Toyota C-HR: A Slow Subcompact

This crossover has attention-grabbing looks, but an underwhelming performance           

Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR Model years: 2018-2019

Vehicle layout tested: 2.0-liter inline 4 (144 hp), CVT, FWD

MSRP: $21,990 (base), $30,000 (well-equipped)  

MPG, city/hwy/combined: 27/31/29

Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall for 2018. IIHS: good (all ratings for 2018) 

Spare tire: Compact temporary

Final assembly: Turkey

Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles

The Toyota C-HR checks most—but not all—the boxes for a subcompact crossover. Its eye-catching sheet metal hints at a sporty demeanor. It corners without much body lean, the steering is sharp and nicely weighted, and the ride is generally comfortable. 

But this car is s-l-o-w—as in, 0-to-60 in 11 seconds slow—and noisy to boot. The engine groans under acceleration—thank the CVT for that—and too much road noise gets into the cabin. 

The C-HR’s cabin is nicely styled, and a suite of advanced safety features—including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control—is standard, as are dual automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, a self-dimming rearview mirror, and 2 years/25,000 miles of complimentary maintenance. The C-HR also gets good gas mileage, and, given Toyota’s reputation for reliability, you’ll probably be able to pass it down to your grandkids.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Rear visibility is second-rate; the rearview camera display, in the left third of the rearview mirror, is next to useless; cargo space with the backseats folded is subpar; and the sharply sloping roofline makes it hard to get into the backseat. 

More disappointing is what’s MIA, even as options: power seats, AWD, a sunroof, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—even a sunglasses holder and backseat clothes hook—making it seem like Toyota took this little ute out of the oven too soon.

Photos courtesy of Toyota

With the Auto Club's free Car Buying Service, members can enjoy a no-hassle experience when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Get estimated pricing and access to online inventory before visiting a AAA-recommended dealer near you. For details, go to AAA.com/auto or call 800-709-7222.