The 2020 Toyota C-HR on test for Changing Lanes!
The 2020 Toyota C-HR on test for Changing Lanes!

Read Caroline’s Toyota C-HR review for everything you need to know about buying Toyota’s popular hybrid compact SUV in Ireland.

What’s so special about the Toyota C-HR Hybrid?

The Toyota C-HR marked a turning point for the Toyota brand when it was first launched back in 2016. The coupé crossover heralded the arrival of a new generation of Toyota cars built upon the TNGA platform, with more dynamism and style.

The C-HR was a dramatic departure in styling for the brand, and continues to command attention on Irish roads. Now it’s the turn of the 2020 model, mildly facelifted for this model year and also introducing some new features and powertrain options.

The  Toyota C-HR has been a huge success in Ireland and is now the Japanese brand’s 2nd bestselling model in Ireland after the new Toyota Corolla. Priced from €30,370, the C-HR has moved up a gear in 2020 and is now exclusively sold as a hybrid.

However Toyota has also widened the range with the arrival of a new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain. It offers even more performance than the 1.8-litre hybrid version that helped the C-HR to establish itself in Ireland over the last four years.

The C-HR is now available with a 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain with more power and performance
The C-HR is now available with a 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain with more power and performance

What’s new for the C-HR?

The C-HR’s dramatic coupe-like styling and crossover stance remain a stand out feature. For 2020 there is new LED technology in the headlights and rear lights, with the daytime running lights (DRLs) and indicators combined into one frontal projector emitting a single smooth line above the main beam. At the rear, the new combi lamps are connected by a new gloss black spoiler.

There are four trim levels – Luna, Sport, Luna Sport and Sol – with varying levels of bling applied to the car depending on trim level, from different alloy wheel designs to the bi tone roof option. My test car was the Launch Edition finished in exclusive metallic orange and shod with black, 10 spoke 18” alloy wheels.

Inside, Toyota has trimmed the interior with some new fabrics and materials for the 2020 model year. However the cabin remains stylish and contemporary with an intriguing diamond motif theme throughout. It appears in for example the shape of the control buttons for the media system, and even as an embedded pattern in the roof of the car.

The interior of the 2020 Toyota C-HR
The interior of the 2020 Toyota C-HR

Behind the wheel

The driving position in the C-HR is very comfortable, with plenty of adjustment in the seat. There is some elevation to it though overall the driver feels very snug and cosseted in the seat, like a hatchback, as opposed to feeling perched upon the vehicle.

Apple Car Play and Android Auto are now available and there is a large touchscreen as standard. Material quality is good inside with our Launch Edition model getting some black perforated leather trim with diamond pattern and dark brown upper dashboard area.

Other equipment highlights include Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety equipment including traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitor, JBL premium sound system, dual zone climate control, cruise control, ambient lights, parking camera and heated front seats.

The C-HR will seat five with reasonable space for rear occupants. The beautiful coupe style on the outside means that the rear can be quite dark for passengers but there is competitive legroom. A powered tailgate is available and the boot has a capacity of 377 litres.

The 2020 Toyota C-HR is available from €30,370
The 2020 Toyota C-HR is available from €30,370

Tell us about the hybrid

The 1.8-litre hybrid (122hp) is now joined by a higher powered 2.0-litre hybrid with 184hp in the 2020 Toyota C-HR. Fuel consumption is quoted as low as 4.8 litres per 100 km in the entry level 1.8-litre hybrid C-HR. On test, we drove the Launch Edition sold exclusively with the more performance oriented 2.0-litre hybrid.

On the road the Toyota C-HR 2.0-litre hybrid feels robust and well balanced in terms of power and its delivery through a CVT automatic gearbox. Refinement has been improved with less interruption from the CVT gearbox to ensure a smooth, calm and quiet presence in the cabin. At low speeds in town for example or when parking, the electrical assistance kicks in ensuring that overall, we returned an impressive 5.5 litres per 100 km on our test drive.

Toyota has made some dynamic upgrades for 2020 include a modified EPS tuning for improved steering feel. The 2.0-litre hybrid also gets a new suspension design that improves ride comfort while retaining the Toyota C-HR’s handling capabilities. All variants also feature an upgraded Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) pack to further reduce cabin noise.

As a result the C-HR is comfortable to drive on the road and one of the brand’s most premium vehicles in terms of behaviour. It’s competent on the road and in this class of vehicle it feels responsive and agile in terms of controls and how it responds to driver inputs.

Toyota has considerable experience in hybrid and it shows in the C-HR
Toyota has considerable experience in hybrid and it shows in the C-HR

Did you like it?

The Toyota brand’s strong presence in Ireland means the C-HR has established itself quickly in the market as an alternative to the familiar family SUV pack. There are more practical crossovers available in this price range but the C-HR is one of the most premium feeling models in the Toyota range, with design and style going some way to justify its positioning in the market. Add in an ultra trendy hybrid powertrain that genuinely delivers good return on economy and you can understand this car’s appeal.

The Launch Edition 2.0-litre hybrid has a hefty price tag (€38,515) but there is better value to be had elsewhere in the range, with the C-HR coming well-equipped from entry.

The 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain will suit most motorists, but at Changing Lanes we did enjoy the power and refinement of the C-HR 2.0-litre hybrid. The addition of Apple Car Play and Android Auto is a welcome technology update and the C-HR’s cabin still looks stylish and contemporary in 2020 against the competition.

It’s very easy to see the appeal of the C-HR from behind the wheel and we enjoyed our time spent with the car. As more hybrids come to market, the sophistication of the hybrid powertrain and Toyota’s experience in this area shines through.

Toyota C-HR is a stylish and efficient crossover
Toyota C-HR is a stylish and efficient crossover

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota C-HR Launch Edition
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol electric hybrid
184 hp
Torque: 190 Nm
8.2 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP): 5.2 l/100km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 119 g/km
Motor Tax:  €200 per year