2018 Toyota C-HR Revealed, But Don't Call It a Crossover

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
2018 toyota c hr revealed but dont call it a crossover

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.

Initially 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.

There’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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  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Nov 21, 2016

    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.

  • Dmulyadi Dmulyadi on Feb 02, 2017

    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.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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