• (4.7) 63 reviews
  • MSRP: $22,500–$24,350
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 29
  • Engine: 144-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5
2018 Toyota C-HR

Our Take on the Latest Model 2018 Toyota C-HR

What We Don't Like

  • Rear visibility
  • Rear doors' small windows
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity not offered
  • Satellite radio, navigation not offered
  • Cargo room
  • Noise
  • Backup camera is in rearview mirror

Notable Features

  • New for 2018
  • Seats five
  • Four-cylinder
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Automatic emergency braking standard

2018 Toyota C-HR Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

The Verdict

The C-HR injects a shot of caffeinated style into Toyota's otherwise sleepy lineup and offers an impressive list of standard safety features, but it also has some major driving and multimedia shortcomings.

Versus the competition

The C-HR outshines like-minded vehicles in terms of style but lacks the features and utility to rise above other subcompact hatchbacks and SUVs.

The C-HR originally debuted as a Scion concept from Toyota's now-defunct youth-oriented brand. After some retooling, it resurfaced at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show under the Toyota badge, but its target audience hasn't changed: young millennial-generation buyers.

The C-HR is the same size as subcompact SUVs like the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and Chevrolet Trax. Compare all four here.

What Is It?

I'm not exactly sure what the C-HR is, and Toyota's explanation only muddies the waters. C-HR stands for Coupe-High Rider, and designers said it's meant to combine elements of a coupe and an SUV. The fastback roofline and hidden rear door handles nail the coupe angle, but the SUV ingredients are less genuine. It sits higher off the ground than a traditional car and wears large, 18-inch wheels standard as well as rugged-looking fenders and body cladding, but it's all for show: All-wheel drive is unavailable, making it more hatchback than SUV.
   
One thing it is, though, is striking. Stimulating styling is not a Toyota hallmark, but the C-HR bucks that trend — for better or worse. From some viewpoints, it looks like an awkward pile of elbows and knees; it even earned a spot recently on our ugly cars list. From other angles, though, it looks modern and edgy. It retained much of the concept car's radical styling, including its raked roofline, sharp angles and slicing bodyside character lines. Toyota further amped up the rear with protruding, boomerang taillights and an aggressive wing spoiler.

Do You Want to Drive It?

Lower your expectations. Despite all its styling flash, the C-HR fizzles on the road. Its sole powertrain is a 144-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission. Takeoffs are adequate but definitely not lively, and the CVT is stingy in spooling out more power for passing and merging. Sport mode makes the C-HR feel more responsive and keeps engine rpm higher for better acceleration. It also firms up the steering for a weightier feel, but the effect is still too docile for something with such sporty intentions. In Japan, the C-HR is available with a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive — a combo that would no doubt increase the fun factor.

I could live with the mediocre muscle if it weren't for the powertrain's monotonous groaning and droning. It's quite loud in other respects, as well, especially on the highway: There's a lot of wind noise, partly due to its un-aerodynamic body, and road noise is also loud. Overall road manners on the highway are pleasant, however, with a comfortable ride and handling balance. Bumps are effectively damped, and the C-HR maintains composure in corners — but, again, I wouldn't call it sporty.

In terms of fuel economy, the C-HR is mid-pack among other subcompact SUVs. It's EPA-rated at 27/31/29 mpg city/highway/combined. Automatic, front-wheel-drive versions of the Honda HR-V are rated 28/34/31 mpg, while the Jeep Renegade is 22/30/25 mpg and Chevrolet Trax is 25/33/28 mpg.

All Scion Inside

Open the door for a peek inside a Scion time capsule; the control layout, cabin design and interior materials are all throwbacks to the old brand. A standard 7-inch touchscreen sits in the middle of the dash and has a tablet-style appearance, but it's more low-tech than it looks. While the multimedia system includes a USB port, auxiliary jack and Bluetooth connectivity, it lacks a lot of basic features that everyone — not just millennials — will miss: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are unavailable, as are satellite radio and navigation. A sunroof is another no-go.
    
It's in the cabin, however, that Toyota nails the sporty vibe. It uses a mix of higher-grade surfaces (nicely padded plastic on the dash) and some more thrifty areas (chintzy center console cover), and a few components combine to make it pop: A subtle diamond pattern sweeps through the cabin, from the sharp, blingy plastic molding in the door panel to the diamond-patterned headliner. Many controls on the panel and steering wheel are also in a diamond shape.
 


Front-seat space is good, with a lot of headroom and legroom, but the sloping roofline comes at the cost of rear visibility. In the backseat, however, the C-HR's sloping shape doesn't eat into headroom; the Toyota matches the HR-V at 38.3 inches, and the Renegade and Trax offer only a smidge more. In terms of legroom, however, it trails rivals by several inches. At 5-feet 6-inches, I had enough room, but the backseat still felt closed in; outward visibility through the tiny side windows is terrible.
 
Behind the rear seats, there's just 19.0 cubic feet of space. That's a bit more than the Renegade and Trax but much less than the HR-V. The seats fold easily in a 60/40 split to create 36.4 cubic feet — much less than all three competitors.

Should You Buy It?

The C-HR appeals only to a limited pool of buyers: those who prioritize both break-the-mold styling and safety features, as the latter is where it earns some major points. The base XLE model is $23,460, including destination. Yes, that's more than base 2WD versions of the HR-V ($20,405), Trax ($21,895) and Renegade ($19,090), but the C-HR is well-equipped with loads of standard safety features — many of which aren't even available elsewhere in this class. Forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control are all standard. It has not yet been crash-tested, however.

The XLE Premium is $25,310 and adds heated front seats, a power lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat, puddle lamps, foglights, push-button start and a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. One more oddity in the features department: A backup camera is standard, but its tiny image is displayed in the rearview mirror instead of the multimedia screen — an antiquated and unhelpful setup.

Millennials like weird things — you can thank a pair of them for creating the dating app Tinder — but in the case of the C-HR, they'll likely want something with character that's more than just skin-deep.

Consumer Reviews

(4.7)

Average based on 63 reviews

Write a Review

A compact SUV for a first time driver

by Phoebem from Fargo, ND on December 11, 2017

Great first car! Loaded with safety features that makes it reliable(BSM,LDA, Radar cruise control,etc). Rear view cam can be viewed through the rear view mirror which I think is good and the angle of ... Read Full Review

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2 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2018 Toyota C-HR trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Toyota C-HR Articles

2018 Toyota C-HR Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $1,400 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

24mo/25,000mi

Free Scheduled Maintenance

24mo/25,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.