14 April 2020

Toyota CH-R Hybrid 2020 Car Review

Toyota’s new C-HR launched in January and quickly followed the RAV4 and Corolla to make the top three hybrid sales for the month of February with 46 cars sold, which helps to demonstrate Kiwi’s thirst for fuel efficient vehicles.

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Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020
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Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020
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Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020
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Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020
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Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020
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Toyota C-HR Hybrid 2020

Currently, the C-HR is one of eight Toyota models in New Zealand to offer a hybrid-electric powertrain, joining the Camry, the Corolla hatch and sedan, RAV4 and three variants of the Prius. The increase in hybrids offered by Toyota - 17% of their overall vehicle sales - has dropped Toyota’s overall average CO2 emissions by 9% compared with last year’s results.

This compact SUV has always been one of my favourite smaller cars, simply because it’s cosy, comfortable to drive, and is rather unique to look at. And the fluent, engaging driving experience is all thanks to the Toyota New Global Architecture platform’s (TNGA) exceptional rigidity, low centre of gravity and optimised suspension layout.  However, until recently I was Toyota’s target demographic- ‘young professional looking for fun and environmentally-friendly motoring’, and now I’m only a few years off the other ‘empty nester with the same desires but less family and stuff to carry’.    

While the punchy 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine remains available, the new hybrid version has the same 1.8 litre petrol engine as the ever popular Corolla hybrid – offering today’s driver the twin benefit of lower carbon emissions and great combined fuel consumption of only 4.3l/100 km.

The C-HR hybrid delivers 90kW of total system output with combined CO2 emissions of 97g/km. By comparison, the C-HR 1.2 litre petrol turbo engine delivers 85kW of power and generates CO2 emissions of 144-148g/km from a combined fuel consumption of 6.4-6.5 l/100km depending on the variant.

As well as introducing the hybrid version, the 2020 C-HR has benefited from a facelift featuring a revised front-end with deep, curvy character lines emerging from a prominent Toyota badge that’s flanked by the headlights and lead into the narrower core body. Joining the Corolla Sedan, the C-HR hybrid also comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen which replaces the previous 6.1” setup.

State of the art Toyota Safety Sense active safety features come as standard in the C-HR and includes a Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking, All speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. A reversing camera, Blind Spot Monitor, Parking Support Alert with front and rear clearance sensors and Rear Cross Traffic Alert also come as standard.

A wide range of contemporary colours are available for the new C-HR, from ‘Crystal Pearl’ to ‘Shadow Platinum’, ‘Ink’, ‘Sun Fusion’ and ‘Nebula Blue’. New to the range for 2020 are ‘Graphite’, ‘Emotional Red’ and ‘Inferno’.

The Limited model has the option of a two-tone colour scheme featuring a black roof which sets off the bodywork painted in one of the aforementioned colours. It also offers a Panoramic View Monitor, providing a surround view of the vehicle at speeds of 20km/h or lower, a gloss black back door lip spoiler, rear sequential indicators and a new 18-inch alloy wheel design. Buyers wanting an AWD version, have just one option to choose from – the petrol C-HR Limited.

One of our reviewers with a young family commented about the high placement of the rear external door handles: “These design accents are a great way to convey its sporty and athletic stance, however practically speaking if you have younger shorter kids it can prove a tricky task to reach these door handles, especially during the chaos of the school run” and observed the high narrow rear passenger window combined with a rather large door handle concealing panel, means reduced visibility for shorter members of the family sitting in the back, however it’s still a comfortable place to be and its spacious enough for young ones- hence Toyota’s target demographic.”

At a glance


Toyota CH-R (Base & Limited models)


1.8-litre Hybrid


Base - $34,990, Limited $37,990 (TDP) 

ANCAP safety rating





Electronically controlled CVT

Fuel economy

Combined 4.3l/100km

Towing capacity




Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

318 litres (all seats up)

Safety systems

  • Pre-Collision System with AEB
  • Reverse camera
  • All Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • BSM
  • Parking sensors (front/rear)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Secondary Collision Brake function
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