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Top Features of Base Model
- Apple CarPlay at last (but not Android Auto, yet)
- More active safety features
- Broader range of trim levels
- Still a bit of an oddball in its category
Toyota C-HR: Everything You Need to Know
About the Toyota C-HR:
The 2019 Toyota C-HR is a compact hatchback that Toyota calls a crossover utility vehicle. All-wheel drive isn’t offered, so we can’t consider it a real utility. It rides higher than most hatchbacks its size, and its expressive styling tends to polarize viewers. We like it, but others find it offputting.
The C-HR comes well equipped and has decent interior room. Its main drawback is that it’s just slow. Its underpowered engine must haul a vehicle based on the underpinnings of the Camry mid-size sedan—only shorter—that make it heavier than other vehicles in its class. Its gas mileage is nothing to write home about either.
What’s New in the Current 2019 Toyota C-HR?
For 2019, the C-HR reshuffles its trim levels. The lineup is now a new base LE, the mid-range XLE, and a high-end Limited version. Toyota has added further active-safety equipment to all models, and made an 8.0-inch display standard on every version.
The C-HR also now includes Apple CarPlay as standard, though not yet Android Auto—making it one of the last manufacturers not to offer both systems. Mechanical specifications remain the same:
- 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque.
- Continuously variable transmission with simulated sequential shifts under some conditions.
- EPA-rated fuel economy of 29 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 31 mpg highway).
What Does the 2019 Toyota C-HR Compete With?
The Toyota C-HR arguably competes with small SUVs, compact hatchbacks, and even some other Toyotas. Here are the closest competitors:
The C-HR will likely find buyers among commuters and couples looking for a stylish hatchback with some SUV design cues and the legendary Toyota durability and reliability. Its trim options are fairly simple, but buyers can add more than twenty different dealer accessories to personalize the car.
Exterior Design of the 2019 Toyota C-HR
For the last few years, Toyota has moved decisively away from stereotypically bland and beige designs. The new corporate design language has produced some oddities—the Mirai and the latest Prius—but we think it works on the C-HR.
All the features on the C-HR seem exaggerated: gigantic wheel arches, slit-like front lamps that wrap back over most of the fender, minimal side windows, and almost freestanding taillights. Contrasting roof colors make it even more startling. Somehow it all comes together. It’s not conventionally pretty, but it’s striking, and distinctive.
Interior Style in the 2019 Toyota C-HR
Inside, the C-HR is considerably less avant-garde. The all-black interior looks cramped and closed-in, but it’s actually roomy enough for four people to ride comfortably. And rear-seat riders sit upright rather than sunken into low seats with their knees up. It’s a boon if you carry more than two people at once.
The interior mixes soft-touch and harder plastics with cloth upholstery, but doesn’t look cheap. Controls are relatively conventional, although the lower of the two dash levels protrudes more toward the front passenger than it does the driver.
Toyota provides the usual array of storage bins and cupholders for all seats. Cargo volume is 19 cubic feet with the rear seat up, 32.4 cubic feet once the seat back is folded down. That’s not a lot for a crossover. That cargo space is likely hurt by a surprisingly high cargo floor.
What Technology Comes in the 2019 Toyota C-HR?
Toyota builds a lot of standard active-safety technology into the C-HR, but the U.S. version lacks some of the features offered on C-HRs sold in other markets. For instance, all-wheel drive isn’t available—despite its maker insisting it’s a crossover utility rather than a high hatchback. Similarly, other markets get a hybrid version with much higher fuel economy.
What the C-HR does offer, however, is Toyota’s app-based Entune system. Drivers must first download the Entune app to a smartphone. Then as long as the phone is in the car, various functions can be accessed using the phone’s data connection. Think of it as Toyota’s version of Ford Sync. And this year, for those who don’t want to go through all that, there’s Apple CarPlay. At last.
What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 Toyota C-HR?
Like other mainstream Toyotas, the C-HR gets a standard suite of advanced safety systems. It comes standard with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure alert with steering assist.
It also includes automatic high beams, which we found to work well. A Blind Spot Monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on all C-HRs except the base LE trim level.
The C-HR gets the highest rating of “Good” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on all test except one. Its headlights are rated “Poor.” The NHTSA rates it at five stars overall, its highest, and five stars on all crash tests, four stars for rollover safety.
What is the 2019 Toyota C-HR Like to Drive?
Toyota’s latest underpinnings for its mass-market cars are a notable step up in handling and roadholding. That makes the C-HR enjoyable to drive. It will hustle through the curves with aplomb, held back only by the striking lack of power under virtually all circumstances.
The challenge is that 144 horsepower is simply not a lot to move 3,300 pounds of car. The engine has to work so hard that the fuel-economy rating, at 29 mpg combined, isn’t impressive either. It’s OK compared to a small crossover that has all-wheel drive, but not to front-wheel-drive compact hatchbacks of the same size.
