Toyota C-HR panders to millenials, and that’s ok
The rise of the subcompact disguised as a crossover
The trend has been for car companies to discontinue their subcompact models and introduce a pricier ‘crossover’ which is really the same size as their former subcompact offering. It’s a weird trend, but the automotive buying public either hasn’t or doesn’t want to protest it yet. So here we are with yet another small car, a subcompact really, that is branded as a crossover. What exactly this subcompact has crossed over into, we’re really not sure.
These smaller crossovers tend to have really bad rear and side visibility. That’s generally why they have so many safety and driver-assist features. Personally, my preference would be to have proper visibility out of the car with my actual eyes.
There are 30 year old urbanites who wouldn’t be able to afford the higher trim levels of this car.
The Toyota C-HR
There is definitely a need for the subcompact in today’s auto market. They’re often first cars for students, commuters, and for less frequent and older drivers who may still want to own a car but aren’t going to be using it a lot.
With the trend towards Uber and Lyft, millennials have not been as passionate about car driving as other generations. Their smaller spaces and less parking availability in urban areas tend to dictate their purchases towards smaller vehicles. The Toyota C-HR is marketed specifically towards these millennials.
It’s marketed as a crossover, and while not actually a crossover, it does have a hatchback and extremely small back windows. Most people would be loathe to sit back there. There is a serious dearth of affordable subcompact cars and this is exactly what’s needed. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t bring in the base price cheaper to be affordable for their target market.
Millennials can’t afford to buy homes or save retirement funds. Whoever thought a base price of over $20,000 for essentially a two-seater would be a great idea is probably inching closer and closer towards unemployment as you read this.
The Toyota CHR is another urban youth-oriented vehicle, which there is definitely a need of. While the price is wrong, the looks are good for a crossover/subcompact car disguised as a crossover. What about the specs?
The Toyota C-HR comes in a lot of colors and combinations which is great.
The base model gets great mileage of 27MPG city, 31MPG highway. The base model comes front-wheel-drive with a 2.0L 4-cylinder outputting 121hp. 121hp is pretty sub-optimal in an automatic car but this is meant to be an urban get around car so it may not be as noticeable to their target market.
The Toyota C-HR is another urban youth-oriented vehicle, which there is definitely a need of. The price is wrong but the looks are good for a crossover/subcompact car disguised as a crossover.
Reviewers generally have the same common thoughts of the Toyota C-HR. The back seat and lack of cargo space can be quite tight. It’s really meant as a two-seater with the backseats for convenient storage that the trunk doesn’t have. NO one wants to be riding in that back seat. The C-HR also suffers from sluggish acceleration. The good news is that it is available in a manual transmission, and this can make quite the difference on the acceleration front. Manual transmission is highly suggested in the Toyota C-HR. It’s not available on the higher trim levels, but if you can afford the higher price points just buy a different subcompact with higher horsepower and better acceleration.
Onto the good, the Toyota C-HR does boast nice stylish looks, safety and tech features, decent ride, and handling. It’s also projected to be reliable.
Overall it’s a decent starter or city car, but you could not pay most people enough to contemplate getting into the backseat of this thing. It’s more a two-seater with ‘open storage’. Manual transmission is definitely recommended. If you’re able to afford a higher trim model that doesn’t offer manual transmission, there is better bang for your buck available elsewhere.
If you can afford the higher price points just buy a different subcompact with higher horsepower and better acceleration.
A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:
Find out why your check engine light may have come on.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a beast. Find out why.