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Toyota C-HR interior, tech and practicality

Comfort and visibility

Front-seat occupants will feel comfortable in the C-HR. There’s lots of head and legroom, and the centre console is a decent width, so there’s somewhere for both passengers to put their elbows. Power-adjustable lumbar support is available for the driver’s seat on Design trims and up, but the standard seats are still fairly comfortable.

You’ll have few complaints about how easy the dashboard is to navigate. All the infotainment functions are handled by the touchscreen in its separate pod on top of the dash, while below you’ll find easy-to-use physical buttons to adjust the standard two-zone climate control.

Visibility, however, lags a little behind the best in class. Looking out the front, you’ll notice the C-HR has a lower, more car-like driving position than many more upright SUVs – you’ll either like this or dislike this depending on your preference. The over-the-shoulder view is compromised, however, because of the sloping roofline and thick, heavily styled rear-window pillars. All cars get a reversing camera as standard, while Design trims and up pair this with all-round parking sensors, which somewhat makes up for the less-than-ideal view out.

Standard equipment

Icon comes well equipped from the factory, mainly lacking the visual upgrades of higher-level trims. You get 17-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, a reversing camera, two-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane-keep assist. There's also an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which gained Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in October 2019.

Design trim brings larger 18-inch alloys, heated front seats with power lumbar support for the driver, all-round parking sensors, keyless entry and starting, and a built-in sat nav for the infotainment system.

Excel layers on more luxuries with leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Dynamic is the sporty trim, gaining matte-finish alloy wheels, standard metallic paint, a contrast-colour black roof, and full LED headlights and foglights. In early 2021, Dynamic was phased out in favour of GR Sport trim, which is essentially the same but references Toyota’s motorsports partnership with Gazoo Racing.

Infotainment and audio

All C-HR models get an eight-inch touchscreen regardless of trim level. However, not all versions are the same. Models built until early 2021 feature touch-sensitive hotkeys on either side of the screen to jump between key functions and adjust the volume. These are a little fiddly to use at first, but function perfectly fine once you’ve got the hang of them.

We’re glad that newer Icon models include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can still use your favourite mapping and entertainment apps, but the screen in pre-2021 cars has a fairly low resolution. Stepping up to Design trim added more definition to the screen, making graphics and text easier to read, along with adding a built-in sat nav.

The C-HR’s infotainment system was upgraded in 2021, gaining physical shortcut keys and knobs for volume and radio tuning. These are much easier to use on the move, so we’re big fans of this addition. However, compared to rivals in this segment – especially premium models that cost a few thousand more – the C-HR’s setup is starting to show its age with dated graphics and slow-witted responses to inputs. We’d connect our phone and use its apps instead.

Rear seat space

Space for rear-seat passengers isn’t the C-HR’s best feature. If you compare it to a family hatchback with a similar footprint – something like a Toyota Corolla – there’s a comparable amount of legroom, but tall passengers will quickly start complaining about the limited headroom thanks to the car’s sloping coupe roof and narrow side windows.

Things get worse if you compare it to other SUVs in this class, too. Most rivals have boxier bodies that afford them more rear space in all key dimensions. This is the price you have to pay to get the C-HR’s handsome body shape.

There are Isofix points in each of the outer rear seats and you’ll find just enough room to fit a child seat in both. Again, the sloping roofline makes this task harder than it would be in rivals, however, because you’ll have to stoop quite far to reach into the cabin to secure your kids in place.

Boot space

Boot space varies slightly depending on what engine you choose. C-HR models with the 1.2-litre turbo or 1.8-litre hybrid engine have 377 litres, while the 2.0-litre hybrid trims this slightly to 358 thanks to the bigger battery pack. These figures equate to a load area that’s fine for most day-to-day needs but isn’t quite as spacious as the best in class, with the vast Skoda Karoq substantially outclassing the Toyota in this measure.

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