2020 Toyota C-HR is forbidden fruit we still can’t have

THE Toyota C-HR. It’s a quirky-looking vehicle, yes, but it already has quite the following just about everywhere else but here. If you wanted one, you’d have to go through a gray-market dealer. Those still hoping for Toyota to sell it over here, prepare to get green with envy again.

Toyota has just unveiled the updated 2020 C-HR, and they even added a rather sporty hybrid version as well.

On the surface, you’ll have to look a little bit longer at it to see differences. You’l notice that the headlights and tail lights are now powered by LEDs. There’s also a new pattern for the daytime running lights as well. Another thing they tweaked was the tailgate lip spoiler. It’s now finished in gloss black, making the entire tail light bit look like a single piece.

Major updates are found under the skin with mechanical improvements aimed to make the funky crossover drive and ride better, according to the automaker. The entire suspension system was overhauled according to Toyota. It seems that they’ve been listening to feedback since we noted that the ride of the C-HR was on the firm side when we briefly drove one in Singapore. They even tweaked the electronic power steering system to add more feel and feedback.

But the biggest change is the addition of a new hybrid option. It’s a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle mill that’s good for 184 PS with the electric motor providing 202 Nm of torque all by itself. That helps the hybrid do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in about 8.5 seconds, brisk for what is essentially an economy engine. Toyota even claims it can do up to 25.5 kilometers per liter in real world city driving as well.

Sadly, it looks like Toyota Motors Philippines isn’t too keen on bringing the C-HR over to the country. If you really want one, and there’s more than enough of you who will buy one, perhaps that will be enough for them to change their minds. Of course, if you don’t mind splashing out more, you can always go for its plusher sibling, the Lexus UX. (www.autoindustriya.com)