The Toyota C-HR has been on the market for less than a year, so many drivers (including me) are just now getting their first look at Toyota's sporty subcompact SUV. Based on my first look, I like this little hatchback a lot.
First, take a look at the outside. The C-HR has a rakish look that will compete with the Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3 for standout individuality. There's nothing boxy or boring about this car, which is a great leap forward for Toyota in general.
The second thing I like is that Toyota has kept the price under control. While you can find cheaper subcompact crossovers to buy, they're not enough cheaper to put the C-HR out of contention. If you get your C-HR with all the goodies, you're looking at $26,375.
A peppy 2.0-liter engine rated at 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque powers the C-HR. The engine comes mated to a continuously variable transmission, and the C-HR makes good use of the available power. It's not a powerhouse by any means, but it offers good acceleration and plenty of zip to do whatever you need. The only thing I can complain about is the lack of all-wheel-drive, which is a challenge in Portland winters. The C-HR is exclusively a front-drive vehicle.
Inside, the C-HR offers a reasonable economy car experience, which can be improved by choosing the XLE Premium trim. You'll get heated front seats, a seven-inch touchscreen audio system that supports limited smartphone integration and voice recognition. The backup camera display is integrated with the rear-view mirror, which is handy.
The C-HR comes with the full Toyota Safety Sense-P technology package, including a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, a full-speed range dynamic cruise control. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts are part of the XLE Premium trim package.
You can put up to 36.4 cubic feet of cargo in the back of the C-HR with the rear seats folded, so it's good for at least moderate trips to the home improvement store. The rear seats are small for adults, but for young couples or a small family, the C-HR is a great and economical choice.
On the road, the C-HR is really fun to drive. It's small, so you've got plenty of room on the road and in parking lots. The car feels lively and eager to drive, and it corners very precisely, which is not something you can say about every other small SUV on the market. If you're looking for a small crossover for in-town use, I suggest you seriously consider the Toyota C-HR.
Base price: $23,495
Price as tested: $26,375
Type: Subcompact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter inline 4 (144 hp, 139 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission
EPA estimated mileage: 27/31
Overall length: 171.2 inches
Curb weight: 3,300 pounds
Final assembly: Arifiye, Turkey