Toyota has done a decent job of making its continuously variable transmission tolerable, including simulated shift sequences at times. It’s not as transparent as the best automatics, but it avoids the worst of “CVT sins” most of the time. It doesn’t spin the engine up to an ear-splitting howl before the car gradually builds speed.
One thing drivers will notice, however, is the minimal rear-three-quarter view. The window line rises to the rear, the roof pillars are thick, and the tailgate window is so horizontal it’s a slit in the rear-view mirror. This is one case where the standard backup camera is needed.
Should I Buy a Current 2019 Toyota C-HR?
Despite Toyota’s marketing push, the C-HR isn’t altogether convincing as a crossover utility vehicle. Its styling is the polar opposite of a wagon-like crossover, and all-wheel drive isn’t offered on any version.
Still, if you want a fashion-forward compact car with legendary Toyota reliability and durability, the C-HR has many points to recommend it. Its active-safety features are as complete as any vehicle in its class. It’s comfortable and handles well, even if it’s not very fast.
Should I buy a Used 2019 Toyota C-HR? Are There Any I Should Avoid?
There are virtually no used C-HRs on the market yet, as the car has only been on sale for a couple of years.
How Much Does the New 2019 Toyota C-HR Cost?
The 2019 Toyota C-HR LE has a base price of $20,995 plus a mandatory $1,095 dealer fee, putting its total cost slightly over $22,000 to start. The mid-level XLE trim adds slightly over $2,000 more, and the high-end Limited version starts at $27,145 including delivery.
Few people are likely to order the base car, which comes with steel wheels. The XLE will likely represent the bulk of purchases, with some buyers opting for a fully loaded C-HR Limited that brushes $30,000.
These aren’t cheap prices for a hatchback, but they’re roughly in line with what crossovers cost. The caveat: Those crossovers offer all-wheel drive. It’s likely in this case buyers are willing to pay a premium for Toyota durability.
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Toyota C-HR
- Distinctive styling
- Decent roadholding and handling
- More interior room than you’d suspect
- Toyota reliability and durability
- Styling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea
- It’s just slow
- Interior appears dark
- No all-wheel drive available
- Not really a crossover, despite Toyota’s claims
The History of the Toyota C-HR: Two Years of C-HR
Toyota’s RAV4 is one of the highest-volume mainstays of the compact crossover market. But the company was slow to add a smaller SUV-like entry, and the C-HR is what emerged instead.
In its single full year of sales thus far (2018), it sold respectably—50,000 units—but hasn’t set the world on fire. By comparison, Honda’s HR-V sold 85,000. For 2019, Toyota boosted the standard safety features and slimmed the trim lineup to three versions.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Toyota C-HR
- Body Style
- Sport Utility
- 2.0L I-4 DOHC 16-Valve
- 144 hp
- Continuous Variable (CVT)
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Back Up Camera
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- LED Lights
- Lane Departure Alert
- Lane Departure Warning
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.0L I-4 DOHC 16-Valve -inc: valvematic
- Transmission: Continuous Variable (CVT) -inc: intelligence and shift mode
- Axle Ratio: TBD
- GVWR: 4,330 lbs
- Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode, Sequential Shift Control and Oil Cooler
- Front-Wheel Drive
- Battery w/Run Down Protection
- 835lbs. Maximum Payload
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 13.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Double Wishbone Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
- Brake Actuated Limited Slip Differential
- Wheels: 17" Steel
- Tires: 215/60R17 ST A/S
- Wheels w/Full Wheel Covers
- Steel Spare Wheel
- Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Black Bodyside Cladding and Black Wheel Well Trim
- Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
- Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Wing Spoiler
- Black Grille
- Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
- Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
- Fully Automatic Projector Beam Led Low Beam Daytime Running Auto High-Beam Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- LED Brakelights
- Radio: AM/FM Stereo -inc: USB port and 6-speaker audio system (all destinations)
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls, Voice Activation and Radio Data System
- Streaming Audio
- Integrated Roof Antenna
- Bluetooth Wireless Phone Connectivity
- 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
- Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way manual driver and front passenger seats
- Sport Front Seats w/Cloth Back Material
- Driver Seat
- Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Mechanical Fuel
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Distance Pacing w/Traffic Stop-Go
- Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
- Illuminated Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look/Piano Black Instrument Panel Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Leather/Metal-Look Gear Shift Knob
- Fabric Seat Material
- Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Rigid Cargo Cover
- Cargo Space Lights
- Smart Device Integration
- Instrument Panel Bin, Driver And Passenger Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Analog Display
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- Engine Immobilizer
- 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- VSC Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Toyota Safety Sense P
- Lane Departure Alert (LDA) w/Steering Assist Lane Keeping Assist
- Lane Departure Alert (LDA) w/Steering Assist Lane Departure Warning
- Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver Knee Airbag, Rear Side-Impact Airbag and Passenger Cushion Front Airbag
- Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera