By on November 17, 2016

2018 Toyota C-HR profile - Image: Toyota Admit it: you woke up today missing the Toyota Matrix, didn’t you? Could Toyota interest you in a modernized, reincarnated Matrix?

This is it. The Toyota C-HR is roughly an inch shorter than the old Matrix, two-tenths of an inch higher, and about an inch wider than the dearly departed hatchback that we likely wouldn’t call a mere hatchback if it arrived in 2016.

The C-HR is already in production in Sakarya, Turkey, but until the North American production-ready reveal at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show today, there were details unknown.

Now, some of the unknowns are known.

“It looks like nothing we’ve ever created, and ushers in a new era of Toyota style,” says Bill Fay, general manager of the Toyota division in the United States.

Uh, that’s for sure.2018 Toyota C-HR front LA: image - toyotaInitially intended to end up as a Scion in North America before the Scion brand was extinguished, the 2018 Toyota C-HR arrives to challenge subcompact crossovers in a burgeoning segment.

Though somewhat late to the party — there are already nearly a dozen rivals — the C-HR will beat the Ford EcoSport in the front door. But wait a minute. Is the C-HR really a direct rival for the Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, and a host of other small crossovers?

For the time being, the C-HR is a front-wheel-drive car only. AWD is an option in other markets.

Keep in mind, the front-wheel-drive-only Kia Soul sells more often in America than any of the subcompact crossovers that offer AWD. Claiming Nürburgring-honed handling, Toyota says the C-HR arrives in America with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 144 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque exclusively linked to a continuously variable transmission.2018 Toyota C-HR interior - Image: ToyotaThere’ll be XLE and XLE Premium trims, with the upper grade adding heated front seats, power lumbar support for the driver, proximity access and, “puddle lamps that project Toyota C-HR.” Both the XLE and XLE Premium are equipped with Toyota’s Safety Sense P, but the XLE Premium adds blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

The C-HR first appeared as a concept at 2014’s Paris show, was altered for the 2015 Frankfurt auto show, and was then shown in production form earlier this year in Geneva, Switzerland. U.S. sales of the production car begin in the spring of 2017.

No AWD? Even the Matrix, a mere hatchback, offered four driven wheels.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

[Images: Toyota]

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52 Comments on “2018 Toyota C-HR Revealed, But Don’t Call It a Crossover...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    What a nice Juke refresh.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Even the Matrix, a mere hatchback, offered windows you could at least KIND OF see out of.

    Fixed that to more pertinent info for you.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    Front of that car says “Hey, kid… c’mere.”

    Those whose keys the gods would yank they first make repelled by every new car.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t need or want AWD. This is a low-cost way to keep people in the Toyota showroom in the unlikely event they can’t afford or don’t want the RAV4.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Hey SCE, I’d love to hear your comments.

      So, since its “not a crossover”, and the hatch back shape is so sloped as to appear to really constrict useful space (to my eye anyways), how is this superior to the Corolla? Hatch shaped opening is pretty much all that I can see, as well as not being a sedan, which appears to be the trend.

      My preference is Corolla hands down.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    hand me the vomit bucket

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    That picture with the shift knob gave me pause. My heart fluttered for a mere second. Then my eyes focused better on the picture, and also caught the seven words typed directly above it.

    Nothing to see here, move along. 2013 Kia Soul is still at the top of my list if I get a hatchback.

  • avatar
    JMII

    How to fix this: add a turbo, remove black plastic trim around wheels, lower 4″ – bingo hot hatch. I think it looks 1,000X better then the Juke but I have crumbled up bits of paper that look better then a Juke.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    “But Don’t Call It a Crossover”

    Indeed.

    ’49 Beetle height: 60″

    ’17 CH-R height: 59″

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Five details on the front end, and the way the touch screen is housed in the interior clearly show stylistic relationship to the 2016 Prius.

  • avatar
    brettc

    144 hp and 140 torques? I guess Toyota really wanted their own HR-V, except uglier.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    The looks, the interior – I am in.
    140HP no manual – I am out.

    As a matter of fact… FU, Toyota. F#$% ^&&**##@, #@$%&*(… you all should be hanged and your bodies should be packed in Fukushima reactor.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      + 1. I bought a ’98 Rav4 4WD with manual transmission this year to use as a winter beater. I absolutely love that little car. This thing would make a great replacement (minus the 4WD). No manual transmission, no thanks! What a freakin disappoinment. As if Toyota doesnt have enough money to make a few manuals to keep us Toyota fanboys interested.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Ooh those are fantastic little runabouts. A ton of room too in the back if you remove the rear row entirely (they have quick disconnects). Huge windows, fantastic clearance, and available rear LSD for the 5spds along with standard locking center diff. Those little buggers are no joke!

      • 0 avatar

        I have an ’03 RAV4L, I love driving it. It’s entertaining in a way that SUVs typically aren’t…just wished it had a manual.

