It’s an engaging car that comes with excellent ride quality. The suspension design has taken its cues from motorsport, and the car has a low centre of gravity. This gives it composure in bends, and reduces body lean. There’s lots of grip, too,
You can get four-wheel drive as an option, but otherwise all models are front-wheel-drive. There is also a hybrid engine available. Yet despite it making up most of the sales, it’s a noisy, unpolished unit that’s at odds with the car’s composed nature. It’s ideal if you’ll be making short journeys, and it’s almost silent when running on just electric power.
The 1.2-litre turbo petrol is a better bet if you want more fun. Free from the extra weight of the hybrid’s electric motors and batteries, its steering is more responsive.
It’s no surprise that the hybrid engine is cheaper to run, though. It can return fuel economy of 74.3mpg, and is free to tax. However, these numbers are subject to change. Pack your car with bigger wheels, and fuel economy will drop.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine, meanwhile, is good for 47.9mpg, and costs £130 a year in road tax.
If you’ve stepped foot inside a Toyota before, you’ll have hardly been dazzled! The CHR, though, houses a surprisingly accomplished cabin that knocks spots off all that’s come before it. The overall look is modern and funky, with soft-touch plastics the order of the day. The textures and shapes are well-chosen, and buyers will appreciate the gloss finishes. It feels really upmarket, and it’s nice to see Toyota being so adventurous.
And despite the bold styling, this is also a practical interior. A large windscreen and low dashboard mean visibility is good, and you’ve got plenty of seat adjustment up front. Legroom is good in the rear, with the front seats mounted so high that backseat passengers can slip their feet underneath.
Headroom is also good, but shoulder room will be limited in the back when there are three occupants. The well-shaped boot, meanwhile, measures 377-litres, and it comes with a low loading lip and wide opening tailgate.
Toyota – £21,000 – £28,000