For better or worse, the stylish 2018 Toyota C-HR still feels like a Scion
This boldly styled set of wheels is a 2018 Scion.
Forgive me for misspeaking, but the first time we met this vehicle, it was a Scion concept but since that brand's been dissolved, it's been absorbed into the main line.
However, the CHR keeps a lot of Scion's philosophy alive despite now wearing a Toyota badge.
Let's stop behind the wheel and I'll show you what I mean.
The CHR is powered by one of Toyota's two liter four cylinder engine making 144 horse power and around of 139 pound V8 torque.
Now that goes through a continuously variable transmission on it's way to the front wheels.
Now that's not a very impressive power train on paper, but in real life it's actually pretty punchy around town.
And more importantly it's pretty smooth under most circumstances.
That combined with the compliant but not too mushy suspension means that the CHR is actually a very comfortable and relaxed ride despite the very aggressive exterior design.
Now on the subject of that exterior, I'm a fan.
Seeing a little bit of Hyundai's Veloster in the design only a little bit taller and a lot less asymmetrical.
I'm a big fan of the really muscular and deeply cut exterior design and from most angles it's just a great looking car.
However, from some angles.
Is the very long front overhang and strong chin on this vehicle, it gets emphasized and the proportions sort of fall apart.
That said, it's basically a design that you either love or hate, and fortunately I come down on the side of loving it.
Now I mentioned that the CHR was destined to be a Scion, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the interior.
It's got a nice looking design but generally speaking everything feels kind of cheap, hollow, and economy car.
And in the dashboard we've got this seven inch display audio system straight out of Scion's part bins.
It's the only option that you get and it doesn't do a whole lot more aside from display the audio that you're currently playing.
There's not even a navigation system available.
We talk more about it in a separate video.
But let's just say that the best thing I can say about this system is that it uses a pretty standard-looking size, so at least it should be easy to yank out and replace with something better.
Now as disappointing as a dashboard tech is, I'm actually impressed since Toyota decided to make it safety since P technology standard on the CHR.
That means that out of the box we've got a deck of cruise control that can keep a safe distance between you and the car hit on the highway, automatic emergency braking that can prevent or at least reduce the severity of a collision.
And lane departure warnings and lane keeping Assisted Steering.
You can also adjust the sensitivity of those systems in an in-dash menu and you can make it as helpful or as annoying as you'd like.
Now, building on the lane departure warning system is Toyota's Driver Alertness Monitoring System.
It keeps track of how long you've been driving and how well you've been doing at staying between the lines.
And if you get outside of a certain parameter it'll make a suggestion that maybe it's time to pull over and take a break.
That's actually a very useful feature for young drivers who may not be experienced in knowing their limits when it comes to driving at night, or making long hauls.
I personally had to learn that lesson the hard way.
So this is really cool technology.
Now overall the CHR is a very interesting and interesting looking package.
It blends very bold styling with simple construction that, if nothing else, makes it easy to customize and upgrade along with Toyota's reputation for safety and reliability.
It's a pretty strong competitor in this new, very small SUV class.
And probably one of the best examples of the promises of the Scion brand, which makes me kinda happy this car survived, even if the name plate didn't.
The 2018 Toyota C-HR starts at 22,500 bucks, not a bad deal considering the performance and the amount of safety technology you're getting.
Now this fully loaded XLE model tips the scale at $25,000, adding nicer wheels, interior and exterior creature comforts and styling upgrades, as well as blind spot monitoring.
Not a whole lot of extra stuff but also not a whole lot of extra money.
Plus it leaves a little room in the budget to replace that car stereo with something a little better.