Toyota’s C-HR Wins Top Safety Ratings as Eye-Catching New Addition to the Crossover Market
Need to tote around 1,500 venti Starbucks cups or 150 bowling balls? Have we got the compact SUV for you!
This coupe high rider (hence the C-HR name) is Toyota’s new entry to the crossover/small SUV category. It’s a vehicle that’s not a sedan, not a wagon, and not for heading off road. But when it comes to running around town with a little more height to your undercarriage, the C-HR is rated at 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which beats the RAV-4, Ford Escape, and Mazda CX-3 while being on par with the Honda CR-V. There’s rumor of a hybrid C-HR engine in 2019.
The C-HR seats five and has folding back seats with a 60/40 split. Folding down the seats gives 36.4 cubic feet of space – enough to hold more than 1,500 venti Starbucks cups or 150 bowling balls, if you’re in to that kind of thing.
The C-HR was designed to fit a particular niche missing from the traditional Toyota lineup: something to bridge the gap between the SUVs, sedans, and compact cars.
“The C-HR is smaller and more affordable than the RAV4. In fact, it was originally developed for Toyota’s now-defunct Scion brand, which largely explains the C-HR’s flamboyant styling and sporty handling. These two key attributes, along with the extensive list of standard safety features, are the main reasons to consider the C-HR in our opinion,” writes Cameron Rogers of Edmunds.
Edmunds named the C-HR as one of the Best Small SUVs for 2018.
The C-HR comes with Toyota Safety Sense suite, which includes integrated turn signal mirrors, pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control plus a rearview camera as standard features. We love the standard hill start assist, which is great for mountain driveways. Rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring are optional. The C-HR earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Board and one of the highest predicted reliability ratings in its class: a 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.
Because the C-HR is, above all else, a Toyota, and Toyota’s are built to last.
“It’s taken for granted that a Toyota will work for decades without costing too much or breaking a lot,” writes Dan Roth of Forbes.
Reliability is underappreciated until one is left standing on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Plus the C-HR, like all Toyotas, comes with Toyota Care – a free program that provides 24-hour roadside assistance for 2 years and unlimited miles as well as covers normal factory scheduled service for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Like the Nissan Juke, Subaru Baja, and Pontiac Aztec before it, the C-HR is unique. Marketing materials call it: “Distinctive Diamond … matchless, sexy, muscular and edgy.” The suspension system was designed for a sporty ride, according to Toyota deputy chief engineer Hiro Koba, a race car enthusiast; however, the C-HR takes 11 seconds to go 0 to 60 and 18.4 seconds to do the quarter-mile. It’s got a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 144 horsepower and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Note that a CVT technically doesn’t have gears which is why drivers don’t feel shifts like in a normal car. Instead RPMs run higher for acceleration, lower for cruising.
So is the C-HR fun to drive? It depends on who you ask.
“Driving the C-HR is a surprise,” Roth writes. “It’s stiff and solid, the steering is precise, and the ride is controlled. Careful suspension tuning included laps at the famous-to-car-people Nürburgring race track, where all the best Continental sports cars turn their wheels. Whatever secret sauce imparted by a racetrack in southwestern Germany and Deputy Chief Engineer Hiro Koba’s obsessive efforts has paid off.”
The C-HR engine may not have the most pull for passing – plus the car weighs 300 pounds more than an all-wheel drive Mazda CX-3 – but what it lacks in acceleration it makes up for in cornering.
“It really does handle tight turns quite nicely, with little body roll and excellent control,” writes Scott Evans of MotorTrend.
After all, a car with so much edge isn’t going to roll. How edgy? Toyota put the C-HR’s rear door handles at the top of the door – no little kiddos creeping into the backseat of this thing! That said, the backseat will indeed hold a baby’s car seat, if you decide to intentionally put one there.
Those who remember the Toyota FJ Cruiser will recognize the signature white roof available on the C-HR with a Radiant Green Mica, Ruby Flare Pearl, or Blue Eclipse Metallic body. Full body colors selections include the blue and red plus Black Sand Pearl, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Silver Knockout Metallic, and Blizzard Pearl. Clear coat paint protection for the hood and doors is an option.
On the lot right now at Mount Airy Toyota, we have three CH-Rs: one in Blizzard Pearl, one in Silver Knockout Metallic, and one with the special R-Code paint treatment in Blue Eclipse. Both XLE Premium models, the cars have smart key, push button start. There’s just something cool about push button start – it’s like launching a rocket into space.
The C-HR’s other technology includes a 7-inch touch screen, 4.2-inch information display for the driver, auto-dimming rear view mirror, electric parking brake, and folding mirrors. Walk up to your C-HR with smart key technology and once you touch the door handle, the mirrors will unfold and display an illuminated logo on the ground. These lights complement the car’s halogen headlines, LED daytime running lights, and sculpted taillights.
Inside the leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual zone climate control, and six-way adjustable, heated seats, enrich the C-HR’s environment. The C-HR does not offer leather seats.
What the C-HR lacks in features – there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – it looks to make up for next year. A Toyota exec has said the 2019 C-HR will get Apple CarPlay when it arrives in a few months, according to The Torque Report. The connectivity is supposed to be added to other Toyota models – including the Avalon, Corolla, and RAV4 – as well.
The C-HR comes in under $25,000. On our lot, the three premium models run $24,385, $23,885, and $23,275 with the savings specials currently offered including a financing offer and $500 bonus cash, which expires in early July. Schedule a test drive and calculate payments on our website to get started on bringing a brand new C-HR home with you.
The C-HR is the kind of car that isn’t designed for everybody but may be designed just for you.
“This hodgepodge of parts and pieces is a genre-bender that can warp your face into a smile,” writes Roth.
If the C-HR turns out not to be the SUV for you, Mount Airy Toyota has plenty else from which to choose. We have new and used Highlanders, RAV4s, 4Runners, and more. Need a sedan, four wheel drive, or a truck? We’ve got that covered too.
Call us today at 336.786.2118 or come by 508 N. Andy Griffith Parkway, Mount Airy, N.C. 27030.