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2020 Toyota C-HR Hybrid Review

2019 Toyota C-HR 2WD 2 internal

Compared to all the other small SUVs, Toyota’s C-HR is a stand out in the styling department. Looking like some sort of motor show “concept car”, C-HR cuts a swathe through the mundane, the boring and the dull.

And remember, this from a company rightfully accused a decade ago of being the manufacturer of so called “white goods” cars.

Not anymore.

The C-HR is in phase two with a revamp late last year tweaking styling and changing a few details.

It’s available with either a 1.2-litre turbo, four cylinder engine or a 1.8-litre petrol/electric hybrid powertrain from Prius.

Front wheel drive and all-wheel drive is available with 1.2-litre power while the hybrid is FWD only.

The Koba hybrid driven is 2WD only and is capable of sipping as little as 4.3-litres/100km on regular unleaded while delivering strong performance through a CVT auto transmission.

It’s a good thing to drive offering plenty of luxury kit and advanced driver assist safety tech’. But the seats are mounted too high which, combined with the sleek, low roofline, compromises access for even moderately tall drivers.

The hybrid challenges you to use less fuel which I saw drop into the low 4.0s in mixed driving.

It is a good size and in Koba spec’ provides plenty of luxury kit.

Not what you’d call cheap, C-HR is premium priced compared to most of the competition but is arguably worth the spend when you look at what you get… and it’s a Toyota.


It’s all angles and creases with a squat stance, low roofline and wing like tail lights. Big wheels fill the arches and cleverly designed cladding to certain areas of the car accentuate its aggressive lines, particularly the big black panel under the doors.

Sequential blinkers add a Euro touch to the lighting while the frontal look is in predatory bird style… angry and purposeful.

There is a Toyota family resemblance to C-HR’s lines especially with new Corolla and Supra.

Toyota has certainly turned a corner with its designs which now rating right up at the top of the tree, Euros included – a far cry from previous efforts.

C-HR has styling lines all over it.

Is it overdone?

Not in my opinion. It makes a profound statement that is unmissable on the road.

Go hard Toyota….


The look is clean, sharp and minimalist dominated by a large centrally mounted touch screen.

There’s a lot of Corolla inside C-HR with the familiarity extending to switchgear, dash, trim and seats.

It’s all fairly generic Toyota right down to the steering wheel controls and other details… all good because the set-up is logical and easy to use.

The dash is slightly angled towards the driver who sits in a comfortable space with all controls easy to reach. The seats have a slightly sporty design with side bolsters to hold you in place and firmish squabs.

It’s a comfortable car to travel in with room for four inside and a decent size boot down the space.

I found the seats too high-mounted for comfort but anyone under 183cm wouldn’t worry about it.

Like the app driven infotainment system with fast Bluetooth hook-up and decent audio. The satnav is good too offering various warnings and multiple map modes.


C-HR Koba hybrid is well featured offering ;

Drive and Engine

The hybrid’s 1.8-litrepetrol /electric combo goes well…  nearly  the same as the 1.2 petrol but uses less fuel, about 50% less. You can get it down to 4.0-litres/100km which is not as good as the new Corolla hybrid but pretty damn good. The C-HR hybrid is fairly hefty at 1420kg which would tell a tad at the bowser.

There’s a characteristic CVT transmission slurring effect on acceleration but the C-HR hybrid responds well at all speeds offering up strong roll on acceleration and OK zip off the mark. Then there’s the EV function which is handy for low speed driving and pretty much cost free driving … for a short while.

This is the 8th hybrid vehicle in Toyota’s local line-up and all are good to drive. They have sharpened up the hybrid “boost” system to function more like a turbo arrangement as well as a fuel saver. That’s why Toyota hybrid sales are through the roof.

The C-HR hybrid has sharp, sporty dynamics with quick steering and strong brakes. Ride is a good compromise between comfort and control. It sits on the road well and there’s minimal noise inside.

Quite impressive actually.


Five stars no probs,  this time augmented by additional standard advanced driver assist features like pre collision safety with day/night pedestrian detection, active cruise control, lane departure warning, auto high beam, steering assist, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert to name only some of the safety kit.….

Good Bits

Not So Good Bits


C-HR is a good looking thing compared to most of the competition. It goes really well and is now safer than ever. The thing to remember is that C-HR is outside the box in terms of styling which has plenty of appeal for some, not so much for others. I love it…..

Facts and Figures: 2020 Toyota C-HR hybrid

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options

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