The Toyota C-HR illustrates a fact of modern car marketing: People don't want hatchbacks, but they do want crossover SUVs. So what happens if you build a hatchback and call it a crossover SUV? Toyota is about to find out. The C-HR has many of the attributes of a crossover, including aggressive styling and a taller-than-a-car ride height. But it's missing one key element: It doesn't offer all-wheel drive, which means it misses out on the all-weather ability that is one of the SUV's key advantages.
If you can do with a front-wheel-drive crossover, you'll find plenty to like in the C-HR. Chief among its charms are its way-out-there styling, sporty handling and long list of standard safety equipment, all of which belie Toyota's original intention to sell the C-HR as a Scion. (The C-HR was still in the works when Toyota decided to close down its youth-oriented brand.) Unfortunately, a lack of infotainment technology, acceleration and legroom are marks against it.
Current Toyota C-HR
Toyota offers the C-HR in XLE and XLE Premium trims. The XLE's list of standard equipment is long, and includes a backup camera (very handy given the limited outward visibility) and dual-zone climate controls, along with a comprehensive suite of safety features that includes forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning and intervention, and adaptive cruise control. The XLE Premium adds keyless ignition, heated front seats and a few other odds and ends. There are plenty of dealer-installed accessories for the Toyota C-HR, but no factory options, and that's unfortunate because the C-HR can't be had with navigation or smartphone integration.
The C-HR is powered by a 144-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive as the sole driveline choice. The EPA combined fuel economy rating of 29 mpg is impressive, but the C-HR's real-world acceleration is less so. Other than the modest acceleration, the C-HR is an entertaining car to drive.
The Toyota C-HR's cabin is styled to match the radical exterior. We like the control layout and materials quality, though we do wish there were more storage bins. Headroom is generous, but legroom is tight, especially in the back seat. Cargo space is average for the class, though, with 19 cubic feet of luggage room behind the rear seat.
Rear visibility is pretty terrible, and while we're glad the C-HR has a standard-fit rearview camera, we wish it displayed on the stereo screen; instead, it's a tiny image on the rearview mirror. Frankly, we're pretty surprised at the C-HR's lack of technology: It can't be had with navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or any smartphone integration whatsoever — not a good thing for a car aimed at young buyers.
Used Toyota C-HR Models
The Toyota C-HR was introduced as an all-new model for 2018.
Read the most recent 2018 Toyota C-HR review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Toyota C-HR page.