2018 Toyota C-HR, Safe and Dependable at the Right Price

keyless start button

2018 Toyota C-HR

Toyota’s new entry into the sub-compact CUV market, the C-HR, is aimed at the price conscious young tech savvy segment. Those wanting all the latest in safety technology can find it on the C-HR without having to buy luxury packages that add to the bottom line and drive payments beyond the reach of beginning families or fixed income seniors.

Not everyone spends 60 plus hours a month behind the wheel, drives hours each day in commuter traffic, has to haul clients around or has 35 thousand dollars to buy a new car. A big segment of the motoring population just needs safe and dependable transportation that offers an acceptable level of comfort, storage and performance. That niche is filled by the C-HR very well.

The C-HR is offered in only two trims, the XLE at $22,500 and the XLE Premium at $24,350. There are no option packages for either model and the only upcharge items on the build list are the roof paint option and special body colors. These add about $800 to the price tag but do make the little C-HR stand out in a crowd. Build and price a Toyota C-HR here

Don’t let the low price mislead you, the C-HR comes very well equipped with the things that really matter. Each model has the Toyota Safety Sense with Pedestrian Alert as a standard feature, TSS includes an all speed radar cruise control with full stop capability, blind spot monitors with cross traffic alert, lane keeping warning with steering correction and automatic high beam headlamps. Also as standard equipment the C-HR has keyless entry with push button start, auto fold mirrors when the car is locked, power lumbar adjustment and a back up camera.

So what do you give up when you buy a C-HR? There are no option packages at all. You can’t get leather or power seats. The infotainment is very basic with no navigation offered. There are no sports tuned versions or fancy wheels to choose from or high end stereo systems. You do get the newest Toyota platform, dependable Toyota power and all the tech options listed before.

blue C-HR

C-HR in blue

Under the two models fit all sales philosophy there is a 2 liter power plant with 144 horsepower, a CVTi transmission, independent rear suspension, Toyota’s Star Safety System that includes 10 air bags, anti-lock brakes and traction control, a 7 inch touch screen, electric parking brake and 4.2 inch driver’s information center.

My first impression driving the C-HR was that it lacked the noise insulation of the Camry, was a bit low on power and missed the creature comforts of many mid-range CUV’s. Then I remembered that it isn’t supposed to have these niceties’, that it is a car for those who need transportation without fuss. In that mindset the C-HR was a marvel. It has adequate comfort, acceptable power and performance, better than average drive handling and great maneuverability. Top that with fuel economy of 27/31 and the C-HR is a winner if what you need is a car to do the job of getting you around.

Body styling is contemporary and striking. While imitating the bold grill of the Lexus and Camry the C-HR uses painted panels instead of bright work. Sweeping lines from nose to tail lead to a sculptured rear panel with wrap around tail lamps. Our test car had the optional white roof that contrasted with the bright Ruby Flare body panels and black lower trim. The car definitely catches the eye.

We see many cars offered in the mid 20’s that easily end up over 35 grand once decked out with option packages that make you buy this to get that. The C-HR starts at a bit over 22 and fully loaded only barely breaks 24.  

You can hear our live our live review of the Toyota C-HR below, Aired March 31, 2018