Reviews

2018 Toyota C-HR Driving Impressions


Toyota has given the C-HR respectable handling and roadholding capabilities, significantly beyond the limits of prior small-size Toyota models.

Even when cornering briskly, the C-HR feels secure and well-planted on the pavement. Steering isn’t as numb as that of typical Toyotas, and the ride is smooth, but this crossover/hatchback is no match for Mazda products in terms of handling and precise responses.

Acceleration is a sadder tale. Toyota’s 144-horsepower engine simply cannot provide anything approaching lively performance, pulling a relatively heavy, 3,300 pound-vehicle. At every level of performance, the C-HR can be deemed sluggish, even in Sport mode.

Fuel economy doesn’t compensate for lackluster performance, either. The C-HR is EPA-rated at 27/31 mpg City/Highway, or 29 mpg Combined. Though adequate, those figures hardly constitute thrifty fuel-efficiency in a smaller car. A Honda Fit, for instance, manages an estimated 36 mpg in Combined driving. As measured by its high coefficient of drag (0.34), the C-HR’s body doesn’t come across as particularly aerodynamic.

Engine noise is noticeable, but not trouble. Most howls that emanate from beneath the hood when accelerating are restrained by sound-deadening material.

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