DESIGN-wise there is no doubt the latest CH-R model from Toyota is cutting edge… if you want a car that will stand out from the crowd then this could be the one for you.
And in addition to the striking looks there’s performance and economy too as the electric motor and 1987cc petrol engine combine to deliver an 8.2 second 0 to 60 time with a 112mph top end while being able to return a shade over 54mpg
But back to that striking design which has been with us now long enough for the CH-R to become a regular sight on our roads. Combining coupé, hatchback and crossover influences it provides reasonable inside space with sporty external looks.
Underneath the skin the CH-R shares the same global architecture and petrol-electric hybrid powertrain that made its sister car the Prius so successful.
For 2020 Toyota have refreshed the C-HR with a new 2-litre petrol engine joining the existing 1.8 while the 1.2 turbo version has been discontinued meaning all C-HRs are now hybrids. Our test car was the near range topping Dynamic 2-litre version.
Available on all but the entry-level trim, this new 2.0-litre engine adds over £1,500 to the final price but brings better performance and on-road refinement.
With more than 400,000 worldwide sales in the three years since its launch the C-HR has been a hit for Toyota with 50,000 of those cars finding homes in Britain
Toyota has not changed too much from that winning design formula – there are new front and rear bumpers, two new alloy wheel designs, new lights and the front fog lamps have moved further out along the bumper.
Toyota says eight out of 10 UK buyers opted for a hybrid C-HR on the pre-facelift car, hence the demise of the smaller turbo petrol engine. The cars also now use a new smaller yet more powerful battery pack than the old C-HR.
There are in fact two electric motors – one to recover energy during braking and another to power the car in full-EV mode. Total output is 182bhp which is 62 more than the 1.8 giving better acceleration and a more responsive driving experience.
During normal driving the C-HR seamlessly switches between petrol and electric power meaning that at cruising speeds or when you select EV mode the car can waft along on electric power only.
Refinement has been improved in the new version which is quieter than the old car while the ride and handling are a little better as well thanks to new dampers giving a sporty feel to match those radical looks.
The interior gets an upgrade too with a better infotainment system replacing Toyota’s previously fiddly and somewhat dated set up. Quality materials mean you feel like this is an upmarket motor, although space in the back seats and rear visibility is still a bit limited due to that sloping roofline.
Our Dynamic trim car comes with a long list of equipment including sat-nav, heated front seats, an ‘intelligent’ park assistant, ‘sonar’ front and rear parking sensors, auto lights, wipers and rear view mirror, adaptive cruise control and smart 18” alloy wheels.
Then there are the safety features which are comprehensive as we have come to expect from Toyota and include a pre-collision system with pedestrian protection and auto braking, lane departure alert and rear cross traffic warning.
The CH-R range starts from £26,245 for an Icon-spec 1.8-litre model up to £33.215 for the top of the range 2-litre Orange Edition.
By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth