Even before being released, the C-HR has already undergone quite the series of changes. First starting out in concept form two years ago badged as a Scion, the Compact High-Rider then evolved into a Toyota with a slightly more conservative, production-friendly appearance once the budget-conscious brand was axed. Now, the boldly styled vehicle is finally ready to hit the showroom.
Although not quite as aggressive looking as the concept, i.e. flat with cartoonishly large wheels, the C-HR retains a squatted, sporty form that definitely stands out in the segment. Some nifty elements include optional contrasting A pillars and roof, hidden rear door handles, blacked out lower body cladding, dual rear spoilers and more.
A “distinctive diamond” motif is prevalent all over the subcompact crossover as well as inside — you can see it in the sharp angles produced where the body’s sheet metal meets the side fender flares. Inside, the motif is represented diamond-patterned button clusters for the climate control, speaker surrounds and even the door pulls.
Toyota has purposely given the interior a sports-car-like feel by angling the dashboard towards the driver and installing bucket seats that have a good amount of bolstering to keep driver and passengers alike snugly supported during any twists and turns.
The small SUV runs off a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, new for North America, providing 144 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a continuously variable transmission. The efficient CVT also includes a simulated seven-speed Shiftmatic manual mode as well as a Sport setting that when activated increases throttle response. Together, the powertrain helps the vehicle achieve an estimated 8.2 L/100 km combined city and highway fuel consumption rating.
The 2018 Toyota C-HR is available in one XLE trim level only, priced at $24,690. Buyers can add a Premium Package ($26,290) bundling bigger 18-inch wheels, push button start, power folding mirrors, and blind spot and rear cross traffic warning systems.