At first blush, the 2018 Toyota C-HR’s exterior styling may be very aggressive. The compact crossover is sharply angled and steeply raked with bulging wheel arches. Nonetheless, nearer statement reveals that there’s a curvaceousness to the design that additionally makes it look a bit enjoyable and approachable with its Grumpy Cat face and rounded silhouette.

I get hints of Hyundai’s Veloster in particulars just like the windswept headlamps and VW’s Beetle within the flared haunches. The trapezoidal rear door handles tuck within the higher nook of the rear glass, making the crossover seem like a coupe. Regardless of the steeply angled roofline, there is a cheap quantity of headroom on the second row.

There’s not an angle at which you’ll view the C-HR the place it seems boring; although, there are a number of unflattering ones. In profile, for instance, the lengthy entrance overhang is plainly apparent, kind of spoiling the sporty “wheels on the nook” aesthetic. However general, I loved the excessive degree of curb attraction. 

I also needs to observe that the C-HR is a automotive that wears shade properly, so do not be afraid to go daring when selecting yours. Our instance popped in Blue Eclipse Metallic, however the Ruby Crimson Pearl additionally seems fairly candy. My private favourite wild shade is the optionally available Radiant Inexperienced Mica with contrasting white roof; it stands all the best way out in a crowd.

Inside, some thought has gone into sustaining the high-style aesthetic, however the C-HR’s low price range is extra plainly felt. There are beautiful particulars, like a sculpted sample within the headliner, however largely I used to be dissatisfied by the hole and cheap-feeling plastic that makes up many of the cabin surfaces.

Wild type, docile performer

Regardless of the aggro-futuristic look, the C-HR is a surprisingly docile journey. Below the hood, a 2.Zero-liter four-cylinder engine makes simply 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The one transmission obtainable is a repeatedly variable one — Toyota’s CVTi-S options Sport, Regular, Guide and Eco applications — and the one configuration obtainable is front-wheel drive.

These on the lookout for excessive efficiency or wanting to make use of the C-HR to get to outside actions might discover fairly disappointing loadout, significantly the dearth of all-wheel drive. Nonetheless, the C-HR performs properly sufficient inside its limitations. The CVT does a reasonably good job of creating the very best use of the torque readily available, delivering good around-town pep even because it provides up a little bit of off-the-line responsiveness. Positive, it may use a bit more power, however the crossover feels sufficient for commuting and operating errands.

I anticipated the C-HR to be extra firmly sprung, however the journey was fairly comfy. The C-HR did an awesome job absorbing impacts from potholes and bumps, whereas nonetheless feeling planted and assured round a bend. The compliant suspension and easy torque supply made for an informal and laid-back driving character that was stress-free and completely in distinction to the sharp exterior.  

The C-HR delivers common gas economic system. At 27 metropolis mpg, 31 freeway mpg and 29 mpg mixed, the EPA estimates are middle-of-the-road for this class. Subaru’s Crosstrek returns comparable economic system with commonplace all-wheel drive and Honda’s HR-V beats it by 2 to three mpg throughout the board. That makes me much more dissatisfied that our market does not get the C-HR Hybrid mannequin obtainable to European and Japanese patrons.

Customary Toyota Security Sense P

Maybe probably the most stunning element in regards to the C-HR is that the Toyota Security Sense P (TSS-P) suite of driver support know-how is commonplace on all fashions. That features ahead precollision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with lane-keeping steering assist, automated high-beam headlamps and full-speed-range adaptive cruise management; it is a function set you’d anticipate to pay a number of grand for on a luxurious automotive that’s commonplace tools on this quirky $23,000 Toyota. That is wonderful!

Step up from the bottom XLE mannequin to an XLE Premium so as to add blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert to the driving force support combine.

The C-HR’s rear digicam show is housed inside within the mirror. I discovered it troublesome to focus the tiny display screen when reversing.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The C-HR additionally comes commonplace with a reverse digicam that shows via a teensy 2-inch display screen housed throughout the rearview mirror. Whereas I used to be blissful to have a digicam, I discovered the show onerous to see in shiny daylight, making me go only a bit cross-eyed attempting to concentrate on it. Ultimately, I resorted to good old style wanting over the shoulder.

