2018 Toyota C-HR Model Review | Edmunds

2018 Toyota C-HR Model Review | Edmunds

MARK TAKAHASHI: Sometimes we
get cars that roll through here that are really
easy to evaluate. Is this one of them? No. This one was tough. This one kept me up at night. This is the 2018 Toyota CH-R,
originally designed as a Scion. So it’s got a little
more of edginess, a little more youthful
spirit to it, and I like it. I don’t love it, but I
like it, and here’s why. It’s got this nice wrap
around edge-to-edge, headlight-to-headlight
thing going on. It’s a little lower. It’s a little more hatchback
sportiness, all sorts of that stuff going on. The bummer for me up
front, at least though, is this chin spoiler. It’s really low, and it tends to
scrape on driveways and parking blocks. For that reason don’t think
of it as a subcompact SUV. Think of it as a
raised hatchback. On the side, this is where
things get really cool. It’s really scooped out. It’s got all these
surface treatments here that thin it out and make it
look sportier and lighter. Unfortunately, and
we’ll get to this later, there’s no such thing
as speed with this. Another thing I really
like is the white roof. It really works with
this body style. It’s got a coupe look to it,
because these door handles are way up high and almost
hidden, really easy. You do have to dip your
head down quite a bit to get past the sloping
roof line though. In the back, there’s a
lot of surfaces, really, really big tail lights that
jut out from the bodywork. It all works to
me, and I’m really kind of attracted to this car. I wasn’t expecting to be. Prices for the CH-R start right
around $23,000 for the base XLE trim. This is the XLE premium,
which is about $25,000. For the extra $2,000
you get things like power-folding
mirrors, which honestly, I don’t think really makes
sense on a car this small. Heated front seats,
blind spot monitor, rear across traffic
alert, fog lights, probably not worth
the extra $2,000 when you consider that it’s
already pretty affordable. Regardless of what
trim you go with, they all come with this, the
two-liter, four-cylinder engine puts out 144 horsepower. Those numbers are right in
there with the competition, but it really doesn’t use
power as well as the rivals. The EPA estimates this at 29
miles per gallon combined. That’s two miles per gallon
less than the competition. However, it is easy
to get that figure, because I drove this on
our loop and got just over 30 miles per gallon. But man, it really just needs
a little bit more power, but we’ll get to
that on the drive. So I’m on the road now
in this 2018 Toyota CH-R. I’m conflicted, and
that carries over to the driving impressions. I partially blame the CVT,
the Continuously-Variable Transmission. It’s really slow to
react, because it takes a while for this thing
to spool up and finally build some power to pass. The same holds true for
when you’re leaving a line. There’s a whole lot
of nothing, at first, and then it starts producing
more noise than power, and then you finally start
getting some acceleration. So here we are passing a car. Yeah. We’re going to get
on the freeway here. All right, so here we go. Come on. Come on, you can do it. Yeah. You’ve got to plan
way in advance. Write down a letter,
ask for acceleration. Put it in an envelope, put
a stamp on it, seal it. Send it off, and wait
for something to happen. Now, in regard to visibility,
it’s actually pretty decent. This 8-pillar here really
doesn’t get in my way too much in a left turn. Mirrors are pretty
decently sized. Rear visibility is
really good for class. You don’t really need to rely
on that rear-view camera much, because visibility is really
good, especially looking back. You get a really good indication
of where the corners are, where the limits are when you’re
backing a really tight space. And that’s also a good thing,
because the rear-view camera’s not so great. It projects into the
rear-view mirror, and it’s a really,
really small picture, and not all that intuitive. Another thing assisting thing
with low-speed maneuverability is the turning circle in this. It’s really small, which
means, in some cases, multiple point turns
won’t be necessary. That’s a really good thing. So the CH-R does have a Sport
Mode, doesn’t do that much. It’s an incremental
increase in responsiveness. Now, not everybody
needs performance. Some people just want to
get from point A to point B. And in this case, it’s a
stylish fun way to get there. I get it, but consider this. At the track, it hit 60 miles
an hour in 10.6 seconds. According to my colleague,
it is the sixth slowest car we’ve ever tested, and this is
against some very large cargo vans. Although, from what
I can understand, it’s not as slow as our
long-term [INAUDIBLE].. Handling-wise, that’s the weird
one for me, in a good way. This thing handles really
well, and maybe that’s because it was
originally intended to be a Scion, which is their
more youthful, sporty brand. But man, on our
evaluation loop, there’s some pretty fun
twisty roads in there, and this thing handled
