Toyota C-HR The top ten CHR-ISTMAS TOY'
It was only when one of my best friends pointed out to me this week that I am now actually closer to fifty than I am to forty that I realised why the old brain is not what it used to be.
Because I couldn't for the life of me remember what year it was when I was invited over to Spain for the international launch of a brand new model Toyota had just rolled off the production line - the C-HR.
Like the old song says, the gargle has obviously dimmed my brain, because it only feels like a couple of years ago since I first set my eyes on the small SUV that Toyota was making such big noise about.
As usual these days, I had to go and GTS (Google that sh*t) to discover that it was actually back in late 2016 when it first started to arrive on our dealer forecourts.
When the old brain cells did eventually kick in, I remember thinking at the time how late Toyota had arrived to the SUV party that already had the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai taking pride of place at the top motor table.
But I remember rightly thinking at the time that the C-HR could ruffle a few feathers and how right I was.
I was so impressed with it from the first time I laid eyes on it that I very nearly bought one myself as our family wheels a couple of years ago.
Maybe it's lucky that I didn't because it would have been out of date already with the new and improved model already in the top 10 selling cars in 2020, which has been a truly miserable year for the motor industry.
On close inspection of the re-modelled C-HR I could hardly tell the difference - it looks exactly like the one I first drove back in 2016.
To my lampy eyes, the exterior tweaks are either minute, or else I have to go back to Specsavers and get my goggles re-adjusted.
Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between the model I first saw this time four years ago and the one I took recently for a week-long test drive.
However, Toyota say that it has made subtle changes to both the front and rear of the car, while headlamp and rear light clusters have been reconfigured with the latest LED technology.
So what's really new then? Well for starters, the new C-HR now only comes in hybrid and the diesel that was offered when it was launched four years ago is dead, as Toyota says itself.
Most significantly, the new 2020 Toyota C-HR benefits from a second, more powerful hybrid system added to the powertrain range. It also features enhanced driving dynamics, more refined interior and exterior design, and an upgraded HMI (Human Machine Interface) featuring the latest multimedia technology.
The introduction of the additional hybrid powertrain gives customers the choice of two different hybrid options, a feature that is unique in the segment. The 122bhp 1.8 litre hybrid system remains, its eco performance enhanced by an upgraded lithium-ion battery, with CO2 emissions as low as 109g/km.
Top of the range is a powerful, 2.0 litre Hybrid Dynamic Force system. Generating 184bhp and CO2emissions from just 118g/km, this system combines high efficiency with a significant increase in power and, through updated suspension and improved NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), an even smoother, quieter ride and new levels of driving dynamics.
On the inside, the adoption of Toyota's 2019 Multimedia system now allows full smartphone integration through both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, this system facilitates 'Over The Air' map updates to the navigation platform.
Toyota delivers the car with a free three-year subscription for these updates and they are made available every six months.
Overall, the new C-HR is a really smart car and the new upgrades, especially in the technology department, make it more attractive to customers.
My only gripe with it, and this is possibly the reason I didn't buy it in the end two years ago, is that the space in the rear is very tight both for head and leg room.
I actually don't remember it being that tight on the international launch four years ago and it was only when I got into it a few weeks back that it struck a chord with me.
Its closest rivals like the Tucson and Qashqai have much more room in the rear and in the boot too - maybe it's something to do with the C-HR's stylish coupe-like roof-line that eats in to the space.
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