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Toyota C-HR review - Entertaining Qashqai alternative - Toyota C-HR design

Lacks the performance to do justice to a capable chassis, but there's still plenty to like about the C-HR

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from £21,065
  • Impressive ride/handling balance, clever rev-matching tech
  • Engines lack performance and enthusiasm, claustrophobic rear cabin

Design

The C-HR’s exterior styling is the most dramatic we’ve seen since the Nissan Juke, and will be a love-it or hate-it factor for potential owners. We’re actually on the positive side of this divide; if manufacturers absolutely must offer crossovers, then they might as well be interesting to look at, and the C-HR is certainly that.

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It’s hard to know where to start, but there are plenty of themes here: A squat, chunky stance, a fastback-style roof line, high-mounted headlights and tail lights, a nicely balanced profile, sharp lines, a “floating” roof, and a sharply rising waistline.

The side panels feature a dramatic swoop that starts over the front wheelarch, sinks to below the beltline and rises again towards the rear, while a contrasting black panel rises up from the sills to pinch the C-HR’s waist and remove some of its visual bulk.

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It does get less weird the longer you look at it, and it makes the SEAT Atecas and Nissan Qashqais of this world seem a little bland. How well it will age remains to be seen, though the similarly unusual Nissan Juke looks no less dramatic today than it did the day it was launched.

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