Long Termers: Toyota C-HR Hybrid Excel
For a cross-country European road trip, the C-HR might not seem to be the ideal tool for the job, with hybrids typically considered as being more at home in a city.
And with the car filled to the rafters like a 3D puzzle with family, belongings and gifts, the C-HR would certainly have its work cut out. However, the fashionista looks of the car belie its surprisingly practical and spacious interior.
That said, my backseat passengers immediately remarked on the cosy and almost claustrophobic cabin, accentuated by tiny and tinted rear windows plus sombre black leather. And, after several hundred miles they did begin complaining of backache. Conversely, the front offered acres of space, good visibility and a commanding view of the road, as well as flexible seat positions and adjustable lumbar support for the driver.
C-HR’s suspension is one of the best setup of any modern car, with a blend of absorbing bumps and lumps without sacrificing on-road manners. Naturally, the motorway was no place to challenge its handling, but winding N roads with slow moving lorries and farm machinery were dealt with thanks to the switchable sport mode via the instrument cluster and the full 120bhp.
A special mention must be made for the love-it/loathe-it eCVT, which kept the engine mostly quiet and restful throughout the journey, although with adaptive cruise control activated there was a tiresome propensity to rev the engine to maintain uphill speed.
Some 1,200 miles later we’d averaged 50mpg. My predilection for hybrids appears to be well placed so far.