Welcome to 2020, where a worldwide pandemic has stymied travelling and kept nearly all of us confined to our dwellings for weeks at a time.
And it doesn't stop there, either, with the newly-arrived hybrid Yaris, as well as a refresh for the Camry on the horizon, Toyota will offer more than ever before for buyers looking to save money at the bowser.
Arguably though, it’s the C-HR small SUV that should capture the hearts and minds of Australia’s SUV-hungry public, which is why we’ve got it for five months to see if it fits the bill for a young, soon-to-be-parents, inner-city couple.
Priced at $37,190, before on-road costs, the Koba Hybrid is the most expensive C-HR currently available in Australia.
With the cheapest Toyota small SUV costing $30,290, stepping up to the electrified version represents a noticeable 23 per cent increase in price.
The Hybrid version of the C-HR is certainly on the expensive side, especially because it is limited to a front-wheel-drive configuration, whereas the other 1.2-litre turbo-petrol version can be had with all-wheel drive.
Don’t be put off too much by that, though, because how much extra grip do you actually need in an inner-city, small SUV runabout?
More importantly, our long-term C-HR is the top-of-the-line Koba grade, meaning a long laundry list of equipment.
On the outside, the Koba is distinguished by 18-inch wheels and rear privacy glass, but keen-eyed spotters will also note the blue badges used for the Toyota logo that denotes hybrid models.
Inside, the C-HR Koba scores an electronic park brake, heated front seats, power adjustable driver’s seat, leather-accented seats, 4.2-inch driver display, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and soft-touch steering wheel and shifter.
Handling multimedia duties is an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen, which outputs to six speakers littered throughout the cabin, and also features Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, voice control and in-built satellite navigation.
Toyota’s 'Safety Sense' suite is also fitted, which includes lane departure warning, auto high beam, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and forward collision warning, while blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, hill-start assist, a reversing camera and seven airbags are also included.
So comprehensive is the equipment list, the only options available are metallic paint and a two-tone roof, which are priced at $500 and $450, respectively.
However, all this gear can be had on the non-electrified Koba variants for less money, so the extra spend is really to justify the hybrid powertrain.
Under the bonnet of our long-termer is a 1.8-litre petrol engine, which outputs 74kW/142Nm, paired to an electric motor punching out 53kW/162Nm.
The total system output is 90kW according to Toyota, which is sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
This output might not seem all too exciting, especially given the cheaper 1.2-litre version reaches 85kW/185Nm, but it's in fuel economy where the C-HR comes into its own.
With an official consumption figure of 4.3 litres per 100km, the C-HR Hybrid is one of the most frugal small SUVs available in Australia.
In reality, and after a month with the car relegated to inner-city driving during Melbourne’s lockdown, we managed a figure of 5.1L/100km after just over 600 kilometres of driving – which has been severely restricted.
What’s also nice, is that the C-HR Koba Hybrid only needs 91RON petrol.
If fuel economy is high on your wish list, and an SUV is a must, there really is no beating the Toyota C-HR Koba Hybrid.
But what about the rest of the package?
From the outside, the C-HR certainly looks stylish and distinctive, though we will leave it to you to determine if you like the sharp aesthetics or not.
In our opinion, the C-HR delivers the right amount of millennial appeal thanks to the hidden rear door handles, angular front fascia and sharp rear end. But your mileage may vary.
Our test car is finished in a fairly inconspicuous silver colour, but head-turning exterior shades are available including blue, yellow, orange and red, while the two-tone roof option can make your C-HR stand out from the crowd even further.
Inside, the C-HR also delivers in the style department thanks to a mix of gloss-black and soft-touch surfaces, but more on that – as well as practicality – in the coming months.
Acquired: June 2020
Distance travelled this month: 634km
Average fuel consumption for June: 5.1L/100 (measured at the pump)