The all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR or, Coupe High-Rider as it is called by those in the know, arrives at dealerships this April. First shown in concept form at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the 2018 C-HR maintains the concept’s unique physique and will be available in two grades, XLE and XLE Premium, each equipped with a long list of standard features that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, bucket seating, and 7-inch audio display.
Toyota’s team of global designers expounded on the theme “Distinctive Diamond.” According to Toyota the gemstone evokes "universal notions of luxury, attractiveness, sophistication, and strength". From the get-go, they strived to sculpt an urban-dwelling crossover that would "effortlessly navigate tight city streets and stand out, with an agile, dynamic expressiveness".
Your own tastes will determine if you are a diamond type of person. Looking at the C-HR’s nose there are two slim projector-beam halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights (DRL) and auto-on/off activation wrap deep into its toned shoulders nearly all the way into the front quarter panels. Because of this, the vehicle looks wider but in fact, its dimensions, width (70.7 in.), height (61.6 in), length (171.2 in.), and wheelbase (103.9 in.), are described as compact and neat. Its front and rear tracks match that of Toyota’s sports car, 86, at 60.6 inches.
Deep, curvy character lines emerge from a prominent Toyota badge that’s flanked by the headlamps, and lead into the narrower core body. They run below the slender windows, and continue above the rear wheel where they marry to a high beltline and distinctive C-Pillar with hidden-type design door handle. Arches housing the “vortex-styled” 18-inch tall by 7-inch wide aluminum wheels and 225/50R-18 all-season tires accentuate the C-HR’s sturdy posture.
The rear is a balance of its elaborate lines and 3D shapes. The tail lamps protrude outward, and the hatchback outfitted with a lip spoiler and functional color-matched cantilevered wing tapers neatly inboard adding to the C-HR’s futuristic look.
Toyota’s aerodynamicists pulled no punches with the C-HR’s 0.34 coefficient of drag. Canards on the rear quarter panels, front and rear spats, a streamlined rear lower bumper, and stabilizing fins integrated into the taillights all manage critical airflow in and around the body. Underneath, a bevy of rigid covers on the engine, floor, fuel tank, and aft of the rear wheel cull turbulence, and in doing so, help enhance vehicle control and fuel efficiency. At the rear, its aerodynamic details continue: The lower arms of the double-wishbone suspension have a streamline edge.
The XLE Premium model expands on the XLE’s exterior traits with color-matched front and rear passenger door handles with touch-sensor lock and unlock capability, integrated front fog lights, plus, power side mirrors with turn signals, blind spot warning indicators, puddle lights with “Toyota C-HR” projection, and auto-folding functionality.
Available colors include Ruby Flare Pearl, Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, and Black Sand Pearl. Available all new-for-Toyota colors include Silver Knockout Metallic and Blue Eclipse Metallic.
For a bigger dose of individuality, the C-HR can be outfitted in R-Code, a special paintjob that pairs body color with a white-painted roof, side mirrors, and A-pillar for a truly custom look. Available pairings include Blue Eclipse Metallic R-Code, Ruby Flare Pearl R-Code, and Radiant Green Mica R-Code. Radiant Green Mica can only be had in R-Code configuration.
Open its doors and along with the soft-touch materials covering surfaces throughout, the diamond pattern influences the designs of the dual-zone climate controls, speaker surrounds, and black headliner above the front passengers. Passengers can easily converse thanks in large part to the acoustic noise-reducing front windshield.
The 7-inch audio display is positioned centrally atop the dash, rather than in it, so as to help reduce a driver’s eye movements. An informative twin-ring gauge cluster resides behind the leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel. The tilt/telescoping wheel, with its slender profile, small diameter, and compact center pad, is reminiscent of a sports car’s easy-to-grip helm. The satin-plated shift knob exudes a high-quality feeling, and once in-hand, has a solid shift movement. A bright 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display (MID) sits between the twin-ring cluster and shows odometer, SPORT and ECO modes, outside temperature, fuel economy and trip information, fuel economy history, G-force monitor, and much more.
The C-HR receives two Toyota-first features: Driver Distraction Secure Audio (DDSA) and Brake Hold Function. DDSA prevents certain multimedia menus from being selected while the vehicle is in motion by complying with NHTSA’s Driver Distraction Guidelines. Brake Hold Function is a convenience feature that maintains braking force at all four wheels to keep the vehicle stationary when at a full stop. As a result, the vehicle will remain still even if the driver reduces the pressure on the brake pedal. Once the driver depresses the accelerator, brake pressure will release, and the vehicle will move forward.
For extra cargo carrying versatility, the rear 60/40 seat can split and fold flat, and, when in an upright position, can easily accommodate child seats with its LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. Seatback lock releases are positioned at shoulder height, making it possible to fold seats without bending over. The rear seats are designed so that seatbelts do not interfere when folding the seats. As an added bonus in the cargo hold, a hidden storage compartment located in the sidewall stores small items, as do compartments below the deck board. Everything in the trunk is concealed by a standard cargo cover.
The newly developed MacPherson strut front suspension with SACHS dampers has angled strut bearings and a large diameter stabilizer bar to help the C-HR’s front end respond quickly and precisely at initial corner turn-in. And at the rear, an all-new double-wishbone suspension utilizes a 26-mm stabilizer bar and SACHS dampers with urethane upper supports, a first for Toyota. The material, together with an aluminum-cast upper support housing, aids in the dampers’ absorption efficiency, and therefore, greatly benefit passenger comfort, cabin quietness, and vehicle agility.
The C-HR also has a column-type Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. As is the case with other EPS systems, a tilt of the steering wheel will return light feedback at low speeds, and at higher speeds, drivers will notice stronger feedback for increased confidence while behind the wheel. The C-HR’s steering system’s feel, however, relies on a highly rigid rack-and-pinion steering gearbox that is installed directly to the front suspension. Braking is handled brilliantly by a pairing of 11.7-inch front ventilated discs with 11.1-inch rear solid discs.
The C-HR’s engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder dual-overhead cam producing 144 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 139 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm, sends all power to the front wheels via the Continuously Variable Transmission with intelligence and Shift mode (CVTi-S). The engine employs many of Toyota’s latest generation of technologies, including Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and Valvematic, both of which have received extensive optimization to enhance fuel economy and smooth operation. Valvematic offers a broader range of continuously variable valve timing (lift and phasing) to provide optimal intake valve (not on exhaust side) operation relative to engine demands. Furthermore, to reduce exhaust emissions, the catalyst is warmed earlier during the engine’s ignition cycle. Both models are expected to receive EPA-estimates of 27 city/31 highway/29 combined miles-per-gallon.
The all-new the CVTi-S received much attention by engineers and utilizes redesigned pulleys to enhance acceleration and fuel economy; a new belt structure to reduce cabin noise; and a coaxial two-port oil pump system that allows for continuous oil pressure modifications in various driving conditions. A Preload Differential helps to distribute torque between the left and right wheels during low-speed operation to make for easier, composed driving.
The Sport mode has a simulated 7-speed Sequential Shiftmatic. Engaging Sport mode via the MID increases the responsiveness of the throttle, quickens the CVT’s automatic artificial “step-up” shifts, and maintains high engine speed to enhance acceleration. The EPS’ feedback is weightier for a more confidence-inspiring feel. Pushing the gearshift over to the left while in Drive engages Sequential Shiftmatic, and lets drivers shift simulated gears at their convenience.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2018 C-HR will range from $22,500 for XLE to $24,350 XLE Premium.
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