The 2018 Toyota C-HR Looks Snazzy, But It Needs More Oomph [Review]

2018 Toyota C-HR
[Photo: Toyota]


Some may think the 2018 Toyota C-HR – or “Coupe-High Rider” – is a serious little crossover. Maybe one that can work off-road. It’s not because it doesn’t have lots of ground clearance and only comes with front-wheel drive. However, how does the C-HR hack it as an urban runabout? It does fine as a roomy, conveniently-sized crossover, so long as you don’t stray too far from the asphalt.

The C-HR is more of a lifted hatchback that comes in $22,500 base form, up to the $24,350 XLE Premium. My test 2018 Toyota C-HR was an XLE Premium painted a nice Blue Eclipse Metallic. That said, I would have preferred the available Ruby Flare Pearl paint with the optional white roof and side mirrors.

2018 Toyota C-HR
[Photo: Toyota]

Comfort and Convenience Features

Even the base model is fairly well equipped with such things as power windows, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic wheel, and a backup camera with a rear display in the inside rearview mirror. There’s also dual-zone climate control and a 6-speaker stereo with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display, but no Android or Apple CarPlay support. The XLE Premium adds items including a keyless ignition, a power lumbar driver’s seat, heated front seats, remote keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and color-matched power mirrors.

The quiet, attractive interior of my 2018 Toyota C-HR had soft-touch materials, supportive front seats and plenty of cupholders. Although there was one small annoyance: the “fasten-seat-belt” buzzer was obnoxiously loud. I appreciated having large-dial manual climate controls, and the infotainment system is easy to use. A 4.2-inch color multi-information display came in handy to quickly read vehicle information. There’s even a G-meter in the display – not that it’s strictly necessary. All C-HRs have full speed-range dynamic radar cruise control and a pre-collision system with automatic braking.

It takes a slight step up to get inside that comfortable cabin. Once inside, however, the 61.6-inch-high C-HR lets occupants sit a little higher than they would in most cars. There’s good front and rear head room. However, rear leg room for taller passengers isn’t overly generous behind the driver. On that basis, the C-HR is best suited for four occupants. It’s fairly short at 171.2 inches long and 70.7 inches wide, so it’s easily maneuverable in traffic.

The rear hatch swings up on twin struts and has a wide, but somewhat high, opening. Cargo room is fairly decent, and the rear seatbacks fold flat to increase cargo volume from 19 cubic feet to 36.4 cubic feet.

2018 Toyota C-HR
[Photo: Toyota]


The 2018 Toyota C-HR’s only engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder hooked to a decent Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). It does feature a responsive manual-shift feature to give some semblance of control, and it helps for engine braking down hills. The engine generates 144 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is leisurely given the C-HR’s 3,300 pound curb weight, so a little more power and torque would be welcome. Estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on highways. The fuel tank swallows 13.2 gallons of 87 octane fuel.

Fairly light, quick electric power steering helps make the 2018 Toyota C-HR easy to handle. The supple ride is on the softer side. However, independent suspension with double wishbones at the rear, stiff body structure, lower profile tires and stability control allow the C-HR to be secure at above-average speeds around curves. The brake pedal has a linear action, and the C-HR’s brakes stop it quickly and securely.

TFLcar’s Take

Despite its sporty appearance, the C-HR is a more pleasant and practical urban runabout. A bit more power would help, although there’s nothing wrong with looking snazzy—even without the Ruby Flare Pearl paint.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $22,500
Price as Tested: $24,350
Engine: 2.0-liter naturally aspirated I4
Drivetrain (Layout): Front engine, front-wheel drive
Horsepower: 144 hp @ 6,100 RPM
Torque: 139 lb-ft @ 3,900 RPM
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Suspension: Front: Independent MacPherson strut w/ stabilizer bar, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers

Rear: Double-wishbone style multi-link w/ coil springs, trailing arms, stabilizer bar, hydraulic shock absorbers

Brakes: Front: 11.75-inch power-assisted ventilated discs

Rear: 11.1-inch solid discs

Tires: Dunlop SP Sport 5000 Symmetrical P225/50 R18 95V
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined MPG


Wheelbase: 103.9 inches
Length:  171.2 inches
Width: 70.7 inches
Height:  61.6 inches
Passenger Volume: 83.8 cubic feet
Cargo Volume: 36.4 cubic feet (second row folded)
Turning Circle: 34.2 feet
Curb Weight: 3,300 pounds