Toyota Updates C-HR for 2020; Power and Drive Wheels Carry Over

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
toyota updates c hr for 2020 power and drive wheels carry over

If you were hoping that a refresh bestowed upon Toyota’s funky subcompact crossover would yield the extra oomph and all-wheel drive desired by many since the model’s debut, well, re-read that headline.

For 2020, C-HR buyers will continue to get by with front-drive and a 144-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder; they’ll just gain some appearance and content changes. Truth be told, FWD and a tepid four is probably fine for the majority of subcompact crossover buyers. However, take a trip overseas and you’ll find there’s suddenly extra power on offer.

In Europe, and coming soon to Australia, C-HR shoppers will have access to a 181 hp hybrid variant appearing for the 2020 model year. But that’s over there, and you’re stuck over here.

The lack of North American powertrain enhancements for the model’s refresh is surely a decision in which dollars and cents played a big role. Overseas, depending on market, the C-HR is offered as a hybrid, an electric vehicle (China, starting next year), and an all-wheel drive product. Introduced for 2018, the C-HR turned heads with its avant-garde styling and gave Toyota an answer to Honda’s HR-V, Mazda’s CX-3, and General Motors’ Trax/Encore twins.

Toyota’s recent admission to Car and Driver that a joint Alabama assembly plant shared with Mazda will breed a new crossover has only added fuel to the rumor fire. Will the C-HR bow out of the American market in favor of a tailor-made crossover solution, or will it soldier on while a newer and larger lineup addition soaks up the spotlight? The latter scenario makes more sense.

But back to the 2020 C-HR. For the coming model year, the model gains a reworked fascia that gives the impression of a larger mouth, plus LED headlamps — even on the lower-rung LE model. A new spoiler appears out back. To tempt the younger crowd, Android Auto comes aboard as the (glaring) missing piece of the vehicle’s connectivity suite.

Elsewhere, the changes are minor and trim-specific. Limited models gain a new eight-way power driver’s seat and adaptive headlights that swivel into turns. There’s seatback pockets and sun visor extensions to be found on the XLE. Buyers of the LE can expect a new headliner. All trims gain new wheel designs. While two new colors join the C-HR’s palette, you’ll no longer be able to order a white roof. Silver replaces white for 2020, you see.

Small things, to be sure, but despite the status quo powertrain and running gear, Toyota isn’t content to keep things exactly the same. Thus far, the C-HR’s sales performance hasn’t suffered from a lack of updates, though its popularity seems limited by the lack of all-wheel grip. U.S. volume through September is basically flat, down 0.4 percent from the same period a year earlier.

It’s worth noting that Honda’s HR-V reached the C-HR’s current sales tally before the end of May.

[Images: Toyota]

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  • Lstanley Lstanley on Oct 01, 2019

    There's one of these in my area and it, uhhh, stands out being some version of light blue with a white roof. Like a Smurf.

  • Saturnotaku Saturnotaku on Oct 01, 2019

    This thing has the absolute worst rear corner visibility of any vehicle I've ever sampled.

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.