Performance and 0-60mph time
No C-HR offers particularly strong performance, either on paper or on the road. Quickest of the bunch is the manual-equipped 1.2 turbo, which reaches 62mph from rest in 10.9 seconds, and a 118mph top speed also makes it the fastest.
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Next up is the hybrid, with an 11-second 0-62mph time but a lower 105mph top end, while the CVT auto-equipped 1.2 turbo takes 11.1sec to hit 62mph and features a 114mph top speed.
If that all sounds a bit uninspiring, then you’ll not have a great deal more to enjoy about the way the engines actually perform on the road. We expect all models would go a little better with a few thousand miles to loosen them up, but even then these are efficiency-biased engines fighting against a reasonable, but still not inconsiderable 1320-1380kg kerb weight.
Long gearing doesn’t help, and certainly takes the sting out of the 1.2-litre car. While the shift itself is light and slick (and the rev-matching on the way down the ‘box is very nicely implemented) you seem to take an age to swing through the rev range, and are rewarded with little more than extra engine noise for your troubles. This is not a drivetrain you’ll want to spend much time interacting with; better to accept your fate and travel around a little more slowly, using the talented chassis to maintain corner speed. To its credit, the 1.2 really is very quiet when cruising, which of course is what many owners will want.
The CVT is better than you’d expect too, allowing you to choose between virtual ratios. The hybrid is CVT-only, and it too is better than you’d expect, with less disconnect between throttle position and engine speed than it days gone by. It isn’t, however, an engine you’ll choose for sporty driving, but driven with less enthusiasm it’s refined enough that you’ll rarely hear it in regular driving.