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2020 Toyota C-HR Performance Review


Performance: 5.9

The 2020 Toyota C-HR provides sluggish acceleration, and its engine can be quite noisy when pressed for more power. That said, the C-HR rides comfortably over most road surfaces, and it feels responsive and agile around turns.

  • "It remains planted through corners and its steering transmits sensations from the road better than past Toyotas did. On the other hand, its meager horsepower and droning CVT sap much of that fun when it comes time to put the hammer down." -- Autotrader
  • "The C-HR is one of the slowest vehicles we've tested, taking a considerable 10.6 seconds to reach 60 mph. Acceleration is characterized by a long hesitation between a pedal stomp and any forward motion. This is true whether you're stopped or trying to pass slower traffic on the highway." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Although the 2-liter engine isn't overly powerful, the C-HR exhibits solid driving dynamics." -- CNET (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Toyota C-HR is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard.

This engine struggles to haul the C-HR up to speed, and it tends to drone loudly under hard acceleration. All this makes for an unpleasant driving experience. The sluggishness isn’t as noticeable in stop-and-go city driving, but the lack of power is immediately apparent on the highway and when climbing hills. Unlike most other vehicles in this segment, the C-HR is not available with all-wheel drive.

The C-HR gets an EPA-rated 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which are about average for the subcompact SUV class.

  • "The C-HR's four-cylinder could use a turbocharger or a supercharger—or even a big can of Red Bull—as it's incapable of hustling this crossover up to speed with anything approaching enthusiasm. In our testing, the C-HR was only able to muster an 11.0-second saunter from zero to 60 mph, and it is significantly slower than most of its rivals." -- Car and Driver
  • "There's no getting around it: The C-HR is slow. You really need to plan your moves in advance because there's a long delay before it starts moving. Once it's underway, acceleration is weak." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Acceleration is lackluster, and the whine of the CVT and wind noise (particularly around the side mirrors) can make the interior an annoying place on longer drives. On quick merges, even when the gas pedal is mashed to the floor, the lag time can prove a bit hairy. This isn't the vehicle that makes merging into quick moving traffic a pleasurable, nonpuckering experience." -- Autoweek (2018)

Handling and Braking

Despite the C-HR’s underpowered engine, it’s a smooth and composed SUV to drive. The C-HR is stable around turns, and the suspension comfortably soaks up most irregularities in the pavement. The steering is direct and responsive.

  • "Over bumps, the C-HR delivers a ride that is comfortable, but it isn't a standout in this segment. The suspension quickly rebounds after large road imperfections but hit a stretch of patched or broken pavement at speed and you're treated to a cacophony of noise; harsh bumps send reverberations throughout the cabin. The C-HR's steering feels accurate, and its front wheels respond directly to commands. Handling is lively, body roll is well controlled, and the C-HR feels playful from behind the wheel." -- Car and Driver
  • "We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the C-HR can be entertaining to drive on a twisty road, even with a not very powerful engine and a lack of grip from low-rolling-resistance tires. There's noticeable tire squeal under moderate cornering, and the tires really howl when pushed harder." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Comfortably firm around town and on the highway, the C-HR can carry a remarkable amount of its speed through a corner, with even a satisfying little bit of rotation from the rear. It's fun, complemented by solid brakes and steering that makes up for its lack of feel with linear response and good weight." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
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2020 Toyota C-HR

MSRP: $21,295 - $26,350

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