The new-for-2018 Toyota C-HR is a subcompact crossover sport-utility vehicle, and I’m here to tell you that adults fit in it just fine. And beyond that, the C-HR is a comfortable, nice-handling piece of work that is delightfully useful for transporting humans or knocking off chores.
The recently tested 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium was the latest in a series of small crossover SUVs I sampled last year, and while it’s a close call, I think it’s my favorite.
For starters, it’s nicely sculpted on the front end and in profile, offering up a pleasing look that goes way beyond SUV-basic.
The 18-inch alloy wheels look decidedly sharp.
Inside, the interior cabin is surprisingly spacious and versatile. From the cockpit seat, controls are easy to reach and understand. A generous list of standard safety features on the tester was impressive, including a lane-departure alert and radar-assisted cruise control.
Convenience features were likewise plentiful for this segment, with automatic high beams and a spot-on dual-zone climate-control system leading the way.
Fuel mileage was very good at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
I thought the 2-liter, four-cylinder power plant might struggle, but I was wrong. The 144-horsepower engine was more than adequate across the range of driving conditions. It was pretty robust off the line as well.
Passengers commented on how smooth the ride was on the freeways.
has given fans of
small SUVs another option below the automaker’s RAV4, and it’s an entirely
functional option, not a trade-down.
Even with a few extras, the bottom line on the tester was a reasonable
The C-HR is an easy-to-like daily driver and would be equally useful as a second, chore-running vehicle in suburbia. For those who want to send their kids off to college in something more than a compact sedan or coupe, the C-HR is worth a look.
And I know you’re dying to know: What does C-HR stand for?
Answer: Coupe-High Rider. Yes, I know. It's confusing, but catchy.