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Toyota C-HR: a slow SUV

Photo by Toyota

This crossover has attention-grabbing looks, but underwhelming performance.

The Toyota C-HR checks most—but not all—the boxes for a subcompact crossover. Its eye-catching sheet metal hints at a sporty demeanor. It corners without much body lean, the steering is sharp and nicely weighted, and the ride is generally comfortable. 

But this car is s-l-o-w—as in, 0-to-60 in 11 seconds slow—and noisy to boot. The engine groans under acceleration—thank the CVT for that—and too much road noise gets into the cabin. 

The C-HR’s cabin is nicely styled, and a suite of advanced safety features—including forward automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control—is standard, as are dual automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, a self-dimming rearview mirror, and 2 years/25,000 miles of complimentary maintenance. The C-HR also gets good gas mileage, and, given Toyota’s reputation for reliability, you’ll probably be able to pass it down to your grandkids.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there. Rear visibility is second-rate; the rearview camera display, in the left third of the rearview mirror, is next to useless; cargo space with the backseats folded is subpar; and the sharply sloping roofline makes it hard to get into the backseat. 

More disappointing is what’s MIA, even as options: power seats, AWD, a sunroof, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto—even a sunglasses holder and backseat clothes hook—making it seem like Toyota took this little ute out of the oven too soon.

Model years: 2018–2019
Vehicle layout: Subcompact SUV, 2.0-liter inline 4 (144 hp), CVT, FWD
MSRP: $21,990 (base), $30,000 (well-equipped)  
MPG, city/hwy/combined: 27/31/29
Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall. IIHS: good (all ratings except headlights)
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Spare tire: Compact temporary
Final assembly: Turkey

For more reviews, go to a no-hassle experience when purchasing a new or used vehicle with AAA’s free Car Buying Service. Go to or call (800) 709-7222.

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