2019 Toyota C-HR: Compact High Rider offers Style, Safety and Fun!

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By Asian Journal Auto Editor

Toyota’s swoopy C-HR Stands for “Compact – High Rider.” Toyota describes the C-HR as having “kick-ass styling.” The C-HR has a bold, dramatic, edgy look to it, with its daring fascias, rear-sloping roofline, bulging fenders and complex curves and creases. The rear doors almost melds into the body and features high mounted hidden door handles. The cars swoopy silhouette actually looks better in the two –tone model we tested. The complex curves, edges and sharp creases somehow looking interesting and daring. If Toyota is looking for attracting styling kudos, it certainly has it with the C-HR. I liked the chrome strip around the windows that really looked nice on our dark red tester.

There is only one power plant available in the CH-R; namely a 2.0-litre, 144-horsepower four-cylinder producing 139 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite its vaguely off-road looks, the CH-R is only available in front wheel drive operated via a seven-step ratio CVT. (Continuously Variable Transmission.) The 2019 Toyota C-HR is available from $23,675, arriving as standard, very well-equipped vehicle, with: Toyota Safety SenseTM P, Backup Camera, Apple CarPlay, Entune 3.0 Audio with App Suite Connect, Bluetooth Capabilities, dual-zone heated seats and safety technology that includes pre-collision braking, lane-departure alert, and adaptive cruise control. The C-HR only appeared in 2018- so changes for 2019 are minimal. There is some updated technology with: Apple CarPlay integration, a new Entune 3.0 infotainment system Entune App Suite Connect, with a plethora of Apps to monitor items such as weather, sport and traffic. Finally there is a new 8-inch touchscreen with integrated backup camera.

We tested a wonderful looking Ruby Flare painted model with a contrasting black roof. Our tester came with the Limited Package – a hefty $5,000 option with: 18″ inch Aluminum Alloy Wheels, Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, Entune Safety Connect with – Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Emergency Assistance button (SOS), and Enhanced Roadside Assistance (3 year subscription), Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot, Monitor System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, heated Leather seating Surfaces, Push Button Start, Smart Key System, Power Folding, Heated Exterior Mirrors, Rain Sensing Wipers, Ambient Lighting, Puddle lamps. The optional colour was $795.00. Pricing came to a base MSRP $23,675 plus options $2,140. For a subtotal of $29,570, with fees and levies plus Freight & PDI $1,760.00 (Pre-delivery service & destination charges) finalized for a total MSRP of $31,512.

The interior design is edgy and well executed with soft-touch surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen. The cockpit is neatly laid out, with large analogue gauges for the speedometer and tachometer, and a central 4.2-inch configurable colour screen in mounted high up that operate the climate control system and entertainment functions. I would say it more of a comfortable two seater in the back than a tight three seater. There is 538 litres of cargo room behind the rear seats. The seats fold flat in a 60/40 split, and the rear hatch-like door opens nice and wide (As the dentist say!). Safety is excellent and comprises Toyota’s Safety Sense  with multiple airbags,  Pre-Collision System , Auto High Beam, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (full speed), and Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane

On the road, the C-HR is a comfortable, quiet and docile performer. It’s not a stand out hot –rod performer, the CVT transmission is not tuned for speed. However a sport mode option provides more throttle response. Handling is better though, with quick steering and good reflexes. The front seats afford good comfort on long drives. The ride is stable and well composed, and there is some agility in the handling when pushed. Not many issues to speak of it. Rear visibility is a pain, but you do get the backup camera as standard. Some hard plastics could be softer and would be nice to see some colored accents around the cabin to break up the black. I hope AWD becomes available at some point, or a hybrid option that available outside Canada. Fuel economy is good, with official totals of 8.7L/100 km and 7.5L/100 km in city and highway. The CH-R is well built and has the typical durability and solidness once expects from Toyota. To sum up if you like the styling, the C-HR offers a unique looking package that is well- tailored to young demographic looking for something that’s a little more edgy.

2019 Toyota CH-R: MRSP price: $23,675. Price as tested with options: $31.512 More info at www.toyota.ca