Lately, it seems many people are opting for larger passenger vehicles. A buddy of mine even offered this sage advice: “if it don’t seat at least five, then it don’t jive.” His mantra could steer potential buyers into large sedans or pickup trucks but there are choices that allow for five passengers in subcompact cars and CUVs.
Meet the 2018 Toyota C-HR. It can seat a basketball team – well maybe a high school team – and still park inside a compact-size space at the mall.
At first glance, the C-HR casts a striking look. The designers went out of the box with angular features not found on any of its other models. There is a rising window line, high stance, and some expressive lines, swoops, and accents.
The rear door handles are unique as they are positioned at the top of the door. But everything comes together to make an interesting and noticeable design.
The grill is minimal which showcases the front LED headlights. The hood seems to slope up to the roof which in itself stands out, especially on two-tone models. A white roof is an option you can get on three of the seven body colors.
The C-HR has one of the better cockpits among the variety of small hatchbacks and crossovers. Toyota calls the center pod of controls the MeZone. There is a 7-inch screen with switches and knobs that are easy to reach and use.
Like most other Toyota’s this car does not have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet, so you will have to connect a cord to the USB port or use Bluetooth to sync with your phone.
Every C-HR gets the full Toyota Safety Sense package of features, including automatic high-beams, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, and automatic emergency braking. Adaptive cruise control and a backup camera are standard.
The ride is smooth and the pickup is decent. A 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine makes 144 hp - not a lot but the C-HR is relatively light so it does feel like you have some power underneath you.
One thing that stood out when I first got in the car was a partial blind spot due to the rear door design. I did get used to it by utilizing the side mirrors to help see if anything is behind me on the sides.
Most everything comes standard on the base model C-HR which starts about $23,000. The only real option is to step up to the premium model. That gets you keyless entry and push-button start, heated seats, and a few more safety features for about $2,000 more. Still a decent price for a decent car.