2018 Toyota C-HR

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MSRP: $22,500 - 24,350

2018 Toyota C-HR Review

The all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR tries to make a statement in the large, competitive subcompact SUV class, but it falters. Its feeble acceleration, cramped rear seats, and lack of smartphone integration technology place it near the bottom of our rankings.




Critics' Rating: 6.2
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 5.8
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Generous list of standard safety features
  • Comfortable handling
  • Great predicted reliability rating
  • Limited smartphone integration tech
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Plastics-heavy interior

Is the Toyota C-HR a Good SUV?

Toyota prides itself on delivering vehicles with a focus on safety. The Toyota C-HR continues this tradition with its long list of standard safety features. However, it doesn't offer common tech like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and hard plastics fill its interior. The C-HR's power output is lacking, but handling is adequate. Overall, it doesn't live up to rivals' standards.

Should I Buy the Toyota C-HR?

The C-HR has a high starting price, and it’s hard to justify the extra cost. This SUV might have a long list of standard safety features, but that's not enough to recommend it over its competitors. The Kia Niro and Honda HR-V are much better alternatives that offer comparable features for around the same price or less.

Compare the C-HR, Niro, and HR-V »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota C-HR?

The C-HR is brand new for 2018, so there are no previous model years to choose from.

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

We researched and analyzed 15 professional reviews and combined that analysis with information like performance specs, available safety features, gas mileage estimates, and much more to create our comprehensive 2018 Toyota C-HR review.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been analyzing and ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our autos team brings decades of combined industry experience to the table. To maintain our objectivity, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and an outside party handles all advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota C-HR Cost?

The 2018 Toyota C-HR comes in XLE and XLE Premium trims. The base XLE starts at $22,500, which is more expensive than many of its subcompact SUV rivals. It comes with a generous list of standard active safety features (including pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control) that many of its rivals don't match. The XLE Premium trim starts at $24,350. For a closer look at each trim level and its standard and optional features, take a look at the “Which Toyota C-HR Model Is Right for Me?” section below.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota C-HR Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota C-HR or Kia Niro?

The Kia Niro is a brand-new hybrid SUV that starts at $22,890, only about $400 more than the C-HR. The Niro’s fuel costs only amount to $700 per year, with outstanding EPA ratings of 51 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. The C-HR lags behind with 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is about $1,300 in annual fuel costs. While the Niro has good acceleration from a stop, the C-HR's is dreadfully slow. Unlike the C-HR, the Niro comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Niro is the better SUV.

Which Is Better: Toyota C-HR or Honda HR-V?

The Honda HR-V starts at around $2,900 less than the C-HR and has roomier rear seats. With its standard second-row Magic Seat, the HR-V has 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space. In comparison, the C-HR has only 36.4 cubic feet. This Honda's front-seat cushions are a little too firm, but handling is smooth. While the C-HR's interior is filled with cheap plastics, the HR-V has a much nicer cabin. Both SUVs have lackluster acceleration and minimal smartphone integration, but the HR-V is the superior option.

Which Is Better: Toyota C-HR or Toyota RAV4?

The Toyota RAV4 is a part of the compact SUV class, and as such is a larger vehicle. Its starting price is about $2,400 more than the C-HR's. Both SUVs have a plastics-heavy interior and lackadaisical acceleration. Their list of standard safety features is extensive and includes adaptive cruise control and pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection. The RAV4 has an easy-to-use infotainment system, which isn't the case for the C-HR. Additionally, advanced voice recognition and smartphone integration are available with the RAV4 but not the C-HR. To top it off, the RAV4 has much more cargo and passenger space than its smaller sibling. The RAV4 is the better investment.

Compare the C-HR, HR-V, and RAV4 »

C-HR Interior

How Many People Does the C-HR Seat?

The 2018 C-HR seats five. Standard features include cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Available features include heated seats and an eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support.

The front seats are comfortable and provide plenty of legroom and headroom. The back seats, however, are a different story. The C-HR is a five-seater, but it only seats four comfortably. If the front seats are pushed back even slightly, back-seat passengers will be cramped. Headroom in the back is OK, but the C-HR's sloping roofline encroaches a bit. Passengers in the back may feel a little claustrophobic because the rear windows are pushed forward toward the front seats, which doesn't give back-seat passengers much outward visibility. Additionally, the C-HR's roof pillars create a rear-corner blind spot for the driver. Fortunately, the seats are comfortable.

C-HR and Car Seats

The C-HR has two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't yet evaluated them for ease of use.

C-HR Interior Quality

The 2018 Toyota C-HR's cabin materials are typical for an SUV in this price range. There are hard plastics throughout the cabin, but glossy finishes dress them up a bit and add style. However, the seat's black-on-black color scheme – the only one offered – leaves the cabin feeling dark and bland. Additionally, wind and engine noise make the cabin quite noisy.

C-HR Cargo Space

The C-HR has 19 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 36.4 cubic feet with them folded. This is a bit larger than the class average. The Kia Niro gives you a little more room. The Niro has about the same trunk space, but fold down its rear seats and you get a spacious 54.5 cubic feet. If you need cavernous cargo space, however, step up to Toyota's compact SUV, the RAV4, which gives you 38.4 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and 73.4 cubic feet with them folded.