them like a champ. The drawback, however, is they
put low-rolling resistance tires on this car. Now, that’s for fuel economy,
to help with getting better fuel economy. The payoff is, even in moderate
cornering, this thing howl’s. The tire squeal is
really quite loud. As far as ride quality goes,
it’s a little tuned, I think. The one thing that
does bother me, noise. There’s a lot of road noise. There’s even a
lot of wind noise. The CH-R comes with
frontal collision warning and mitigation, standard. This, in the XLE
of premium trim, has a blind spot monitor with
rear cross traffic alerts, and also lane-keep assist. So the interior on the
CH-R is really quite nice. The material’s quality, exceeds
my expectations, especially up here on the top door panel. It’s soft to the touch. It looks really nice,
simulated leather dash, mulit-tiered style for the
dashboard is really nice too. Rather than just a plain piano
black, which I’m really not that big a fan of, they put
this kind of glitter in here, and I like it. It doesn’t look like it’s
picking up as much dust as a regular piano Blackwood. It gives a little
bit more contour. There is an overriding
theme, diamonds. The buttons are
arranged in little rounded off diamonds, buttons
on the steering wheel, same diamond. The vents are diamond shaped. You have a diamond
pattern in the door panels and even in the headliner. These subtle little embossed
diamonds up here, cool. One thing I’m not a
fan of, infotainment. Actually it’s more
entertainment than infotainment. This, even though it looks like
a typical infotainment touch screen, it’s really
just a head unit for the audio, no
car-related settings or additional stuff in there,
pretty much typical for Toyota. They haven’t gotten on the
bandwagon with Apple Car Play, and that to me is a real
bummer, because I really, really like it. So one thing that I
wish I had more of is telescopic range
off the steering wheel. It doesn’t come far back enough
for me, and I’m only 5′ 10″. Taller drivers
are probably going to have even more of
a problem with this. If it just came
back a little more, it’d be in a comfortable reach. As of now, I feel like I have
to slide the seat slightly more forward than I
prefer, which puts me in a more upright,
almost minivan-like, driving position,
not my favorite. As far as convenience,
well, we’ve got a decent-sized cup holder
here, another one here, and this one has a
little stopper in there. So you can get a really tall
coffee cup in there as well. Center bin, it’s pretty decent. It’s not particularly long,
but it is pretty deep. The problem, though, is
there’s no USB port in there, and there’s only
one right there. The door pockets
they’re all right. You can get one water
bottle in there, and this little
side part, it really doesn’t serve much purpose,
except maybe for aesthetics. So here I am in the backseat,
and once again, I’m surprised. I have enough room, and I’m
sitting behind the driver’s seat that was set up for me. Plenty of room for my knees, and
my feet are flat on the floor and getting enough
thigh support. I’d be OK back here for
a road trip, for sure. One thing that’s a little
bit concerning, but just a bummer I suppose, is this
swooping door panel here. Kind of makes you feel a little
claustrophobic, like you’re not getting much of a view out, as
you would with other vehicles. Then again, this isn’t really
meant for real family duty. For that, you’d step up to a
slightly larger compact SUV. The material’s quality is
a little more hard plastic. It’s little more durable, if
you do have kids back here. Overall, I’m surprised
how roomy it is. Good job, Toyota. When it comes to cargo capacity
with CH-R, I’m impressed. It’s 19 cubic feet
behind the rear seats. That’s five less
than the Honda HRV, but it’s almost double
what the Mazda CX3 has. So there’s no doubt you’re
going to get plenty of stuff back here. Now, this raked
roof line is going to slice in as far as how bulky
an object can get in there. But when you do have
something that bulky, fold the seats
forward pretty easily, just like that, one-handed. And you also have some small
bins off the side here, but only on this side. The rest is taken up with
tire tools and a spare tire. So yeah, overall it should
handle everything you need, without even struggling. Like I said, the CH-R
leaves me conflicted on a number of
levels, but overall, I think it’s a really
good execution. It compares well against the
Honda HRV, as well as the Mazda CX3. It would be a tough
call between all three, because they’re all pretty
much the same price. Really, when it comes to the
power issue I have with this, take your time to test drive. Really get to know the car,
really lay your foot into it, and find out if it meets or
misses your expectations. Let us know what you think. Leave a comment below
and hit subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. That car here in kangaroo land comes with a 1.6L turbocharged engine that produces 180hp. Too bad that Toyota is giving you muricans the shaft.

