Toyota CH-R car review: ‘The most over-designed vehicle I’ve come across’

No door handle is in a regular place, no window is a regular shape

Really, though, why do you want a small family SUV? What’s wrong with a regular family saloon or, for anyone without a big hobby, a hot hatch? Is it like that thing where you do an MA because nobody’s impressed by a degree any more, and then you end up knowing a ton about French feminism for no reason? I’m not being anti-intellectual. I’m not even being anti-SUV. I’m just being very slightly sceptical about the Toyota CH-R.

This is the most over-designed vehicle I’ve ever come across: the dash is fancy with diamond patterns, the body work is lousy with pointy bits, no door handle is in a regular place, no window is a regular shape if it can be segmented. Nobody knows why they want their windows to look like insects, or why the back end has to be modelled on an 80s film about a flying boat (which doesn’t exist; stop Googling). I guess you could always ask, but that would seem discourteous, like asking someone if their hair is meant to be that colour. All of this plays merry havoc with the rear visibility. This was not the car on which to test the proposition “nobody really needs a parking camera; ‘simple intelligent park assist’ (unmelodious, constant beeping) will do just fine”.

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