By on May 11, 2018

2018 toyota c-hr

Like ‘em or not, compact crossovers are here to stay — and are in fact set to become the sole opening dish at the Blue Oval. Toyota has its own stable of mini-utes, including the alarmingly styled C-HR, a machine that currently sets an opening bid of $22,500 as its base sticker price.

Seeing potential opportunity to plumb a bit further into the market, it appears that Toyota is adding a cheaper model for 2019, one which explores the $20,000 price bracket.

Currently, the trucklet is offered to Americans in a brace of trims: the XLE and XLE Premium. The former starts at $22,500 while the snazzier model adds $1,850 for the priviledge of adding push-button start, blind spot monitoring, and a few other toys.

All current C-HR’s are equipped with features most customers could easily live without, such as a leather-trimmed steering wheel and dual-zone climate control. Binning these features would bring an LE in line with entry level trims on other models in the Toyota family, while still leaving room for a budget CE should corporate overlords deem one necessary.

CarsDirect reports this new trim stickers at $20,945 sans destination, a price which puts it squarely in the wheelhouse of Honda’s HR-V in LX trim. A similarly sized front-drive Chevy Trax is listed for an even $21,000 before the inevitable cash allowance, which currently stands at $2,000. Ford’s EcoSport will hack your life for $19,995. There’s a $2,000 lease incentive on base EcoSports now, too.

At this point, I feel the need to point out that a base Focus stickers at $17,950, with an available $4,250 worth of lease incentives. That’s 25 percent off, folks. How sales staff at Ford dealers are going to flip entry-level customers to an EcoSport costing bags more Simoleons once all the small cars are gone is beyond me. It will be a tall order.

2018 Toyota C-HR, Image: Toyota

Bringing the C-HR to market with plenty of features was likely a shrewd decision by Toyota, as it set the table for customers’ initial exposure to them as something other than a stripped-out base model. The report goes on to say the XLE Premium will be rechristened the Limited, endowed with leather seats, and given a slight bump in price.

Since its appearance on dealer lots one year ago, the C-HR has quickly jumped to an average of about 4,000 units a month. Honda sold 7,322 HR-V’s in April. I’d tell you how many Chevy Trax crossovers left dealerships last month, but GM doesn’t deem us slovenly journalists worthy of such information anymore. They moved more than 8,000 of the things in March.

Worldwide, Toyota sold 8,964,394 vehicles last year, a number announced yesterday in its annual financial report. That’s roughly flat compared to 2016. Buried in the verbiage was an announcement from bossman Akio Toyoda that he has “decided to ‘redesign’ Toyota from a car-making company into a mobility company.” Oh dear.

The 2019 Toyota C-HR, and all its new trims, should show up on dealer lots later this year.

[Images: Toyota]

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31 Comments on “Trimming the Range: Toyota Adding Base LE Trim to C-HR...”

  • avatar

    A few weeks ago, while waiting for my summer wheels to be mounted, I read a review of this CUV in one of the monthly’s. It was NOT pretty, actually the first bad review I have seen in any mag for quite some time. Very refreshing.

  • avatar

    “Akio Toyoda that he has “decided to ‘redesign’ Toyota from a car-making company into a mobility company.” Oh dear”

    Toyota death watch.

    • 0 avatar

      This vehicle, and others like it (and there are so many now), regardless of badge or price point, represents a thoroughly depressing glimpse of the current automotive situation, destined to get worse.

      Who here honestly finds joy in something like this or its Honda, Chevy, Nissan, Ford, Buick, GMC, Audi, Acura, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, et al equivalent?

      These types of vehicles sell at a large premium to their former sedan or hatchback equivalents, often ride worse, have way less space and utility than they could (of that’s why buying a “CUV” is important) and are almost cartoonish lampoons symbolizing the thinking of those who are in charge of the designers, product planners, and engineers at the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers.

      These types of vehicles are almost universally horrible, and it’s depressing.

      • 0 avatar


      • 0 avatar

        Sorry, you missed the mark a long way on these comments, The Hyundai Tucson has a smooth as silk ride, is quiet as a mouse, and gets 31mpg, and others in it’s class are similar, but all different. I don’t know your history with CUV/SUV’s, but I am a contract driver for a few automakers, and have driven several different styles and makes. IMO, the online reviews and print reviews are much closer to reality than your negativity. If you ride in a high dollar luxury car daily, then nothing less is going to be good enough for you.

        • 0 avatar

          Last time I drove a Hyundai Tucson was 2015 and the ride was terrible (almost as bad as a sh!tty RAV-4).

