Reviews

2018 Toyota C-HR Walk Around


Considerably bigger than it appears, the C-HR is dominated by a collection of expressive body lines, joined by swooping curves, slits, and accents. Working together, complemented by a high stance, they form an extroverted design that’s far more noticeable than most smaller crossovers and hatchbacks. Not everyone will applaud the design, but it is distinctive. Toyota isn’t known for risky design, but over the years, distinctive designs that excite some and offend others are often more successful than bland designs that no one notices.

Viewed from the side, the overall effect has even been described as skeletal. Rear door handles are concealed within the pillars, which turn upward at the tall back end. A rising window line, below the sloping roof, emulates the look of a two-door coupe.

What might be termed cat-eye headlights flow into front fenders, wrapping snugly into each wheel well. Standard 18-inch wheels actually look a bit small. Dubbed R-Code, the white-roof option is offered only for certain body colors.

Interior

Compared to other small crossovers and hatchbacks, the C-HR’s cabin scores highly. Quite spacious inside, front and back, Toyota’s C-HR is wider than might be expected.

Suggesting its appeal to youthful buyers, Toyota calls the central control pod the MeZone. Controls for the 7.0-inch touchscreen blend with stylish-looking knobs and switches. Qualifying as a design theme, diamond shapes turn up in various locations, including the headliner fabric. Diamond patterns are even molded into the plastic lower door panels.

One feature that’s absent is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Occupants get ample headroom all around, due partly to the C-HR’s high-riding stance. Six-footers shouldn’t have a problem with head clearance. Sitting rather high, rear riders can expect abundant foot space, a wide bench, and comfortably upright position. Unlike many smaller crossovers and hatchbacks, three adults can actually fit on the back seat without undue discomfort.

Though well-bolstered and comfortable, front seats are lower than expected in a relatively tall compact vehicle. A long-legged driver might consider the front cushions a bit short.

Storage bins and trays are plentiful, but cargo space doesn’t match the passenger roominess. Split back seats fold to form a flat load floor, but it’s curiously high, impeding easy loading. Cargo volume is a so-so 19 cubic feet with the rear seatback upright, growing to a modest 32.4 cubic feet when it’s folded.

The materials in the all-black cabin are of average quality. Soft-touch surfaces are scattered around, but hard plastic remains in a number of areas. The nylon cargo cover seems quite flimsy, compared to the vinyl covers installed in rival models.

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