If you like the look of the Toyota C-HR but need a higher towing limit than the hybrid’s 725kg, consider the 1.2-litre turbo (with a legal max of 1100-1300kg depending on the transmission).
However, we were intrigued to see how well a small petrol-electric car could tow – it’s rare that hybrids of this size are approved for towing at all.
That two-star towing score reflects a hefty penalty for the low towing limit relative to the car’s kerbweight. But what the Toyota can tow it pulls very well.
At speed the C-HR felt very secure in still air. Only when a breeze picked up and we pushed on towards 70mph did the Toyota begin to wander slightly.
Performance is reasonable, too, with a respectable 30-60mph time of 14.4 seconds. However, there’s a lot of noise under hard acceleration as the Continuously Variable Transmission dials up high revs and adjusts the gearing to build speed.
Some of the hybrids we’ve tested in the past have accelerated well but struggled with the hill start. Not so the C-HR, which easily coped with starting on a 1-in-6 gradient.
The C-HR is enjoyable to drive solo as well as when towing a trailer, with neat cornering and a controlled but supple ride.
However, the C-HR is short on rear-seat room compared with crossover rivals, and luggage space isn’t generous. There’s no printed handbook for owners, and although the online version is very thorough it warns against using the puncture repair kit while towing.