Long Termers: Toyota C-HR Hybrid Excel
Forget sport mode, stiff suspension and power upgrades. When it comes to making high mileage more enjoyable, I think I’ve found something better. I’m totally hooked on the C-HR’s JBL audio system.
Actually, above the hybrid technology or that wild styling, it’s become the number one talking point when I’m asked about the car.
I’ve experienced competition-grade in-car audio builds, and more than my fair share of factory systems – plenty of which just don’t make the grade. What JBL and Toyota have managed here is nothing short of incredible.
Naturally, it’s not just a case of upgrading speakers. The cabin was designed around this system, its surfaces shaped to optimise audio quality, and it shows. It’s never tinny, never too bass-heavy, there’s no distortion or rattling trim, and it can bring the full spectrum of musical genres to life so clearly and three dimensionally that it’s almost as if the band is performing on the bonnet. I’ve found myself sat on the driveway letting songs play out at the end of a journey, it’s that good.
The downside is, it’s only offered as part of a £1,595 Premium Pack, £995 of which is the soft leather upholstery it’s bundled in with. At this price point, I’d consider both worth adding. It’s a more fuel-efficient way to liven up the drive home than any performance upgrades.