The C-HR comes standard with 60/40 split-folding rear seats that fold flat. This, along with the wide opening, makes it easy to load and store cargo. Additional storage space is available under the cargo floor, and there are plenty of places throughout the cabin to store smaller items.

C-HR Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The C-HR comes standard with power and heated side mirrors, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition. Available features include a push-button start and proximity key.

When it comes to infotainment and technology, the C-HR lags behind its competitors. It doesn't come with common smartphone integration tech (such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) like many rivals do. Navigation isn't available either. The touch screen looks outdated with dull graphics, and many functions are carried out through repetitive steps. Additionally, the standard rearview camera is displayed in the rearview mirror, giving you a smaller-than-desired view of what's behind you. On the plus side, all of the controls are easy to reach.

Read more about interior »

C-HR Performance

C-HR Engine: A Letdown

The 2018 Toyota C-HR comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 144 horsepower. It comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which functions like an automatic. No other engines are available.

The C-HR's performance is fine for everyday driving in crowded city streets or around town, but you definitely shouldn't expect the peppiness found in the base engine of the Toyota Camry. Acceleration is lackluster and very slow pulling away from a stop, and it takes a while to pass vehicles on the highway. Additionally, the C-HR falls victim to the telltale whine and drone of a CVT.

C-HR Gas Mileage

The 2018 C-HR gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. With a CVT (a type of automatic transmission), class rival Honda HR-V earns 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway and costs about $1,350 annually to fuel. The Kia Niro is a hybrid that gets 51/46 mpg city/highway. It will cost you only $700 annually to fuel.

C-HR Ride and Handling: Better Handling

The C-HR comes standard with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is not available. The C-HR's handling helps to make up for its disappointing acceleration. It has well-weighted steering, giving good feedback with every turn. The C-HR has a comfortable and pleasant ride, driving over bumps with ease. It takes corners with confidence and has little body lean.

Read more about performance »

C-HR Reliability

Is the Toyota C-HR Reliable?

The 2018 Toyota C-HR has one of the highest predicted reliability ratings in the class: a 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power. The Buick Encore is the only rival that matches this score.

Toyota C-HR Warranty

Toyota covers the 2018 C-HR with a three-year/36,000-mile new car limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. This isn't as good as the Kia Niro's five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

C-HR Safety

C-HR Crash Test Results

The 2018 C-HR has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it four stars in frontal and rollover crash tests, five stars in side crash tests, and a five-star overall rating. The Toyota RAV4 has the IIHS' top score of Good in all crashworthiness categories and a top score of Superior in front crash prevention. It's also an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ for 2017.

C-HR Safety Features

The 2018 Toyota C-HR comes standard with a long list of safety features, including the Toyota Safety Sense suite, which includes pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. A rearview camera and hill-start assist are also standard. Available safety features include rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. A rearview camera is the only advanced safety feature that's standard in both the Kia Niro and and Honda HR-V. However, the HR-V doesn't offer many of the C-HR's standard safety features, even as options.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota C-HR Model Is Right for Me?

The C-HR comes in two trims: XLE and XLE Premium. The premium trim doesn't add much value for the almost $2,000 price difference, as it only adds things like heated front seats and a push-button start.

Toyota C-HR XLE

The base XLE trim starts at $22,500. It comes standard with cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power and heated side mirrors, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition. Also standard is Toyota Safety Sense, which includes pre-collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

The XLE Premium starts at $24,350. It comes with base features and adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, heated front seats, an eight-way manually adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support, push-button start, and a proximity key.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2018 Toyota C-HR specs and trims »

The Final Call

The all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR stands out for its long list of standard safety features and excellent predicted reliability score. However, for its above-class-average price ($22,500), you'd think it would offer more. The C-HR lacks the smartphone integration technology that many rivals offer, and it features a plastics-heavy interior. It has unimpressive acceleration, and its infotainment system is burdensome to use. Thankfully, it handles well, with responsive steering and little body lean. Still, rivals like the Kia Niro and Honda HR-V are superior subcompact SUVs that you should consider.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Overall, the C-HR is a funky little car – I still hesitate to call it a crossover – but even with the newness and novelty factor, the Kia Soul has it beat in the front-wheel-drive pseudo-crossover department, and almost every other competitor in the segment could be recommended over the C-HR just for offering all-wheel-drive, not to mention superior tech features. Toyota's representatives were keen to put the blame of eschewing AWD on the fact that this was originally supposed to be a Scion, and therefore as cheap and cost-efficient as possible, but that's simply not good enough, because if Scion were still around and were the ones launching the C-HR, I'd still have the same complaint." -- New York Daily News
  • "The 2018 Toyota C-HR is a bit of a contradiction. It seeks to appeal to younger buyers with futuristic rally-racer styling, but it's missing the smartphone integration millennials demand. It was tuned on the Nurburgring, but it's slow and passionless to drive. It carries all the disadvantages of a coupe body style and little of the functionality of a crossover. It is, however, an excellent value and will function very well for city dwellers who aren't road warriors. The C-HR is trapped between two missions—trying to be a sports car and a rolling smartphone at the same time—and it achieves neither. At its heart, it's the Corolla of crossovers, and for a lot of folks, there's nothing wrong with that." -- Motor Trend
  • "Although it injects a dose of eye-popping style into Toyota's otherwise sleepy lineup and offers an impressive list of standard safety features, major driving and multimedia shortcomings stand out." -- Cars.com
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