QOTD: How Does The Toyota C-HR Make You Feel?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
qotd how does the toyota c hr make you feel

People want to talk to me about the 2018 Toyota C-HR.

Since I took possession of a Toyota Canada-supplied C-HR last Friday, more people have approached me to discuss the C-HR than any other car I’ve ever had the pleasure or displeasure of testing.

Naturally, I assume they’re not going to have kind things to say. Let’s be honest: the Toyota C-HR is not a conventional beauty. “It’s not mine,” I quickly declare to a couple examining the C-HR in the grocery store parking lot as I approach it, bags in hand. “You can say whatever you think.”

And then they do. But the words they speak are not in keeping with my expectations.

“I love it.”

“I want one.”

“We’ve already gone to the dealer to see what colors they have.”

“My husband wants to wait until we can get the teal one with the white roof.”

“It’s like the CRX we used to own.”

Huh? CRX?

Then they ask me what I think. Given that every one of these C-HR adorers is well into retirement age, I mention the treacherous visibility and the backup camera that resides in a corner of the rearview mirror.

Two of the couples who wish to discuss the 2018 C-HR hopped out of older Corollas to come talk to me. There’s no mention in any case of the Honda HR-V or Buick Encore or Mazda CX-3 or Subaru Crosstrek or Jeep Renegade. The 2018 Toyota C-HR is the car they want.

Front-wheel drive. 144 horsepower. 3,300 pounds. Continuously variable transmission. Enough unique design elements — love it or hate it — to get noticed in a parking lot full of exotics.

Intended to be a part of the youth-oriented Scion brand before Toyota discontinued Scion, the 2018 Toyota C-HR is a $23,495 subcompact with mountains of appeal (apparently, anecdotally) to an older generation.

Toyota wants to sell 30,000 C-HRs in the United States this year; 60,000 annually. That would put the front-wheel-drive-only C-HR well back of the front-wheel-drive-only Kia Soul; behind the Jeep Renegade, Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Buick Encore, too.

Reasonable expectations? That depends how the C-HR makes you feel. Would you jump out of your car to talk to me about the 2018 Toyota C-HR in the parking lot of a grocery store? And if so, what would you want to tell me?

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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2 of 140 comments
  • Chiefmonkey Chiefmonkey on Jun 03, 2017

    The side profile of a Veloster meets the rear of a Juke. lol

  • Bluespruce786 Bluespruce786 on Jul 27, 2017

    I sell Toyota's in central VT, 2 C-HR's so far this year. Both clients no kids at home and in their 50's. The interior fit and finish is very high. "Really well built and solid." is some of the feedback I am hearing. The suspension is impressive, for a short wheelbase it handles the bumps and corners well. Something about the TNGA c frame and dual wishbone rear as opposed to the torsion bar on the honda. As far as visibility; The "a" columns are raked back enough that you can see that forward dead spot pretty well looking under the columns (I'm 6' with average torso and I don't need to crane my neck to look under them. The rear windows actually look right into the blind spot if you turn your head. If head checks are at all a problem (neck or back issues) then the sensor suite is more important than the windows. The C-HR XLE premium has Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic, which is very nice, especially at night or in rain. IDK, I always like the feel of the 68-69 Camaro, like you are inside of a machine. The C-HR kind of reminds me of that. I like the C-HR both personally and professionally. Toyota's safety sense P, 10 airbags, dual zone climate, a functional back seat, and a great height for entrance/egress and bad roads.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys for that money, it had better be built by people listening to ABBA
  • Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?