  2. Pisses me off how car manufacturers are obsessed with SUVs. More weight, worse driving dynamics and more air drag than a regular car.

  3. ugly POS. competitors like the HRV or Rogue Sport offer AWD and more room.. this is just a weird looking FWD hatch with no room…

  4. I really like this reviewer… Is excellent… And goes to the point. About the car is nice but "No power + cvt" not for me!

  5. I don't buy the "It's not meant for families" excuse. Lots of people buy small and affordable cars and crossovers and use them for family duty, the CHR simple has a poorly designed backseat.

  6. Is manual transmission available besides the POS CVT? If not, please stop telling us how Scion was supposed to be a sportier, more youthful brand. Other than that, great review.

  7. Another well covered review. Simple and informative. Keep up the good work. As of Toyota, please be more generous with your standard equipment. TQ

  8. 0:05 Yes we do get cars that're easy to evaluate. And the C-HR is one of them. It looks too dramatic, and you can experience claustrophobia as a passenger.
    FUN FACT: C-HR = Claustrophobic High Rider?

  9. I think the HR-V is a better vehicle, it has AWD, and returns better fuel ⛽ economy and its a little bigger, also those magic are the best in my opinion

  10. Great review, you mentioned the HR-V and CX-3, are those the main or only competitors in the US?
    I`m in Costa Rica and we have those two plus a Nissan Kicks, not the C-HR yet so the Kicks is not available for the US market?

  11. Pretty cool for a young person, maybe 25 and under? But maybe a little bit expensive for some people that age? This might be cooler, but you can get into a Honda Fit for WAY less.

  12. Can you guys do a full video review of the all-new 2018 Subaru Crosstrek? It’s Subaru’s crossover and direct competitor to this 2018 Toyota CH-R!

  13. All Wheel Drive is not available with this car. An odd omission. No Sirius/XM, no Apple Carplay, no Android Auto and no turbo.

  14. Very thorough review especially comments about wind noise (comes from the mirrors) and CVT. It might just be the camera angle but your backrest on front seat could be slightly more upright to support the spine better. It would make the steering wheel that bit closer too.

  15. I love the way it looks but hate how the U.S version got stripped out of the good stuff the rest of the world got like Turbo and AWD.

  16. I love the way it looks but watching reviews from overseas I can't understand why Toyota decided to have it so poorly packaged to the US market. In Europe, Australia and New Zealand you can have it with leather, you can have navigation and when you back it up the image appears on the infotainment screen and not on that ridiculously small mirror screen. They also have LED headlights (pretty cool actually) and LED rear lights as well. Europeans also get to choose between 2 or 4 wheel drive. Toyota sees the American buyer as less deserving, I guess.

  17. 3:33 rear visibility is really good for the class.

    He may be the only reviewer that has said that and also not mentioned how the design negatively impacts rearward visibility. I even noticed on a test drive. It's considerable especially at night/dusk with tinted windows

  18. I wanted it when I first saw the pics ,but…if he thinks 144 hp is not quite enough…try the Australian Pacific spec…1.2 turbo putting out 114 hp , a pathetic joke! Bought the Hyundai Kona instead (174 hp awd) same price, more tech toys and 5 year unlimited warranty. He mentions around 10 secs from 0-60..well the 1.2 tubo is 12.69 secs 0-60.

  19. It's beautiful in my guess but not worth the price we pay the 4×4 model comes with a 1.2 turbo and the hybrid 2 wheel comes with a 1.8

  20. I think you should’ve mentioned the safety stuff. Adaptive cruise, pedestrian alert, etc. That’s what draws me to the car. I do wish it was available in AWD.

