2019 Toyota C-HR Expert Review

4.4 Overall Score
Performance 4.3 Comfort 4.2 Styling 4.1 Value 4.2

Editor's Overview

The distinctively styled 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a new entry-level LE trim and a range-topping Limited model. Every version of this subcompact-crossover SUV has driver aids like forward-collision mitigation and intelligent cruise control, plus Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

You'll Like The 2019 Toyota C-HR If...

The C-HR isn’t for wallflowers. Beneath these individual lines, though, are a relatively spacious cabin and a well-tuned suspension.

You May Not Like The 2019 Toyota C-HR If...

Maybe you’re a wallflower. Or more likely someone who doesn’t relish quite so much attention. And you may want all-wheel drive. Either way, the C-HR probably won’t be the ideal choice.

What's New

Not only is Apple CarPlay smartphone integration now available, it is standard equipment as part of an infotainment system that has an 8-inch touch screen. Navigation is also offered, along with leather upholstery. Two new trim levels join the range, LE and Limited, slotting either side of last year’s XLE trim. Consequently, standard equipment has been reshuffled.

Interior Features

The cabin sports a design that’s less eye-catching than the outside, which is no bad thing. Just some diamond patterns on the dashboard, doors and headliner echo the C-HR’s extrovert vibe. The quality of materials is somewhat upscale, and occupant comfort is perfectly acceptable for longer trips. As we’ve mentioned, the cabin is relatively roomy, but the wide rear pillars mean having to lean forward to get a good view outside. These pillars are also a good argument to select a trim with blind-spot monitoring. Otherwise, outward vision is absolutely fine. Cargo space measures 19 cubic feet behind the rear seats, 36.4 when they’re folded. This first figure is okay, the second is below average.

Exterior Features

Everyone will have his own opinion on the 2019 CH-R’s outward appearance. It certainly seems “of the moment” with an abundance of angles and lines going this way and that. We’ll add that the styling works better (for us) in some colors (gray or silver, for example), but not so much in others. This also brings us to the R-Code option, which adds a white-painted roof and side mirrors. Each to his own. From a purely practical standpoint, the taillights protrude quite noticeably, making them more vulnerable to damage and a subsequent costly replacement.

Driving Impressions

There’s no kind way of putting it; the engine is underpowered. For a front-drive-only subcompact-crossover SUV, the 2019 C-HR is heavy at 3,300 pounds (the Honda HR-V, for example, is almost 400 pounds lighter). So this 144-horsepower unit struggles to keep a driver’s interest as it ambles up to freeway speeds, while the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) doesn’t make any positive contribution. That’s doubly sad because the chassis is clearly talented enough to handle some extra muscle. There’s a combination of suppleness and control reminiscent of expensive European cars. It can take bends with the kind of speed that would induce boring understeer in a more run-of-the-mill rival. A little easing off the throttle just at the point where the low-rolling-resistance tires start to chirp, and the shift in weight brings the tail around a little, tightening the cornering line. The cabin gets noisy in a hurry, though.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Toyota C-HR LE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $20,945. Add the $1,045 destination charge and we’re looking at $21,990. The XLE starts at $24,025 and the Limited is $27,045 before any of the few options. This pricing puts it in a similar ballpark as the Honda Fit, Jeep Renegade and Mazda CX-3, but noticeably above the Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Kona. Check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new C-HR. Regarding resale values, it's too early to tell, but Toyotas tend to be just as reliably strong in this area as they are in many others.

Notable Equipment

The introduction of an LE trim for the 2019 CH-R means a somewhat less well-equipped entry-level model than last year, but also at a lower price. The LE version still comes with those driver aids mentioned above, plus Apple CarPlay, LED daytime running lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera, self-dimming rearview mirror, and selectable driving modes. Not crazy about the 17-inch steel wheels, though. For 18-inch alloy wheels, go to the XLE trim, also adding a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry/ignition, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Limited brings leather upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, Wi-Fi, and a swishier infotainment system.

Notable Options

The XLE trim is eligible for the Limited’s upgraded infotainment setup. Limited trim can be ordered with navigation. And the R-Code option ($500) is applicable to the entire 2019 C-HR range.

Favorite Features

TOYOTA SAFETY SENSE-P

This array of safety features (aka TSS-P) includes forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, and full-range active cruise control. It’s standard in the 2019 C-HR. Some rivals don’t offer this much even as an option.

INTERIOR SPACE

The 2019 C-HR is based on the same platform as the all-new-for-2019 Toyota Camry midsize sedan, hence a surprisingly roomy interior. Even average-sized adult passengers in the back have sufficient accommodation for heads and legs.

Under the Hood

The sole engine for the 2019 C-HR is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder unit making 144 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. Not a turbocharger in sight. A CVT sends this meager muscle just to the front wheels. For all its crossover-SUV pretensions, the C-HR does not offer all-wheel drive. The silver lining in this mechanical cloud is fuel consumption of 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, but that’s not class-leading.

