Toyota C-HR 2.0 Hybrid 2020 Road Test

Three years after its launch, the Toyota C-HR has been substantially revamped. Now solely a self-charging hybrid in the UK, it comes with two grades of drivetrain, both involving petrol engines. Combined outputs are 122PS for the 1.8 and 184PS for the new 2.0 litre.

Toyota CHR 2020 Headlight 

Looks, always first on a buyers wish list, have been cleaned up giving the car a smoother, more aerodynamic face and bigger headlamps without losing its character.

Toyota CHR 2020 Rear Light Cluster Indicator

Same goes for the rear, with a smart piano black rear spoiler connecting new rear lights and sequential turn indicators.

Toyota CHR 2020 Side Grey

New colours and bi-colour schemes refresh the outside, while inside quality has been significantly improved with soft touch surfaces making a pleasant place to be even nicer.

Toyota CHR 2020 Apple Car Play

The infotainment now features easy access buttons down the sides of the touch-screen as well as the all-important Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Music lovers can upgrade to a 9 Speaker JBL premium sound system as part of the Dynamic trim package.

Toyota CHR 2020 Hybrid Drive System

Both versions feature Toyota’s two electric motor/generators, a single planetary gear and a reduction gear to the final drive. One motor is the starter/generator, converting surplus power from the petrol engine and regenerative into electricity stored in the battery. The second electric motor drives the car from a standstill and in reverse and can power the car at speeds up to 75mph. The 1.8 has a smaller, lighter Lithium-ion battery, while the battery in the 2.0 is Nickel-metal hydride.

Toyota CHR 2020 F34 Speed Tunnel Apart from the benefits to the environment, these systems result in better-than-diesel fuel economy. In heavy Lisbon rush hour traffic we were running on the electric motor 80% of the time and our overall fuel economy175 miles of motorways, fast rural roads, tight back roads, cities, town and villages was an excellent 60mpg.

Toyota CHR 2020 Side Coast Road Good

It’s also worth remembering that, like every Toyota, the C-HR comes with a 5 year 100,000 mile warranty (extendable at extra cost to 7 years) for real peace of mind.

Toyota CHR 2020 Front Hill Crest

On its ‘Toyota New Global Architecture’ platform, the C-HR was always good to drive, featuring an excellent compromise between steering feel, roadholding and comfort. We talked about that in our original 2016 C-HR Test.

Toyota CHR 2020 Front Cornering

The most significant upgrade is a considerable increase in performance from the 2.0 litre hybrid drivetrain. This cuts three seconds off the 0-60 acceleration time bringing it down to a very respectable 8 seconds, so the C-HR is a stylish, hybrid crossover SUV you can really enjoy.

Toyota CHR 2020 18 Inch Wheel

On Michelin Primacy 3 225/50 R18 tyres, it steers and grips in an outstandingly confidence inspiring manner, only starting to understeer (predictably) at speeds few drivers will push it to.

Toyota CHR 2020 R34 Coast Road Best

In our 2016 test, we wrote that some of the reason is the proper fully independent double wishbone rear suspension that you don’t find underneath its rivals, the stiffness of the body structure and the considerable amount of work that went into tuning it for the best balance of ride, responsiveness and ultimate grip. As part of its original development, a C-HR 1.2 petrol model was entered into a Nurburgring 24 hour race and, despite its comparative lack of power, still finished a creditable 86th out of 160 starters. Yet it rides comfortably and quietly until you hit really high speeds and the wind starts to catch on the door mirrors.

Toyota CHR 2020 F34 Road Trees

All Toyota C-HRs incorporate Toyota Safety Sense which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Departure Alert; Automatic High Beam; and Road Sign recognition.

Toyota CHR 2020 Side Speed FR

The C-HR is a unique car, being both stylish and hybrid. It still has to face off the KIA Niro and, to a lesser extent the Hyundai Kona hybrid. Then there are more conventional competitors in the forms of the Volkswagen T-Roc and Honda HR-V 182 Sport, the T-Roc for looks and the HR-V for performance with practicality.

Toyota CHR 2020 F34 Speed Coast Road

But for stylish looks, great interior, up to date infotainment combined with sensational economy, the C-HR wins this particular race.

Toyota CHR 2020 Rear Hill Crest

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