Toyota C-HR PHEV: our test drive in Marseille

In Ibiza, we had tested the C-HR Full Hybrid, but now the range is completed with the Toyota C-HR PHEV, the first plug-in hybrid version of the stylish crossover coupe from the Japanese manufacturer.

With over 60% of driving in electric mode even when the battery is low, here’s how our test went in Marseille and its surroundings, in southern France.

Toyota C-HR PHEV: prices in Scandinavia

Denmark

  • Style: 399.900 DKK;
  • Executive: 459.900 DKK;
  • Premiere Edition: 508.990 DKK;
  • GR Sport: 506.990 DKK

Sweden

Swedish prices are not available yet.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

Toyota C-HR PHEV: our tops and flops

The Toyota C-HR PHEV is a very clever plug-in choice. It combines the elegant and aerodynamic shapes of the second generation of the model with Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology, the result of 30 years of expertise from the Japanese brand specifically regarding hybrid technology. An excellent choice for saving money and driving in the city solely on electric power, and for enjoying a comfortable and smooth ride during business or personal trips, without compromises and with greater silence compared to the HEV model. Of course, it’s more of a car for two than for four, and despite its efforts to improve, it still doesn’t offer enough space and airiness in the back. It’s a pity, moreover, that the charging is only in AC, and up to 7 kW.

What we like

  • The plug-in hybrid system works very well;
  • It’s much quieter than the full hybrid model;
  • It’s driven in electric mode for more than half the time;

What we don’t like

  • There’s no fast charging;
  • The rear seating is a bit cramped;
  • Some materials could be improved;

How does the Toyota C-HR PHEV perform?

The answer is no: there’s hardly any scooter effect on the Toyota C-HR PHEV, despite still having an eCVT gearbox like the full hybrid versions. The C-HR plug-in stands out for its remarkable level of silence, perhaps due to a more targeted engineering effort. The gear shifting is smoother, even in traditionally challenging situations like uphill climbs.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

In addition to this, the 223 horsepower make it powerful and responsive, with a 0-100 km/h time of 7.4 seconds. Another plus is the battery under the floor and positioned at the rear, which makes it balanced in terms of weight, and safer due to the low center of gravity.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

Thus, in the park around Marseille, I appreciated the stability of the car during descents, while the driving experience was even more enjoyable thanks to the aerodynamic design of the entire vehicle.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

As mentioned, the 13.5 kWh battery offers a range of 66 km in the WLTP cycle. During our test, we covered about 50 km in fully electric mode, a satisfactory result considering the predominantly uphill route and few urban areas, mainly limited to the center of Marseille.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

Overall, we spent 86% of the time using only electricity with a charged battery, and 60% with a depleted battery. The overall efficiency is ensured by Toyota’s latest generation hybrid system, which constantly maintains a minimum level of battery charge. When the charge is insufficient to travel exclusively in electric mode, the car automatically switches to full hybrid mode, keeping fuel consumption low and allowing for emissions-free driving often, both in the city and in extra-urban conditions such as during deceleration.

Safety features

The safety features have already been praised during the previous test, and I invite you again to read it to learn more. But there’s an added value on the C-HR. The car indeed benefits from B-Mode, with regenerative braking. But the braking is generally dynamic, allowing the car to autonomously slow down in the presence of other vehicles in front of us, or if it detects that we are going downhill.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

As always, the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are rich, with almost all of them standard from the Trend Eco trim, which include:

  • Renewed Pre-Collision System;
  • Proactive Driving Assist;
  • Lane Trace Assist;
  • Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control, which adjusts the speed during highway curves with monitoring of steering wheel and pedals usage;
  • Emergency Driving Stop System, if the system notices that the steering wheel and pedals have not been used for too long;
  • Overtake Prevention Support to prevent unintentional overtaking on the wrong side of another vehicle on the highway;
  • Turn Signal Linked Control, to help the driver merge into traffic at an appropriate speed;
  • Road Sign Assist;
  • Rear Seat Reminder System;
  • Safe Exit Assist;
Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

Optional, in an additional package, there are:

  • Lane Change Assist;
  • Front Cross Traffic Alert;
  • Driver Monitor Camera.

We already know the rest of the C-HR well, and for a deeper aesthetic exploration, we refer both to the first contact of the full hybrid and to other articles dedicated to the model published on the site over the past few months.

Design and Interior

The C-HR, however, continues to present itself as a “production concept car“, meaning it doesn’t stray far from the C-HR Prologue known at the Kenshiki Forum in 2022. Compared to the previous generation, however, it certainly becomes more avant-garde but also more modern, with choices of dual coloration and refined elements.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

Above all, at the rear, the continuous and thin line of LEDs stands out, separating the rear window from the tailgate and, in the case of dual coloration, blending perfectly into the glossy black. The front is sharp, with Hammerhead design, and equally thin headlights.

Toyota C-HR PHEV
Image: NordiskBil

Inside, the attention to detail and materials is evident once again, with the new interior layout featuring a digital dashboard and central touch display. The system is now familiar: it’s minimal in graphics, sufficiently fluid in operation, but above all wirelessly compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Returning to praise the safety features, and in particular the Ambient Lights, which are not only aesthetic but functional, warning for example of the arrival of pedestrians, cyclists, or other vehicles when we are about to exit the car. Considering the particular shape of the car, with particularly limited rear visibility, a great advantage.

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