2.0-liter inline-4

144 horsepower @ 6,100 rpm

139 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/31 mpg

Editors' Notes

The 2019 Toyota C-HR moves into its second year of existence. Aimed at millennials who are spoiled for choice -- rivals include the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, Hyundai Kona and Nissan Kicks -- this subcompact-crossover SUV makes its case with distinctive styling and a chassis that’s more engaging than it actually needs to be. This new model year also fixes a few missteps that marred last year’s debut, which we’ll go into below in the “What’s New” section. Not offering all-wheel drive, however, remains a glaring omission. Not every millennial lives in year-round warm climates. Even so, there’s still Toyota’s excellent build quality and reliability to enjoy, along with a good amount of standard equipment, including several advanced safety features.

Road Test Video Reviews

2019 Toyota C-HR Owner Reviews

3.31
16 Reviews
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Needs more power gas mileage is funky

2019 Toyota C-HR LE

Owned it a week, a full tank reads 225 miles in range which does not add up to a 13 gallon fuel tank at 30 mpg. Basic math would suggest it get to 400 miles give or take a few. The power band is low, Add a turbo charger to this thing give it an extra 40-60 hp and you got a winner and competitor to the hot hatch market. I drive primarily in manual mode since I never liked automatics and want to feel in control of the car, which it does hold gears well enough to give that sensation. My complaint is the technology again gets in the way smoothing out the gear shifts and holds back the shift and revs to keep it a gentle steady upgrade. Corners, and over all handling is up there with the best of them. Draw backs on safety are the lane changing, which I turned off and the collision warning that I turned off after the first time it went off with no vehicle in front of me. I was just traveling faster than the flow of traffic. I hate cars smarter than me and prefer these features off. You need to go into the actual vehicles settings and find each of these modes to turn off and its not easy or clear on where to find them. Connecting your phone allows you to save your preferable drive modes. So when I drive it the car turns on in sport mode, safety features off and color and music volumes all set to me. When my mother gets in with her phone its set to eco automatic and all safety features on. Again its a setting in the menu you have to find and adjust. The tech and sound systems are a blessing, I immediately added a usb splitter and mounted it on the side of the center console, so now I plug my phone and my music in at the same time. All in all its a fun to drive daily, and as someone that grew up driving mark 4 supras evos, and stis. The power is the only real thing I am missing. I would suggest this to almost anyone unless you are looking for more space. Trunk is small unless back seats are folded down, and back seat leg room is small but manageable, I am 5'9 and 260 and fit comfortably in the back passenger seat.

- Mike

Great so far, awesome vehicle/concept

2019 Toyota C-HR xle

So far my wife and I have put almost 2000 miles on it in a little over 4 days. The Pro's: Slick/Sleek design, Not many I've seen on the road yet "which is a plus", the little features we keep finding out Everytime we drive it "From auto highbeams the touch handle open feature, and the tacky but cool Toyota Chr logo displayed on the ground from the mirrors, also the auto folding mirrors when you hit the lock button". I'm sure there are plenty more we will find out lol. I handles and drives great, the cabin noise is minimal at high speeds, the mpg on the freeway is also pretty good with an average of about 34 mpg with the AC on. Overall a great vehicle so far. The Cons: after about 4 hours into a long drive you can definitely feel the not so spacious interior, I'm sure that might vary per individual but that was a gripe of mine. At higher speeds if you have 1 or 2 windows open on just one side........forget it, your ears will be bleeding in no time lol, it's that cabin pressure noise in the ears. The transmission to me, the way it shifts early gears is confusing as it doesn't really shift if your going faster until like 4-5 thousand rpms. Also the safety features can be a hazard at times.... And yes I know they can be turned off. Overall great vehicle.

- David Doyle

2019 Toyota C-HR Limited is a incredible fun, sporty, high tech and APPLE CARPLAY - Wow!

2019 Toyota C-HR

I purchased the 2019 Toyota C-HR Limited Blizzard Pearl with Entune Plus that has Apple Carplay. The workmanship on the leather seats seriously gives my Range Rover a run for its money. Top notch detail inside. Its a 2.0L engine, some people say the 2018 _ CHR are sluggish? They are wrong, the CHR has a ECO mode, normal and SPORT. Flip it to sport and it takes off like a sports car. The assisted driver feature actually drives the car automatically except for steering and keeps a safe distance from the car in front of you. when the car stops in front of you the car will stop and resume automatically. prevents fender benders accidents and speeding tickets. WAY NICE! I have purchased the remote start for my iphone and loveit, i have all t he accessories you can get for it. My total cost with all accessories, paint guards LED interior lights, etc is about 31k, msrp withou the addons was 26k I LOVE THIS CAR! I wish Toyota would have considered the USA their first market for the CHR release, Europe has AWD and park assist and hybrid units. I hope to see this in the near future.

- Tyler Struve

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