I took delivery of Toyota’s updated C-HR on 23 March and life as we knew it was as normal as can be on that day.
Sure, the world was getting into a tizz over this thing called the Coronavirus, but here is South Africa, we were still pretty chilled about the whole thing. And then our President announced a thing called lockdown, starting at midnight the 26 March.
We all sat and stared blankly at our television screens. Many stayed up on the 26th watching the clock count down while the country ground to an eerie halt.
I will never forget waking-up on Friday morning to absolute silence. No traffic, no cyclists, even the birds seemed a little confused and woke up later than usual.
Little could we have imagined, now well into May, that we would still be living under martial type law and with no concrete end in sight. And I still have the C-HR and nowhere that I am allowed to go.
Maybe this is a bit of a blessing in disguise because the changes to the C-HR are cosmetic and technical, and not engine related. And one does not need to be driving all over the place to let you know what has been updated.
I guess if you ever want to be stuck in an Armageddon-type situation, a Toyota is the car you would want to be in from a reliability and can’t kill point of view. And the fact that our top-of-the-range, R486 100, 1.2T Luxury CVT model, is now a bit better to live with, or in if need be, is a Covid-19 bonus.
You get a new multimedia system that finally upgrades Toyota’s connectivity offer to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with full smartphone integration for the likes of music streaming and your navigation needs.
In addition, all Toyota models now come equipped with Toyota Connect, which includes a once off complimentary 15GB in car Wi-Fi allocation. This allows you the ability to view vehicle telematics and other user features via the MyToyota app. When you need more data, you can just top it up via the app. Easy.
All this new information and multimedia is now also shown to you on bigger screens. The screen size has been increased from 6.1 to eight-inches. The Multi-information Display (MID) screen too has been upgraded from 3.7-inch unit to 4.2-inch offering.
On the safety front, masks and gloves have not been added, but to go with the standard driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver knee airbags, rear seatbelt force limiters and pre-tensioners, the Luxury spec model here now gets a complete suite of electronic driver safety aids.
This comes in the form of the Toyota Safety Sense system, and this is made up of Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Pre-crash system, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist.
Now, you might have noticed that there are a few changes to the exterior styling, both front and rear. At the front, the bumper now features a wider and larger lower air dam and more vertically positioned side air intakes. The fog lamps are now positioned higher and in a more outward position.
At the rear, the new bright red tail lamps are connected by a gloss black spoiler creating a single clean shape. New 18-inch turbine shaped alloy wheels also do duty. And if colours are your thing, the Luxury spec is now exclusively offered in bi-tone configuration – with Passion Red, Nebula Blue and Inferno Orange being the latest tints on offer – all paired with a black roof.
The engine remains as is, with the sweet 85kW/185Nm, 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine being the only choice. The Luxury model only comes with CVT transmission, and as before, this engine gearbox combination is actually quite pleasant, and made our odd jaunt out to get essential shopping done a pleasure.
Toyota claim a fuel consumption figure of just 6.3-litre per 100 km, but it is completely pointless to even discuss fuel consumption in this review. All I can say is that we averaged about 3-litre of fuel per week. Crazy times we are living in. Stay safe people.
All C-HR models are sold with a six-services/90 000km service plan and a three-year/100 000km warranty. Customers can also purchase a variety of service and/or warranty add-ons at their local dealership.
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