Cue the 2018 C-HR crossover.
“The C-HR looks like nothing we’ve ever created,” says Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division, to automotive journalists who gathered at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. “It ushers in a new era of Toyota style.”
That’s true in more ways than one.
Immediately obvious is this Coupe-High Rider’s bold exterior lines. Deputy Chief Engineer Hiro Koba collaborated with a team of global designers, guided by the theme of an iconic diamond gemstone. The result is an urban-dwelling vehicle that’s sexy, muscular and distinctive.
But there’s more to this story than a flashy exterior. Less noticeable, but just as significant, are the C-HR’s engineering underpinnings, which build on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). That’s the same adaptable platform that gave rise to the latest generation Prius and 2018 Camry and will serve as the foundation for all Toyota vehicles going forward.
Still, it’s the C-HR’s exterior that creates that all-important positive first impression. The departure from the norm starts at its nose, where two slim projector-beam halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights wrap deep into the vehicle’s toned shoulders — nearly all the way into the front quarter panels. This makes the C-HR look wider than it is, promoting an aggressive and athletic stance.
Welcome to the 'MeZone'
Diamond-like accents can be found throughout the C-HR’s modern and spacious driver-centric interior. Examples include the designs of the dual-zone climate controls, speaker surrounds and black headliner above the front passenger seats.
Deep, curvy character lines merge into the narrower core body, then run below slender windows and above the rear wheels where they meet up with a high beltline and distinctive B-pillars with integrated door handles. In the rear, the tail lamps protrude outward and a lip spoiler and functional top wing taper neatly inboard.
Viewed in profile, you’ll see the diamond shape set on its side. Powerful fender arches housing the extra-large 18-inch aluminum wheels accentuate the C-HR’s sturdy posture.
On the inside, diamond-inspired accents abound throughout a modern and spacious driver-centric “MeZone.” Examples include the designs of the dual-zone climate controls, speaker surrounds and black headliner above the front passenger seats.
Koba took full advantage of TNGA to make sure the C-HR is just as much fun to drive as it is to look at. Critical components include its:
- 144-horsepower, 2.0-liter I4 engine with Variable Valve Timing and Valvematic
- Continuously variable automatic transmission with simulated 7-speed Sequential Shiftmatic
- MacPherson strut front and double-wishbone rear suspension
- Column-type Electronic Power Steering system
The C-HR will be offered in two well-equipped trim levels. Key XLE standard features include:
- Power fold and heated side mirrors
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror with backup camera
- Electric parking brake
- Dual-zone climate control
- 7-inch touchscreen audio system display
XLE Premium adds:
- Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Heated front seats
- Power lumbar driver’s seat
- Smart Key with Push Button Start
The clincher? Both models will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P. This multi-feature advanced safety suite bundles:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Automatic High Beams
- Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Hill-Start Assist Control
Simply put, the C-HR is the right vehicle at the right time. Fay predicts that, industry-wide, customers will purchase more than 1 million compact crossovers annually by 2020.
“The key to crafting ever-better vehicles is the passion we put into them,” Fay says. “They are proactive, not reactive. They are compelling machines that broaden our horizons and, in doing so, introduce us to new passionate buyers.”