With the death of Scion (RIP), Toyota needed to make a change to its growing lineup. The tC and xB would go the way of the dodo, while the iA and iM would be rebadged and rebranded. But most importantly, the C-HR CUV concept we saw at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show would now find a forever home under its parent marque. After much anticipation, the production-version of that car is finally here – and it looks great.
Making its U.S. debut at the 2016 L.A. Auto Show, the 2018 C-HR – which stands for “Coupe – High Rider” – shares a number of cues with the original concept. Most notably the flared fenders and the sleek front end. What it loses from concept to production, though, it makes up for in usability.
Riding on the Toyota New Global Architecture, it shares its bones with the new Prius, and can be configured in either front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive. Specifically, the C-HR uses the former and the latter (though we wish a rear-wheel-drive option was available). Available in XLE and XLE Premium at launch, the trims will come with features like 18-inch alloys, sport bucket seats, and a seven-inch audio display.
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Power comes courtesy of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a CVT, pumping out a respectable 144 horsepower (107 kilowatts) and 140 pound-feet (189 Newton-meters) of torque. Though no fuel economy figures have been given, the engine utilizes Variable Valve Timing, which is said to enhance fuel economy and overall operation. Eventually we'll see a hybrid version added to the lineup.
At 171.2-inches (4,348-millimeters) long, 70.7-inches (1,795-millimeters) wide, and 61.6-inches (1,564-millimeters) tall, it balloons past the Nissan Juke – but only slightly – and sits underneath the larger Rav4. The enhanced exterior gives way to a more spacious interior, which includes a set of rear seats that fold flat, and what Toyota calls a driver-centric “MeZone.” Soft-touch features and sports car influence gives the C-HR a more premium feel.
Featuring Toyota's Safety Sense technology, systems like pre-collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking come standard. Opt for the XLE Premium trim, and that also includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
The C-HR is expected to go on sale early in 2017. No word on U.S. pricing, but the C-HR starts at £26,495 ($32,960) in the U.K. for front-wheel drive, and increases to £27,995 ($34,830) with the all-wheel-drive option ticked.
Photos: Nathan Leach-Proffer / Motor1.com