The Toyota C-HR goes into its second year in the Malaysian market with cosmetic updates to enhance its head-turning looks as well as an optional Aerokit developed by TRD exclusively for the compact crossover model.

The 2019 model gets a new design for the 17-inch lightweight alloy rims, while there is a bolder dual-tone design which complements the emotive surfacing of the body. There are also new garnish strips on the front and rear bumpers, and body mouldings have been added along the sides. These add to the personality of the C-HR which has a strong presence in the growing compact crossover segment.

For those who want even sportier looks, there’s an optional TRD Aerokit which has been developed by Toyota’s high-performance division. The Aerokit (shown on the blue car above) adds extensions to the front and rear bumpers which have a metallic finish and overfenders around the wheel arches give a more muscular look.

The TRD Aerokit is manufactured to Toyota’s high standards, just like the rest of the vehicle which is imported in CBU (completely built-up) form from Toyota’s regional production hub for the C-HR in Thailand. Installation is done professionally at UMW Toyota Motor’s own facility and the parts are also covered by a warranty.

Customers have a choice of 6 exterior colours with Radiant Green Metallic being a new addition for 2019. The other 5 colours are Metal Stream Metallic, White Pearl, Blue Metallic, Attitude Black and Red Mica. Those who choose Blue Metallic, Radiant Green Metallic and Red Mica also get a black roof, following trends in the industry.

Inside, the cabin retains its ‘diamond’ architectural theme with high quality and attention to detail throughout. For an improved user experience, the infotainment system has been upgraded with a new one that has a 6.75-inch display touchscreen as well as Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity. This means that most of the apps on compatible smartphones can also be accessed from the display screen which has a simpler interface for easier and more intuitive navigation. Voice Recognition also makes it easier for certain operations, allowing the driver to keep his or her hands on the steering wheel.

Technically, there are no changes and the C-HR continues to be powered by a 2ZR-FBE petrol engine with a 1.8-litre displacement. This engine produces 140 ps/171 Nm which reaches the front wheels through a Super ECT 7-speed automatic transmission with Shiftmatic.

Drivers can choose to prioritise fuel-saving using the ECO mode or get stronger acceleration with SPORT mode. Or they can leave it in the default NORMAL mode which provides optimal balance between performance and fuel efficiency.

The C-HR sits on Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), a platform which has made it possible for the engineers to meet the company’s aim of offering ever-better cars, with no compromise in design or driving performance.

Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA)

In terms of safety, the C-HR has a comprehensive package which includes Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Blind Spot Monitoring system, Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and even a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.

UMW Toyota Motor sold over 4,000 units in 2018 and expects the updated model – which remains at the original price of RM150,000 – to win over more new customers. Orders are now accepted by authorised dealers nationwide and the first deliveries will start from February.

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[Chips Yap]

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