Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 27 September 2020
If you’re a very conservative buyer, it is probably best that you look away now. This is the latest iteration of the Toyota CH-R, a vehicle which ditches many design norms in favour of cool geometric lines and styles, but is it still cool in 2020? I spent some time sampling the latest-generation model to find out.
It seems only natural that the first talking point here is design. The CH-R has retained its flamboyant angular design lines, which in my opinion are only looking better than ever here in 2020. There have been some odd updates to the overall image, but in the whole, it remains one of the more daring designs within the segment which it sits and I actually really like it.
Exterior styling changes include its spoiler lip is now in body colour and widened bumpers. LED headlights are now standard on all derivatives (Standard, Plus and Luxury). The vehicles side air intakes are more aggressive in their appearance. The CH-R now also features new and striking body colours including one called Inferno Orange and Oxide Bronze (offered on Standard and Plus trim), while the high-spec Luxury trim as driven can be ordered in 2-tone spec with a black roof.
Much in keeping with its fresh style for 2020 comes its fresh look into the “connected world” and modern technologies. The CH-R now features a built-in vehicle data hotspot with 15GB of WIFI connectivity, a feature which I truly see value in and believe should be in all modern-day vehicles. This hotspot feature perfectly incorporates into the CH-R’s now further updated central media system which now features Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto along with its wide array of media sources including Bluetooth connectivity and more.
Safety systems have also been further bumped-up now including a Blind-spot Monitoring System (BSM), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Pre-crash system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist.
The CH-R can best be described as a smooth and comfortable modern crossover. It’s all powered by the familiar 1.2-litre petrol with outputs of 85 kW and 185 Nm and comes mated with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT).
I spent time with the CVT equivalent and am glad to report that its actually a good example of a CVT, and one which didn’t spend much of its time droning or hunting. Toyota claims 6.4 L/100 km, and I was able to average 7.6 L/100 km during my week of testing.
Despite have tough competition from the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona, Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008 for instance, the CH-R has managed to bring something different and fresh to the compact crossover market segment in which it sits. Though the added features have seen its pricing climb, it certainly does not come at the expense of missing any features as standard, this coupled with its uber-cool design and polygon style design certainly makes for an automotive design which in my opinion seems to get even further desirable over time.
The Toyota C-HR is sold with a 6 services /90 000 km service plan, and 3 year/100 000 km warranty is also provided. With Toyota’s typical piece of mind motoring offer and its modern thinking, it really does offer a breath of fresh air within the space in which it sits.
Toyota C-HR 1.2T – R379 100
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Plus – R411 100
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Plus CVT – R423 400
Toyota C-HR 1.2T Luxury CVT – R486 100