2023 Toyota C-HR debuts with prologue styling & hybrid options


You probably remember Toyota revealing a whole bunch of near-production prototypes and concepts in December 2021, and one of which was this tiny concept called “Small SU EV”—which exactly a year later, evolved into the C-HR prologue (concept). Well, we’re now seeing the final iteration of it in the form of the second-gen C-HR. Pricing info is not available just yet, but pre-orders are open in Europe.

As mentioned, the new C-HR evolved from the Small SU EV concept, but it doesn’t look all that different from the C-HR Prologue concept we saw last December—which depending on your personal views might or might not be a good thing. The front and side profiles look almost identical to those of the concept, but it’s at the rear you’ll find some changes. The taillights, for example, don’t connect to the part where the dual-tone paint meets near the rear door like in the concept. The production model also has an illuminated Toyota C-HR branding in between the taillights. The rear bumper design is also a bit different from the concept.


The wheel design is another obvious difference between the concept and the production model, the rear door handles are in the traditional place as opposed to the hidden ones suggested in the concept. The range-topping models are gonna ride on 20-inch wheels. A bunch of dual-tone paint schemes is gonna be available, which extend the contrast black roof down to the rear bumper and into the car’s rear three-quarter section. But anyway, the C-HR was always known for its quirky styling and I think the new-gen model pushes that quirkiness to the max and then some.

On the inside, the C-HR looks chic and contemporary. We’re looking at the GR-branded variant here, which means, you’ll find subtle flashes of red and red-yellow contrast stitching. Other key highlights include a digital driver display (with four display modes: casual, smart, sport and tough), a 12.3-inch central touchscreen, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay connectivity, 64-color ambient lighting, JBL audio system, and the latest version of Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety and driver assistance systems. The new C-HR also boasts an automatic parking function (remote parking via a Toyota smartphone app).

Toyota also talks about sustainability and stuff, because you know, you gotta talk about those things these days. The bumpers are formed from a new resin material that is pre-colored in the mold – an innovation that is claimed to save hundreds of tonnes of CO2. Further savings have been achieved by adopting a new automated painting process using water-based paints and by using a new animal-free material as an alternative to leather for the steering wheel cover, the company said.

Compared with its predecessor, the new car is said to have double the content of recycled plastics – used in more than 100 different parts. These include a new fabric for the seat upholstery that’s made from recycled PET bottles.

Also, the fixed panoramic glass roof is said to have low-emissive and infrared-reducing coatings to retain some heat inside the cabin in winter and prevent overheating in summer. This measure is claimed to avoid the need for a conventional sunshade, saving an overall 5 kg (11 lbs) weight and also reducing the need to use air conditioning.

Further details including the specifications of the powertrains are reserved for another date—most likely closer to the launch date. However, Toyota said that the range comprises 1.8- and 2.0-litre hybrid (HEV) variants and a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. The so-called intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD-i) is gonna be optionally available on the 2.0-litre HEV variant.

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