2020 Toyota C-HR Review | Value, technology and convenience

A new face and a new hybrid option signal the update time for Toyota’s outrageously-designed small SUV.





  • High levels of standard equipment
  • Great balance in handling
  • Classy interior display
  • Finally, the infotainment system has been updated
  • Turbo performance is a bit shy
  • Hybrid dedicated to the highest specifications only
  • Higher starting price than many competitors
  • The rear seat is for occasional use or for short trips only

Since launch, nearly half of Toyota C-HRs sold have been the high-spec Koba in two-wheel drive form. Because of this popularity, the Koba 2WD will only be offered with a hybrid option in Australia.

You can still get all-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions of the entry-level C-HR and Koba with a petrol engine as well, but as Toyota looks to build its hybrid momentum, adding the hybrid C-HR is significant with the brand on track to convert 25,000 hybrids before the end of the year. year 2019.

The C-HR became the eighth Toyota plug-in hybrid available in Australia after the Prius, Prius C, Prius V, Corolla hatch, Corolla sedan (Toyota counts these two separate lines for a reason), RAV4 and Camry. There’s more to come as well, with a Yaris hybrid due next year, and a Kluger hybrid expected in the future.



As part of the mid-life refresh for 2020, the 2020 Toyota C-HR arrives in Australia with a new front bumper design, new LED headlights, and new 17- or 18-inch wheels depending on the grade. The Koba also comes with a redesigned set of LED taillights to make it stand out even more.

Under the hood, the previous 1.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder was used on petrol models. It produces 85 kW from 5200-5600 rpm and 185 Nm nice and low, from 1500 rpm all the way up to 4000 rpm.

Drive is channeled via a CVT automatic transmission with a pseudo-seven-speed Sport mode to the front wheels or on-demand all-wheel drive. The lack of significant sales of the previous manual variant (less than 2 percent) means that it has been retired.



The new talking point is the hybrid model. In this case, the C-HR shares its naturally aspirated 1.8-liter engine and an adjacent electric generator set with the new Corolla hybrid. The petrol engine alone is rated at 72 kW, and the electric at 53 kW, but the overall overall is 90 kW with 142 Nm of torque.

Fuel use, of course, is where the hybrid shines – an average of 4.3 liters per 100 km on the combined cycle compared to 6.4 liters / 100 km for the turbocharged engine. When tested, (admittedly a short country driving route), hybrid consumption only crept to 4.9 l/100 km, with petrol models showing eight times as much in similar conditions.

On the road is where the two really show their differences. Externally, aside from blue Toyota logos and a handful of hybrid badges, there’s nothing that separates the pair.



Take off in the C-HR turbo engine where silence reigns at low speeds, coupled with a pleasant lack of vibration. Meanwhile, the turbo engine delivers low-level noise while idling and the fading sensation of the engine running. Nothing offensive, not as new as a hybrid’s lack of plays.

Immerse yourself in the flow of traffic and instantly the hybrid feels more responsive and more fluid. Although on paper it lists a lower torque output than the turbo, the instantaneous thrust available from the electric motor creates a more powerful and fun engine at lower speeds.

Likewise, on the open road, the hybrid version will move forward more easily if you need to depress the throttle to get past it. CVTs don’t always get glowing reviews, but the way the C-HR Hybrid splits power between electric and combustion engines makes it responsive and smooth.

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Under the same conditions, the C-HR turbocharged engine takes a little longer to buffer, and the CVT auto’s response isn’t as responsive. And while you’ll catch up in a moment, there’s always a feeling that the gasoline engine is playing the second fiddle after the hybrid.

Neither engine is a powerhouse, and both are well-suited for urban jogging duties, but for buyers who drive a pair back-to-back, it looks like the pair’s fuel saver might also be a more rewarding engine.

The situation is a bit divided when it comes to ride comfort. Despite an attempt to keep the petrol and hybrid variants closely alike, slight differences in suspension tuning emerge to counteract the hybrid system’s extra weight.

Both handle well, are safe on the road, smart and easy to park. On country roads, the hybrid was more tolerant of the pair, softer to ride, and better able to fend off bumps and obstacles in the road surface.

