The big reveal this year from Toyota in the electric backdrop of 3lau spinning his magic was their sporty new and C-HR compact crossover, a vehicle once slated for the Scion brand. While the youthful Scion brand is gone, the spirit continues with the CH-R
Small and extroverted in its style, it will compete with Honda HRV, Nissan Juke, and several others joining the market.
Styling is clearly the big standout. In fact you might agree this is the most wildly penned Toyota any of us has seen given the company tends more on the appliance conservative wave length. The production C-HR we see here isn’t far flung from the many concepts we’ve seen leading up to it.
The front end is the mildest place to look, a face that isn’t far kin from some of the latest Toyota designs. The drop-jaw Toyota grill is framed by thin projector beam headlamps that reach well back into its front fenders.
Along the side things take on a more severe ride with an extreme Coke bottle shape with pinched together side lines accentuated by its lower black plastic cladding. Keep moving toward the rear and you’d better not blink because things go all out nuts.
The rear C-Pillar rakes up into a floating roof design at the rear door, with an integrated handle that’s very concept car like. Hopes it doesn’t break any finger nails. It all wraps back into a rear spoiler and three quarter view that’s just damn hard to describe. Just spend some time looking at it.
From the rear things settle a little with an LED tail light treatment wrapping nicely into it all similar to that of the new Civic hatch. In all I’d say I like it, a design much more graceful I think than in the Nissan Juke.
The interior while modern and stylish won’t however feel that distant from most Toyota’s out there. The feeling from outside does flow around the driver in a pretty attractive way however. Connectivity and infotainment will be Toyota’s main focus when it comes to marketing the C-HR in addition to all its driver assist technologies.
That’s because what motivates it down the road isn’t going to be a major selling point. Under the hood is a 144 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) driving only the front wheels at launch.
This means it will satisfy most of the customers initially attracted to the C-HR for its wild style and image, the long term lifespan of the model may require an infusion of more mechanical excitement to compete against the turbocharged offerings of many competitors.
Handling on the other hand promises to be satisfying as the C-HR rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture, here tuned with Sachs dampers and a more sporting approach with robust anti-roll bars and sport tuned springs we’re told.
We’ll have to drive it to say for sure, but the new 2018 Toyota C-HR when it comes to market next year will offer more excitement in the brand’s showrooms than almost any new product in memory. Stay tuned for our first drive when it comes.