  21. Love this car, don't care about speed I have other cars for that, just get me from point A to point B sitting a little higher than regular cars, All that other artsy fartsy stuff is for the pussy millennials.

  22. I'm an American muscle car guy with a long commute, contemplating a commuter vehicle. I googled this review at random, don't normally watch Edmunds reviews, but I loved the review and reviewer! Most helpful and enjoyable too. Subscribing now.

  23. When the Veloster first came out, same deal, unique sporty design and no power. They now have turbos and models with up to 2000hp in 2019 models. If they want to sell over 100,000 of theses in the states like they have in Japan, they better get a turbo on this thing and AWD available in the states.

  24. I generally have to agree with Mark. For commuting duty, the C-HR would be a an appealing choice. However, there is some surprising choices made in the design that have me conflicted. I would be in the less than 5% that would want a manual option as compared to the CVT. However, I understand the fact that Toyota is in the business to make money and offering a manual option isn't in the cards in the States. But the chassis was tuned to be sporty and I would like to have a transmission to complement the chassis dynamics. If a CVT is to remain, how hard would it be to offer some simulated gearing modes and/or paddle shifters. The rear door handles blend into the design but would be unsuitable for older children to open the vehicle themselves. There is also a surprising lack of infotainment options for those who are in target demographic (I am about 20 years older than that).

    I did sit in one at a local new car auto show and liked the interior layout, the paint choices and the general design theme. A proper test drive is in order.

  25. there is a diesel, a hybrid and a small capacity turbo, you should have reviewed one of those, all better engines than this one

  26. It is to expensive the speed is terrible has no power. Worst the sun visor is small and short doesn't extend the sun hits directly on side of face and arms bad and from the front again it doesn't extend. It looks nice at first then is a huge disappointment

  27. Love the looks however it sounds it's powered by a lawn mower engine. Poor designed rear windows for passengers. .this car is not for me. Good video. Thanks

  28. Am i the only one who thinks that toyota made honda look trash now ? I mean only by looks like this looks like an improve honda car lol ,I think the civic si or something like that looks uglier than this cute car..

    Weird many say scion chr is so original and nicer than this but they are the same thing so why complain lol

  29. Really the
    Rear view is really good???Are you kidding me???? The rear pillars are huge and the window is small. Would prefer to wait and get the 2019 Corolla.

  30. Don't know why this car can't sell in Malaysia, hrv is rm100k, this car is rm135k, maybe the price too ridiculous,🤔

  31. NO awd, NO sunroof, NO leather, NO sirius/xm = NO SALE. I live in New England and there is a reason you see NONE of these on the road. What the hell was Toyota thinking??

  32. I bought this car last Sept and have love it! One thing the reviewer didn't address on the "lack of pick up" is the 3 settings for your driving you can touch from the steering wheel control-Eco, Normal and Sporty. If you need the quicker pick up-switch to sporty and away you go! Just FYI.

  33. Sorry but the Mazda-CX-3 has AWD…and this does not. Also the automatic transmission in the Mazda is wayyyyy better than any CVT!!

  34. I know this is not what I wanted (2019 Mazda CX5) But I love my 2018 C HR premium! Keeping it for at least two years and then CX5! (or 2019 CX3!)

  35. Who are you kidding saying that visibility is NOT a Problem with this car ????? My wife and I were conned by our Toyota dealer into leasing this car ……… worst car I have ever owned. Toyota should have made the Blind Spot monitor system MANDATORY ……you can't see shit out of the passengers side …. the whole right side rear window is a BLIND SPOT….. we even have to avoid certain roads in order to make sure we don't get into an accident. We previously had a SCION iA and had none of these problems. It seems that Toyota in it's wisdom has discontinued this POS for 2020. Needless to say, our Toyota dealer has lost a customer !!!!!

  36. Hi i realy love this car 4 wht it is i prefer its look driving speed 110 on hybrid prety cool an it a car to love for long time . I drove hrv bt i prefer chr . Comfort an it look luxurious

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