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First Drive

First Drive: Toyota C-HR GR Sport

Toyota C-HR 1.8 Hybrid (122hp) GR Sport first drive
The story: Toyota’s motorsport success have inspired a new GR Sport trim level for its C-HR crossover
Key rival:Peugeot 3008
Efficiency:56.4 mpg
On sale:Now

The Toyota C-HR GR Sport is another example of a brand racing on Sunday and selling on Monday, because it has been designed to make the most of the Toyota Gazoo Racing arm’s successes.

The most obvious external upgrades are the 19-inch alloy wheels, the two-tone paint and more aggressive front spoiler.

First Drive - May 2021 - Toyota C-HR GR Sport - Image 4There are also tinted LED headlights, a three-spoke perforated leather steering wheel and GR Sport sill plates, as well as automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry and go, dual-zone climate control and heated seats with GR Sport badging.

Under the bonnet lies Toyota’s 122hp 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain, which drives the front wheels through a CVT automatic transmission. This has CO2 emissions of 120g/km, and the C-HR has an official economy figure of 56.4mpg.

This GR Sport trim also brings stiffer suspension, which makes the C-HR decent fun on a twisty road, helped by steering that feels properly quick and direct, but the downside is that the ride can be pretty firm in town, and those larger wheels and tyres also generate a bit more road noise than lesser C-HRs on smaller rims.

First Drive - May 2021 - Toyota C-HR GR Sport - Image 3Firm ride notwithstanding, the C-HR is at home in town, where the hybrid drivetrain can do its best work. This means progress is unflustered, and you can even put the car in EV mode and bumble around on battery power for a short while. However, when you put your foot down, the engine does get a bit noisy.

The dashboard looks pretty funky, but is easy to find your way around, and the infotainment system is complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There’s no shortage of space inside, either, but the small windows compromise the over-the-shoulder view.

euan doig

The verdict

If you’re sold on the looks and motorsport link, go ahead, but this C-HR costs over £31k. We think the sweet spot lies further down the range.