If you really focus on handling the finer edges, the firmer turbo will appeal to you. On choppy surfaces, it settles more quickly, while hybrids tend to spin and float. This comes at the cost of convenience. The C-HR’s turbocharged engine feels its way through the roof and feeds that information back into the cabin.

Presentation from the inside earns the highest score. Toyota hasn’t revised the C-HR in any meaningful way inside, aside from the new, enlarged infotainment screen (more on that in a moment). But with a bold look and clever use of impressive textures, patterns, and materials, there was little work to be done.



The main talking point is the new screen. At 8.0 inches, it replaces the previous 6.1-inch unit it replaces, brings a cleaner interface (though not the best in the automotive world), and finally adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone mirroring.

The C-HR rolls on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and comes with cloth-trimmed sport seats, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights and taillights, self-dimming interior mirror, auto lights and wipers, satellite navigation, Bluetooth, active cruise control for all speeds, independent emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a rearview camera.

Pricing starts at $29,540 for the C-HR 2WD model, with the AWD version adding an additional $2,000.

If you want more, the C-HR Koba gets upgraded to dark-tinted privacy glass at the rear, 18-inch two-tone aluminum wheels, leather-trimmed interior trim, heated front seats, driver lumbar support, keyless entry and push-button start. , a 360-degree camera, a unique set of LEDs with different lighting signatures and scroll indicators on the back (previously found on the front).

The C-HR Koba is priced from $33,940 for a turbo 2WD, or $35,940 for a turbo AWD, or $36,440 for a 2WD hybrid.

Front seat passengers must be comfortable enough. The C-HR’s driving position feels more like a regular hatch than an elevated SUV, but the added height gives an elevated view of what’s in front of you. There’s enough room to feel comfortable, although the lowered roofline makes itself known to taller passengers.



The rear seats themselves are comfortable, but the dramatic rear design has some flaws. If you are traveling with children, they may have a hard time reaching the rear door handles, and once inside the small rear windows limit visibility and make travel sickness a very real possibility.

I don’t usually feel nauseous on a car trip, but after an hour in the back of the C-HR and little visibility, both from the front and the side, I’m starting to feel a lot greener than when I got in.

Regardless of the powertrain option, all C-HR variants claim a 318-liter boot. Neither the largest in its class, nor the smallest, and versatility plays a secondary role in the dramatic design, of course, but the foldable rear seat increases space when needed, and the hybrid batteries live under the rear seat to reduce their impact on cargo capacity. (Note: An earlier version of this review mentioned a 377-liter boxcar based on data provided by Toyota, which has since been revised.)

In terms of updates, the changes to C-HR are really very minor. Visually, it is a little more elegant, but it can be difficult to pick out the changes from a distance.

Basically, the small SUV from Toyota did not fall off. Among the competitors, it was always well featured, and drove with surprising smoothness not often seen in the small SUV class.

Given its form before function, the Toyota C-HR can be forgiven for opting out of the bargaining price war and aiming for more luxury. There’s plenty of standard equipment to make up the price, and among Toyota’s fleet-friendly lineup, the C-HR truly looks and feels even more distinct and personal.



Among the Toyota family of hybrids, the Corolla slot hybrid starts at a more reasonable $25,780, the larger Camry Hybrid at $30,590, and even the cheapest RAV4 Hybrid is at $38,140.

These are fleet darlings, though, without the C-HR Koba hybrid’s full equipment list. In this case, Toyota considers the buyer a more distinct “style and lifestyle”.

As before, C-HR won’t win all hearts, but it will continue to do well. The latest updates make it look new and give it a small but necessary technical boost.

As for the new hybrid, it shines as the best of the bunch — frugal to run, but more responsive to drive. Although it may be priced at a premium, it fulfills its ambitious intentions well.

Rating Ratings

2019 Toyota C-HR Wagon

8.1/ 10

Comfort and inner packing

Information, entertainment and communication

Keys Casey

Keys Casey migrated from behind the parts counters to writing about cars more than ten years ago. Raised by a family of auto workers, Kez was raised in workshops and panel shops before switching to reviews and road tests for The Motor Report, Drive and CarAdvice.

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