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Upgraded Toyota CH-R SUV range adds hybrid-electric technology

 We are without doubt in a transitional period in regard to pure electric cars and whilst they currently only occupy 0.2 per cent of the market Toyota has been most successful in tapping customers who want to reduce their carbon footprint, in April  reaching a milestone of 100,000 petrol-electric hybrids. Last week, they showed off the upgraded small CH-R SUV, their eighth model to offer a hybrid-electric powertrain joining their Camry, Corolla, RAV4 and Prius variants. So far this year Toyota’s hybrid models have doubled sales despite a relatively soft overall new vehicle market and now represent around 15 per cent of their total sales – the new RAV4 Hybrid for example has quickly sold into short supply.

The new CH-R SUV range gains a hybrid-electric system on its best-selling front-drive high-grade Koba model – the 1.8-litre hybrid-electric system coupled to a CVT transmission offering combined output of 90kW with quoted fuel consumption of just 4.3 litres/100km. The petrol CH-R range comprises the entry 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol with CVT automatic transmission in both front and all-wheel-drive and the higher-grade 1.2-litre turbo petrol Koba CVT in front and all-wheel-drive – prices ranging from $29,540 to $35,940. The CH-R Koba front-wheel-drive hybrid sells for $36,440, a lift of $2,500 over the equivalent petrol model.  The Toyota CH-R is a rather edgy design, it’s extroverted styling doesn’t appeal to everyone, the seventh best seller in small SUV’s, but from where I sit it offers a point of difference with a stunning interior and a very nice colour palette.

 I’m David Berthon

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