          It was harsh as f*ck and noisy, too.

          Have they improved the ride/susoension/NVH of the Tucson by the 800% since then that would make it acceptable, let alone good?

          • 0 avatar

            I was wondering the same thing. That model was notorious for noisiness. It does look like there’s been a redesign though.

          • 0 avatar

            The new Tucson is light years better than the last generation.

  • avatar

    “How sales staff at Ford dealers are going to flip entry-level customers to an EcoSport costing bags more Simoleons once all the small cars are gone is beyond me. It will be a tall order.”

    Ever heard of the Jedi Mind Trick?

    Wouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do if the Ecosport didn’t royally suck.

    • 0 avatar

      I visited a couple friends who are sales associates at the local Ford dealer. There are four EcoSport’s on the lot…way, way back near the back line of “mechanic special” used vehicles. My friends are not pleased with EcoSport’s at all – too thin a margin to make a deal – and are using them to upsell customers to Escapes using the larger margin on a larger vehicle as a bargaining strategy.

      • 0 avatar

        I was about to say to Freed, they are probably used a switch cars.

      • 0 avatar

        How in the name of God do you have a thin margin on a tiny-a** $25,000 vehicle that’s made in India by people probably making a buck an hour?

        How is that even mathematically possible?

        True story about my Ecosport drive I didn’t include in the article: the sales guy got real with me about the thing after I told him there was no way in hell I’d buy one. He told me he hasn’t sold one, and has absolutely no idea why anyone would buy one. Amazing how the BS drops when they know the sale Ain’t Getting Made No Matter What.

  • avatar

    You can get a mid-level, well equipped Mazda 3 5 door hatch for the same price. Just on Mazda’s website, they have a $1,000 incentive or 0% financing for 60 months.

    That IMO is a much superior car to the Toyota C-HR. A lot more room in it(both back seat and trunk), the steering/handling and brakes are really dialed in on that car, its a hoot to drive. The interior is pretty well put together too, better than the Toyota’s.

    I test drove a couple of Mazdas, a 3 hatch and 6 sedan. Unless you really need that big back seat, the 3 hatch is a pretty sweet car. The 6, at least in sort of base trim levels wasn’t any nicer than a 3, just bigger.

  • avatar

    Wasn’t this car originally supposed to be a Scion until Scion died? I’m pretty sure that’s why the trim was so initially well equipped with dual AC and leather steering wheel.

  • avatar

    With Nissan introducing the Kicks at a $17,990, other automakers are now trying to reset pricing to compete. If this trend continues, the higher margins associated with crossovers may get closer to their car equivalents.

    • 0 avatar

      This is bound to happen. It has to. People shopping small cars priced like small cars aren’t gonna magically find the extra dough just because it’s a crossover.

      And there has to be enough margin in the crossover (we keep hearing about this as the reason auto makers like them so much) that they can offer more cash on the hood etc, and you know as sales soften the manufacturers are DEFINITELY going to play that game.

      In fact somewhere on the web (here?) it was asked if Ford could continue those fat margins on their crossovers once the cars are gone and the crossover becomes the ultra competitive market family sedan sales used to be.

      People pay for new/hot/cool (bigger margins on crossovers) but as soon as it becomes just another car I guarantee that will come to an end.

      • 0 avatar

        IF customers are unable to find an affordable entry-level new car, even on a lease, they will probably turn to used cars at the lower price point. But I find it hard to believe that EVERY manufacturer will abandon low-priced entry-level cars. If there is a vacuum, it will attract SOMEONE. Right ?

  • avatar

    Better question: will they ever offer this with AWD? That’s what it’d take to really make a dent in this segment.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d take the new Matrix..errrr….Corolla Hatchback… over this if it comes with AWD. Clean sporty look vs this Juke level of a visual mess. If neither come with AWD in the next model year, is it to push Rav4 sales or something?

  • avatar

    No offense to Toyota, but this is an awfully ugly car, identical to super-ugly cars from nearly every manufacturer. I include nearly every modern SUV and especially CUVs in that statement.
    Compared to 1959 models from GM, these are just as gaudy but lacking all the chrome and class. Look at the new Avalon’s grille. And look at this car’s dashboard (chrome both places replaced with acres of plastic). . I prefer the 59 GM models.

  • avatar

    Can we get some damn colors on this thing?! What’s the point of offering a wildly-styled vehicle when the color options are white, black, grey, different grey, dull red, and blue, like every other bland car out there? Kia’s selling their Soul in neon green and bright yellow, and the crazy C-HR just offers Toyota’s standard complement of Bland?

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