Weekend Wheels: ’18 Toyota C-HR hits island roads
The Toyota C-HR 2018, the newest member of the automaker’s diverse family of vehicles, has debuted on Puerto Rico roads, where it seeks to appeal to urban youth and trendsetters who want a car that fits their style.
This media outlet got the opportunity to test-drive the sleek and versatile crossover vehicle, learning first-hand about its long list of standard premium characteristics.
At first glance, the C-HR — which stands for Coupe High-Rider — is bold, with stylish lines and sharp features that represent the happiest of marriages between a sedan and an SUV. The car features an avant-garde physique, a modern, comfortable cabin, and fuel-efficient engine.
The C-HR is available in two grades, XLE and XLE Premium, each equipped with standard features that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, bucket seating, and 7-inch audio display.
But, the C-HR doesn’t only look great – it’s got the sportiness to impress, while blending comfort, control, consistency, and responsiveness.
“The range of Toyota models continues to grow to meet the tastes of customers, which is constantly evolving. With C-HR we enrich the crossover segment with our legacy of innovation,” said Maribel Bengoa, marketing manager of Toyota of Puerto Rico, distributor of the brand on the island.
“This is a popular category among consumers because of the versatility and dynamism of the models. C-HR raises the standards in all lines, in specific design, performance, quality, durability, safety and bang for your buck,” she said.
Taking inspiration from the shape and attributes of a diamond — a symbol of luxury, attraction, sophistication and strength — Toyota’s design team filled C-HR with a look that expresses sporty agility and dynamism.
Its deep lines and curves highlight a narrower body that looks stronger. Its silhouette evokes the side cuts of a diamond and its arches harbor extra large rubber with 18-inch aluminum rings, accentuating the robust stance and compact C-HR cabin.
Exterior color options are aplenty for C-HR; available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl, Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, and Black Sand Pearl.
Under the hood, the Toyota C-HR 2018 features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 144 horsepower. The engine employs many of Toyota’s latest generation of technologies, including Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and Valvematic, both of which have received extensive optimization to enhance fuel economy and smooth operation.
Both models are expected to receive EPA-estimates of 27 city/31 highway/29 combined miles-per-gallon. Its fuel efficient ways were evident during our trip from one end of the island’s northern coast to the other.
Inside, C-HR boasts a modern and spacious space. The slightly angled dashboard and all its controls allow the driver to have a clear view of the road. The steering wheel, with its slim profile, small size and compact in the center, refers to the rudders of sports cars. Sound insulation materials on the carpet, roof and front pillars, and a upholstery on the doors help keep unwanted noises out.
Both models are equipped with a six-speaker AM/FM/HD Radio, USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control, AUX audio jack, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and Voice Recognition with voice training.
Another feature that draws the eye is the vehicle’s cargo space. While initially it may seem rather small, once the rear 60/40 seat is split and folded flat, the trunk becomes significantly bigger. As an added bonus in the cargo hold, a hidden storage compartment located in the sidewall stores small items, as do compartments below the deck board. A standard cargo cover conceals everything in the trunk.
For all of its sportiness, the C-HR’s ride quality is well-sorted, civilized, and highly capable in absorbing the nastiest of untidy pavement. In the end, the C-HR happily finds itself at home on congested boulevards as it does on serpentine roads.
The C-HR comes equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense P, and it is anticipated to be the only vehicle in its segment with standard Pre-Collision System with Active Braking. It is also expected to be the only vehicle in the compact crossover market with Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control as standard equipment.
Expectations for Toyota C-HR are high. Toyota’s goal is to reach 1,500 units sold by the end of the year in Puerto Rico, with a view to sustain its market share of 32 percent.
“We’re confident in the success of C-HR for its versatility in the urban environment and also for its striking design, which is far from what the public expects from Toyota. Of course, its quality of handling and range of features and attributes is not comparable in its segment,” said Bengoa.