2018 C-HR Premium: A Professional Driver’s View

Toyota 2018 C-HR Car Review
2018 C-HR Premium: A Professional Driver’s View
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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Those of us that pay attention to the automotive marketplace have been aware for some time that buyer interest in the traditional sedan has waned and been replaced by enthusiasm for SUVs and trucks. The SUV marketplace already has plenty of choice and is getting even more crowded with the rapid growth of the compact and subcompact crossover segment that now includes the new Toyota C-HR.

The history of the C-HR is fairly recent with the earliest models introduced in Japan in late 2016 and the following year in Europe, and North America. The C-HR (sometimes known as a Coupe – High Rider) is a new entrant to Canada competing with the Honda HR-V, Chevy Trax, Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3 and the soon to be available Nissan Kicks. In the first ten months of this first year on the market in Canada, Toyota has already sold 3,412* C-HR’s.

Toyota 2018 C-HR

Photo: R.G. Beltzner

Technical details
In Canada, the 2018 C-HR is available in a single engine/drive-train configuration; a 2.0L four-cylinder producing 144 hp matched with a continuously variable automatic transmission “intelligent shift” (CVTi-S) and front-wheel drive. In Europe and other parts of the globe, this car can be available with a 1.2L turbocharged engine matched with a manual 6-speed transmission, or a 1.8L hybrid and, with all-wheel drive. The C-HR’s front suspension includes Macpherson struts, hydraulic shock absorbers, coil springs and a stabilizer bar. The rear suspension consists of a double wishbone design with coil springs, stabilizer bar and trailing arms. The base C-HR comes mounted on 17”aluminum alloy wheels matched with P215/60R17 tires, electric power steering, all around disc brakes and an electric parking brake My test vehicle came with the $1,600 “Premium” package that increased the wheel size to 18” mounted with Dunlop P225/50R18 tires.

Driving and handling characteristics
My impressions driving the C-HR were quite positive. Front facing visibility is excellent, steering is responsive, suspension is firm and overall, the C-HR handles well. The compact size makes this an ideal vehicle for city driving and small parking spaces. The 2.0L engine with 144 hp provides adequate acceleration and speed for many of the day-to-day driving conditions that we experience such as on city and our 400 series roads. The continuously variable automatic transmission looks after deciding the optimum gear as well as the timing of gear changes to optimize fuel economy. There is also a manual shift feature that can be used for drivers looking to self-select the appropriate gear as well as the timing of the gear change.

Comfort and Styling

2018 C-HR

Photo: R.G. Beltzner

The base trim level C-HR includes a leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls, information display and adjustable driving modes for the driver, dual-zone automatic climate control, touch screen, rearview camera, auto dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth, six speaker audio with HD radio, one USB port, 60/40 plit rear seats, and a cargo cover. The front seats are cloth covered and come with manual fore/aft/height/recline/incline adjustment. The driver seat adjustment options combined with the tilt/telescopic steering wheel and the power adjustable mirrors are more than sufficient to meet the needs of most drivers. Cargo space is on par with other vehicles in this class and almost doubles with the rear seats folded down. The Premium trim adds foglights, keyless entry and ignition, power-folding mirrors, heated front seats and two way power lumbar adjustment for the driver.

The interior layout of the controls is quite adequate with a couple of things to take note of. The rear camera display is located in the rear-view mirror. The body design lends itself to limited rear-visibility making the blind-spot monitoring capability provided with the Premium trim a desirable feature to have. The C-HR does not come with a navigation feature but that is easily overcome with using a personal navigation device.

One of the key things to note with the C-HR is that even the base trim model is very well equipped with safety features including traffic-adapting cruise control, brake hold at stoplights, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning and intervention. The Premium trim option adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Things to consider
The C-HR is a well-equipped compact crossover where spending the additional $1,600 for the “Premium” upgrade makes a lot of sense. This vehicle will appeal to those looking for a smaller as well as fuel efficient crossover/SUV that stands out a bit from the crowd. Toyota’s reliability record will also appeal to those buyers looking to limit future repair costs.

Toyota’s 2018 C-HR Premium edition price is $24,690. The price for the Premium edition as test is $27,085. These are the manufacturer suggested retail prices and do not including taxes, registration and applicable fees.

More automotive reviews and insights are available on Oakville News. You can also follow me on Twitter @redy2rol.

*Source: Automotive News Canada, November 2017


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