B.Y.O.Tech

Dashboard know-how within the C-HR is easy to the purpose of annoyance. The only-option receiver lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There isn’t any navigation choice from Toyota, so I used to be caught utilizing my cellphone on a suction cup to get to unfamiliar places. There’s not even an choice for satellite tv for pc radio tuning.

The one audio sources are easy AM/FM with HD Radio, Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming and USB and iPod connectivity. I would say this can be a radio straight out of 2010, however it does not actually have a CD slot.

Toyota C-HR, 2018 (Eclipse Blue Metallic)Toyota C-HR, 2018 (Eclipse Blue Metallic)

About the one good factor I can say in regards to the C-HR’s receiver is that it seems straightforward sufficient to yank out and change.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The rationale for this simplicity is that the C-HR was initially supposed to dwell beneath the Scion model and was designed with Scion-simple dashboard tech. For Scion fashions, tech upgrades got here within the type of dealer-installed upgrades, principally aftermarket stereos provided by Toyota/Scion companions. However now that Scion has dissolved, the crossover is left in tech limbo, saddled with probably the most fundamental tools however with out entry to the Scion accessory-based improve path.

Thankfully, the C-HR additionally continues the Scion custom of utilizing commonplace 2DIN sizing for its receiver, so the very best factor I can say about the usual tech is that a minimum of it will be straightforward to take away and change the unit with a greater receiver from Alpine, Pioneer or Sony for a number of hundred bucks. And since the C-HR is so cheap, there’s certain to be some dough left within the price range for that.

Affordably and easily priced

The 2018 Toyota C-HR is out there in simply two trim ranges beginning at $22,500 for the bottom XLE and topping out at $24,350 for XLE Premium. The Premium mannequin will get touch-unlock door handles, fog lights, blind-spot monitoring and never a complete lot extra. A $995 vacation spot cost will get added to the underside line of each fashions.

You will wish to additionally price range a number of hundred further bucks to get a greater automotive audio receiver with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or a minimum of navigation out of your native 12-volt installer. Different choices value contemplating are the particular pearlescent or metallic paint colours or the particular “R-Code” paint package deal that provides contrasting white paint to the roof. If you happen to’re into that, it will run you between $500 and $895 relying on hue chosen.

Aside from that and some dealer-installed equipment, there aren’t any different choices, upgrades or packages, one other holdout of the “no-haggle pricing” on the C-HR’s Scion roots.

Toyota C-HR, 2018 (Eclipse Blue Metallic)Toyota C-HR, 2018 (Eclipse Blue Metallic)

I used to be wowed by the C-HR’s daring styling, however I may see how some might discover it off-putting.


Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Stand-out type, however a middling machine

The C-HR is an oddly charming automotive; I actually fell in love with it regardless that I can not in good religion give it greater than the middling rating it earns. As a fan of customized automotive audio from manner again, I see potential and longevity within the simply upgradable dashboard tech, at the same time as I am pissed off with the out-of-the-box expertise. The concept of overhauling the tech each few years with out having to overtake the whole automobile is interesting to me.

The great thing about the C-HR is that it gives this straightforward degree of dashboard tech whereas additionally coming commonplace with some superior security know-how. So, the customer is not sacrificing issues like pedestrian detection auto-braking or adaptive cruise management.

The type, I do know, is subjective, however I like that too and I like that it is matched with comfy. relaxed journey. I’m dissatisfied on the lack of AWD or a Hybrid mannequin in our market, however we may even see them in future updates.

However until you are in love with that type, the C-HR in all probability is not your best option on this hotly contested class. Energetic way of life sorts will see the same economic system, higher utility and commonplace all-wheel drive functionality as causes to steer towards the Subaru Crosstrek. These on the lookout for higher OEM know-how and gas effectivity will see higher worth in one thing just like the Honda HR-V or Kia’s Niro Hybrid.