Toyota C-HR 2.0 VVT-i Hybrid 2019 review
New 2.0-litre powertrain gives crossover a healthy amount of additional pep, while infotainment gets welcome updates
There’s an odd sense of amusement that comes from reminding yourself that the official name for the Toyota C-HR is the Coupé High-Rider. It’s the sort of slightly clunky yet strangely endearing name only a Japanese car maker could be expected to come up with.Quirky name aside, however, the European-developed, Turkish-built crossover has gone on to do pretty good things for Toyota since its 2016 launch. Across Europe, more than 400,000 examples have been sold, with 50,000 of those finding homes in Britain. In fact, it has helped Toyota account for nearly 40% of the UK’s entire alternatively fuelled vehicle market – provided your definition of alternatively fuelled is flexible enough to include regular old hybrids.Anyway, the C-HR has been facelifted for 2020, so all the token visual tweaks these sorts of things usually entail are present and correct. They’re subtle (the front grille is slightly wider, the foglights have moved and so on), but – to these eyes, at least – it’s still a strikingly handsome car. More important, however, is the rationalisation of the engine line-up. The 1.2-litre turbo petrol has been dropped in favour of a new 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain closely related to that in the new Corolla and RAV4, the consequence being that, with the existing 1.8-litre powertrain, the C-HR line-up is now 100% hybrid.Along with a smaller electric motor, the new 2.0-litre four-pot makes for a total system output of 181bhp. Suspension tweaks such as new shock absorber have been introduced with a view to making this new quicker C-HR that much more engaging, while its noise, vibration and harshness-reducing measures have supposedly been improved, too.