & of course I allways go the long way home! Best of all it only needs servicing every 15,000 kms or yearly (whichever comes first) with Fixed Price servicing for 5 years. I also purchased a Tony White Group Mechanical Protection Plan, giving me 8 years of Warranty with Platinum Road Side Assist for the 8 years, absolute bargain at $995. - cheaper than paying for 8 years of Road Service alone! The CHR is the smoothest drive ever, the CVT transmission is very smooth, it's very 'zippy' & has great take off & loves hills, great handling, quite a lot of power for a 1.2 TURBO. Although it's considered an SUV it feels more like a car. It has 3 drive modes, Normal, Eco or Sport. This car is phenomenal on petrol, it takes only 95 or 98 Premium fuel but it does about 100km for only 6 litres of fuel. (Around town, stop start traffic it uses around 7.5 litres per 100km). The seats are so comfortable, the steering is very precise & the safety features are awesome! It has 7 airbags, lane departure warning which corrects your steering back into the lane if you drift over the line, it also has Driver Survivor alerts for long distance travel, reverse camera, rear cross traffic alert - great for backing out of car spaces, frontal collision warning with emergency breaking, 4 front & 4 rear sensors along with the reverse camera makes it so easy to park, it also has a great turning circle. What I love most is the Cruise Control, when you turn on the cruise control a radar 'locks' onto the the car in front & you can select 3 different travel distances to cruise behind the car in front, if they speed off you continue on doing your speed, but if the car in front slows down you slow down maintaining the safe distance you have pre-selected, if the car in front stops, you stop!, when the front car drives off, you also start driving - the car literally drives itself & brakes on it's own & all you do is steer!! Amazing!! best car I've ever driven. And you can't get better reliability than TOYOTA
The best car ever...I’m in love with it
Driving it is smooth and it will make you wanting to take the longer way to get home from work. I got it in black and yellow and it looks like bumble bee.. and it affordable, it’s around $30k - $40k, it also uses premium petrol, petrol tank is a good size.
C-HR Standard 2WD
The C-HR being a cross between a Corolla and a RAV4 provides the high ride comfort in a mid sized hatch. Having owned this for nearly 4 weeks and done 500kms we have found this a comfortable ride offering ease of access and good handling. Fuel economy seems great especially on open road. The 1.2L Turbo engine is smooth and quiet and the CVT is smooth. The vehicle comes standard with many safety systems only found in higher models of other makes. Overall extremely happy and would recommend it for people who are looking for an economical vehicle easy to access. The fixed price yearly service is also great.
We have now had the vehicle for almost 2 years and driven just over 7000kms including one trip of 1000km round trip. The vehicle has performed brilliantly and we are very happy.
Purchased in June 2017 at Mosman Toyota.
Great family car
The wavy LED lights that make up the back of the car are accompanied by stylish concave glass that matches the curvature of the lights. It resembles older models, such as he aero-friendly wheels to the frumpy shape, but it's easily the nicest interpretation of the Prius I've seen to the date.
Toyota C-HR Koba
Overall - love the car, looks great, drives great, great fuel economy. Only disappointment is the dated entertainment system and no air con vents in the back seats. Only had the car for a week but very nice to drive and handles well. Steering is really light and seems to sit well on the road. The safety features are 2nd to none, although it takes a little while to get use to the steering correcting its self when you drift out of the lane with the lane detection alret.