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. Nevertheless, nearer remark 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 appear like a coupe. Regardless of the steeply angled roofline, there is a affordable quantity of headroom on the second row.

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

I must also notice that the C-HR is a automobile that wears shade nicely, so do not be afraid to go daring when selecting yours. Our instance popped in Blue Eclipse Metallic, however the Ruby Purple Pearl additionally appears fairly candy. My private favourite wild shade is the elective 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 funds is extra plainly felt. There are pretty particulars, like a sculpted sample within the headliner, however principally I used to be upset 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 experience. Beneath the hood, a 2.Zero-liter four-cylinder engine makes simply 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The one transmission accessible is a constantly variable one — Toyota’s CVTi-S options Sport, Regular, Handbook and Eco packages — and the one configuration accessible is front-wheel drive.

These searching for excessive efficiency or wanting to make use of the C-HR to get to out of doors actions might discover fairly disappointing loadout, notably the dearth of all-wheel drive. Nevertheless, the C-HR performs nicely sufficient inside its limitations. The CVT does a reasonably good job of creating one of the 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. Certain, it may use a bit extra energy, however the crossover feels enough for commuting and working errands.

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

The C-HR delivers common gas financial 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 financial 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 upset that our market would not get the C-HR Hybrid mannequin accessible to European and Japanese patrons.

Customary Toyota Security Sense P

Maybe probably the most stunning element concerning the C-HR is that the Toyota Security Sense P (TSS-P) suite of driver help expertise is commonplace on all fashions. That features ahead precollision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with lane-keeping steering help, automated high-beam headlamps and full-speed-range adaptive cruise management; it is a function set you’d count on to pay just a few grand for on a luxurious automobile that’s commonplace gear on this quirky $23,000 Toyota. That is superb!

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 help 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 by a teensy 2-inch display screen housed inside the rearview mirror. Whereas I used to be joyful to have a digicam, I discovered the show arduous to see in shiny daylight, making me go only a bit cross-eyed making an attempt to give attention to it. In the long run, I resorted to good old style wanting over the shoulder.

B.Y.O.Tech

Dashboard expertise within the C-HR is easy to the purpose of annoyance. The one-option receiver lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is not any navigation choice from Toyota, so I used to be caught utilizing my telephone on a suction cup to get to unfamiliar areas. 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, but it surely would not also have a CD slot.

About the one good factor I can say concerning the C-HR’s receiver is that it appears simple sufficient to yank out and substitute.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

The rationale for this simplicity is that the C-HR was initially meant to dwell below 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, mainly 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 primary gear 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 one of the best factor I can say about the usual tech is that at the least it’s going to be simple to take away and substitute the unit with a greater receiver from Alpine, Pioneer or Sony for just a few hundred bucks. And since the C-HR is so cheap, there’s sure to be some dough left within the funds 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 need to additionally funds just a few hundred further bucks to get a greater automobile audio receiver with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or at the least 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 bundle that provides contrasting white paint to the roof. In the event you’re into that, it’s going to run you between $500 and $895 relying on hue chosen.

Apart 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.

I used to be wowed by the C-HR’s daring styling, however I may also 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 automobile; 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 automobile audio from means again, I see potential and longevity within the simply upgradable dashboard tech, whilst 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 fantastic thing about the C-HR is that it affords this easy degree of dashboard tech whereas additionally coming commonplace with some superior security expertise. 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 snug. relaxed experience. I’m upset 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 most likely is not your best option on this hotly contested class. Energetic way of life varieties will see the same financial system, higher utility and commonplace all-wheel drive functionality as causes to steer towards the Subaru Crosstrek. These searching for higher OEM expertise and gas effectivity will see higher worth in one thing just like the Honda HR-V or Kia’s Niro Hybrid.

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