Toyota is finally getting in on the subcompact SUV party.
It’s about to roll out the new 2018 C-HR. Aimed squarely at millennials, the funky-looking SUV originally fell under the now-defunct Scion brand.
We checked out the model for ourselves at the Los Angeles Auto Show last fall. Size-wise, the new model is more hatchback than coupe.
There’s not a lot of ground clearance and it builds off the new platform Toyota uses in the latest generation of the Prius. We test drove the Prius Four last year and gave it the thumbs up. Especially with regards to the improvement in handling largely thanks to this new platform. Word is this platform gives the little C-HR great fun-to-drive handling.
The front end of the C-HR takes cues from the same jutting grille and drawn back headlights on the Camry and Corolla. Standard features include 18-inch standard alloy wheels. The C-HR can be outfitted in R-Code, a special paint job that pairs body color with a white-painted roof, side mirrors, and A-pillar for a truly custom look.
Great Safety System, But Lean On Other Tech
The C-HR is packed with safety thanks to Toyota’s standard suite of driver assistance technology called Toyota Safety Sense P.
TSS-P includes forward collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, auto-high beams, and dynamic radar cruise control.
But it’s a little lean when it comes to other technology. For one, there is no navigation option. It also doesn’t offer Android Auto or Apple Car Play. It does offer hands-free calling, along with dual-zone climate control and a 7-inch audio display.
C-HR vs Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V
If you’re confusing those three letters and one dash with three similar letters and one dash from one of Toyota’s leading competitors, don’t worry, we are too. The title choice of C-HR seems to come dangerously – or shall we say competitively – close to the Honda HR-V.
The model also takes on the Nissan Juke with it’s bold, youthful like lines. Including the impractical hidden second row door handles found on both the Juke and the HR-V. Those seem to just come with the funky crossover territory.
Unlike both those SUVs though, the C-HR will only offer front-wheel drive. Its engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 144-horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. Toyota also only gives it the sole option of CVT transmission. Fuel economy is 27 city and 31 highway miles to the gallon. This compares favorably to the Juke’s 28/32 and the HR-V’s 25/33.
No waiting around to start the little kooky crossover competition. The 2018 C-HR goes on sale next month starting from $23,460.