2018 Toyota C-HR first look: Should the Renegade and HR-V be worried?
The Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover has been revealed in U.S.-spec trim, gaining a unique engine for our market but retaining the polarizing styling of the European model. The 2018 Toyota C-HR goes on sale in spring 2017.
Just like the global model, the North American C-HR rides on Toyota’s new TNGA platform. The Euro-market crossover’s look, which Toyota calls “avant-garde,” also carries over, though the headlights and taillights are slightly different. The U.S.-spec C-HR receives dual projector-beam halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights. The taillights still protrude from the body but feature different lenses.
Unlike the European C-HR, which offers both a turbocharged 1.2-liter I-4 and a 1.8-liter I-4 gasoline-hybrid drivetrain, the U.S.-spec 2018 C-HR is powered by a naturally aspirated, non-hybrid 2.0-liter I-4. That engine makes 144 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque, up from the hybrid’s 122 hp and the turbo’s 115 hp. A CVT is the only transmission type offered. Though all-wheel drive is available in Europe, at launch the 2018 C-HR will only be available in front-wheel drive. The crossover can be had in one of two trim levels, XLE and XLE Premium, at launch.
Toyota says the engine uses the company’s latest technologies, including next-gen Variable Valve Timing and Valvematic systems optimized for fuel economy and smoothness. To cut emissions, the catalyst is warmed up earlier. The 2018 C-HR’s new CVT has redesigned pulley and a new belt structure to improve acceleration and fuel economy and reduce cabin noise. The transmission also uses the world’s first coaxial two-port oil pump system, which makes possible continuous oil pressure changes.
Though the U.S.-spec C-HR only offers a CVT at launch, Toyota will let owners feel like they’re in control with a simulated seven-speed Sequential Shiftmatic function, which can create artificial “step-up” shifts on command. Toyota says the C-HR’s ride and handling was tuned on Germany’s challenging Nürburgring track.
The C-HR’s interior is driver-centric, and features unique design touches sure to appeal to younger buyers. A 7-inch touchscreen tops the dash, and runs Toyota’s latest infotainment system complete with apps like Aha internet radio. XLE Premium models get puddle lamps that project the Toyota C-HR logo, along with hands-free keyless entry and push-button start. The rear seats are made more spacious by scalloped front seatbacks, footwell cubbies beneath the front seats, and a sculpted headliner that adds a little more rear headroom. The rear seats are 60/40 split folding and can fold flat.
All 2018 C-HR models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P, which includes forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with Steering Assist, automatic high beams, and full-speed radar adaptive cruise control. The C-HR also gets 10 airbags and a rearview camera as standard.
With the U.S. market’s insatiable appetite for crossovers, the 2018 Toyota C-HR shouldn’t have a problem finding homes as long as buyers can get over—or even learn to love—the small CUV’s unconventional design.