RSS icon Home icon
  • 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

    Posted on June 14th, 2018 ninarussin

    Compact crossover is young at heart

    By Nina Russin

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    The all-new Toyota C-HR is perhaps the most dramatic manifestation of the automaker’s new direction in styling and performance. Originally intended for the Scion brand when it debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the C-HR combines edgy, youthful styling with peppy performance at an affordable price. There are two available trim levels: XLE and XLE Premium. Pricing for the base XLE starts at $22,500. The XLE Premium model tested is priced from $24,350 excluding destination.

    Options on the test car are minimal and affordably priced, including carpeted floor mats and cargo mat, mudguards, first aid kit, TRD oil cap and rear bumper protector, bringing the final MSRP to $25,958.

    All models are front-wheel drive and come with a 144-horsepower two-liter engine and continuously variable automatic transmission. Sadly, there’s no manual transmission option. My guess is that chief engineer, Hiro Koba, would have opted to include the option had it been viable, since he is a racing enthusiast. Unfortunately, the uptake on manual gearboxes is so low these days that offering one this type of vehicle simply isn’t cost-effective.

    All models come well-equipped with standard safety and convenience features, including Toyota Safety Sense with Pedestrian Detection: a suite of technologies including pre-collision with auto-brake, dynamic radar cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic high beams. The XLE Premium adds blind spot monitoring: something I found quite useful since the car’s thick D-pillars create large blind spots in the rear corners.

    Standard convenience features include keyless entry and start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and shift knob, fog lamps, brake hold, power side mirrors and a four-inch thin-film-transistor information display. All models run on 18-inch alloy wheels and come with LED daytime running lamps.

    Styled to stand out

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    The its bullet-shaped profile and aggressive front-end, the new C-HR has a commanding presence on the road. Large, horizontal headlamps create a tension between the car’s front end and profile as they wrap between the Toyota logo and the car’s beltline. C-HR stands for ‘Coupe-High Roof,’ emphasizing the vehicle’s mission as a crossover with the heart of a sporty passenger car.

    A body line that extends from the end of the front fender upwards and back towards the tail lamp provides balance for the roof spoiler. Buyers can opt for a contrasting color roof to add even more eye appeal. A chiseled rear end with large tailpipes gives the car an aggressive stance.

    Test drive in southern Arizona

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    Over the past week I drove the C-HR around Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley as well as sections of the Gila River Indian Community to the south. I found the C-HR to be an appealing package that should fit not only the needs of its intended audience, but also their desire for a car that can turn some heads.

    The engine and transmission work well in concert with each other, delivering good power from take-off to high-end acceleration. Average fuel economy according-to the EPA is 29 miles-per-gallon.

    The standard rearview camera is positioned in the rearview mirror. It’s very small and somewhat difficult to see in bright sunlight, but it does eliminate some blind spots below the C-HR’s rather small rear glass.

    A four-wheel independent suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front and compact double-wishbone design in the back, enabling the engineering team to minimize the suspension’s impingement on the cargo bay.

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    2018 Toyota C-HR

    Steering response is quite good, with plenty of assist at low speeds and solid on-center response. The sharp on-center response is certainly the work of chief engineer Koba, whose team test drove the C-HR at the famed Nurburgring track in Germany. Large wheels and low-profile tires give the C-HR a wide, firm footprint for good high-speed stability.

    Four-wheel disc brakes stop the C-HR in firm, linear fashion.

    With-the-exception-of its rear blind spots, visibility around the perimeter is good. Engineers did a good job of minimizing noise wind, engine and tire noise intrusion to the interior so occupants can converse on the highway or enjoy the audio system.

    Versatile interior

    Toyota C-HR Interior

    Toyota C-HR Interior

    Stylish as it may be, the C-HR is also practical, with enough room for four passengers (five on shorter trips around town). Fold-flat rear seats extend the cargo floor for larger gear.

    Keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for the key fob after dark. I found driver’s seat adjustments easy to use, providing plenty of lower lumbar support. Both the center stack screen and thin-film-transistor display in the gauge cluster are easy to read in a variety of lighting conditions.

    The cloth upholstery is attractive and more practical in climates such as the desert southwest with extreme summer heat than leather. Summer is a time when metal touch-points can cause serious burns because of that heat. I was happy to discover that the C-HR has none. I was-able-to hold the shift knob after the car had been baking in the hot sun, grab the steering wheel and control the audio system: all without incident.

    Because of its compact dimensions, rear passengers don’t have quite the legroom of Toyota’s larger crossovers, but they should feel comfortable.

    Standard safety

    The Toyota C-HR comes with ten airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring, automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control, pedestrian detection with auto-brake and lane keeping assist.

    The stylish C-HR is on display at Toyota dealerships nationwide.

    Like: An affordable stylish-yet-practical compact crossover that should fill the squares for its intended audience.

    Dislike: Small rearview camera image in the rearview mirror can be hard to see.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Toyota
    Model: CH-R
    Year: 2018
    Base price: $24,350
    As tested: $25,958
    Horsepower: 144 HP @ 6100 rpm
    Torque: 139 lbs.-ft. @ 3900 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: Available as an option
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Towing: No
    Off-road: No
    Fuel economy: 27/31 mpg city/highway

    Comments are closed.