        Also, the cargo capacity with the rear seats removed is pretty great, given the size of the vehicle. The fact that the liftgate swings out like a normal door completes the package IMO.

  • avatar
    Petra

    There is a replacement for the Matrix already: the Corolla iM.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    No rear visibility is a deal killer for me.

    • 0 avatar
      TonyJZX

      I was about to say the same thing. What the hell is that C pillar about? Mandatory murkey reverse cam.

      I’m also ambivalent about the 4wd capability. It doesnt have the ground clearance or the need for 4wd being its going to be an urban vehicle.

      2.0 n/a four cvt is a bit behind the times… where’s the turbo supercharged 800cc two cyl?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Seems like the whole Toyota line-up is suffering from a terminal case of uglytist.

  • avatar
    make_light

    Honda CR-V. Honda HR-V. Toyota C-HR. Kill me.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Agreed. I thought it was a Honda, at first. It resembles the Crosstour, just not as long.
      Three letter names are meaningless and annoying. Cadillac and Lincoln should also get the hint.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    Is it me or do these letters seem backwards?

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Oh dear god, my eyes, my eyes. And you don’t even get AWD for having your eyes bleed every time you see your car. Keep that thing out of the Northeast Toyota, or you’re gonna have…ISSUES.

    • 0 avatar
      dig

      I dunno. Is the Big 3 – 5 in Japan and ROK coming into the “Malaise Era” only Asian style? There is not even any “Brohminess” here. Just another boring appliance that looks retched. I think it has been going on awhile. Hope it doesn’t last another 10 – 15 years. This Toyo/Scion will cost 2017 Jeep Compass money. At least the Jeep is a looker and will have a Subaru X-verse style version for less bux. We shall see if the Jeep turns out to be a mere appliance.

  • avatar
    boogieman99

    So when do they slap a Lexus badge on it and double the price…?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I know I’m nuts but I really like the dash layout of this and the RAV-4…

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Interior is indeed very attractive IMO. Steering wheel is a standout in particular. Sort of reminds me of a pre-airbag mid 1990s 4Runner wheel.

      The exterior however…..horrible. I agree with an above poster, I think we’re entering some sort of Japanese malaise era, atleast styling wise. ’13 Accord seemed to signal a return to normalcy, alas it was a false prophet.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    When I’m looking at a car, I have a few basic elimination tests. One of which is to sit behind the wheel, and look over my right shoulder.

    There’s no way in hell this will pass that test, so I won’t bother to form much of an opinion of it. If it can’t reasonably function in traffic, I’m not interested in the rest.

  • avatar
    Old Man Pants

    This is no longer “styling”. This is clever exploitation of the fear and dysfunction accompanying overpopulation in even a wealthy nation.

    Egregiously closed-off, cocooned passenger vehicles have become the norm, this Toyota is merely a pack leader. It’s a tiny creature’s adaptation to an ever more threatening environment rapidly filling with faster competitors and larger predators.

    And it’s unique in nature: turtles that can run from bears.

  • avatar
    Fred

    “Nürburgring-honed” Does anyone who would buy this know what that means?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The iM is clearly a modern Matrix, while this thing is not.

    I’d have that over this.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Matrix had substantially more cargo room, at least gen 1 did. It had vestigial “wagon” glass between the C and D pillars.

      Funny how I loathed the gen 1 matrix for squished rear visibility when they first came out (my point of reference was a ’90 Civic Wagon), and now Toyota releases this abomination.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        We are in a lesser of evils type world now. The blind spots in this CHR are just ridiculous. The NHTSA is going to end up forcing rear wing cameras the way we’re headed.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    As if the Nissan Juke wasn’t bad enough here comes Toyota out uglifying it to the tenth degree. Complete with lackluster power, no rear door visibility and no AWD it’s as if there is a terminal disconnect with reality going on amongst there ranks. Turkey indeed!

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    I suspect CG has N/R law dogs looking at this already. No manual is a bad sign. I feel many automakers only want the hi-mileage cars sold to allow the sale of a SUV with the huge profit margin it brings. I am considering a new Mercedes but they sold their soul to the EPA for the money they get from emissions credits for the mandatory start stop feature of the car. Yes, you can disable it but you must do this every time you start the car, not much of a choice. Same with the rubberband transmission, creating an extra mpg or two to justify a Sequoia sale.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Holy Blind Spot Batman!

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Looks nice, somewhat of a competitor to Juke. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the gigantic wheels, but that seems to be the modern trend.

  • avatar
    dmulyadi

    Well this car was designed for European market, so they have more taste than American. American only like boxy, sharp macho stuff. Come on ppl be adventurous. For the first time I really like Toyota design. But as we all know nothing in this world is perfect. I wanted a Hybrid AWD cuz I live in big city that still have snow. But if this mean make it cheaper then oh well it’s always like that America always get watered down product anyway. Been happening since the beginning of time. Less powerful German cars, less high tech Japanese cars. Nothing new. They must have other agenda like selling bigger more expensive SUV in their mind.


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