The Toyota C-HR has always been a bit of an anomaly in the automotive world. It’s a compact crossover that tries to stand out from the crowd with its unconventional design and sporty aspirations. But does it deliver on its promises? Let’s dive into the 2023 Toyota C-HR and find out.
First impressions can be deceptive, and that’s certainly the case with the C-HR. Its striking and edgy exterior design may raise eyebrows, but it’s the kind of attention-seeking that grows on you with time. It’s a breath of fresh air amongst a sea of cookie-cutter crossovers, and for that alone, I applaud Toyota. The angular lines, bold creases, and high-mounted rear door handles give it an aggressive and distinctive stance that demands attention.
Step inside, and the cabin follows a similar avant-garde theme. Toyota has clearly tried to inject a bit of youthful exuberance into the C-HR’s interior, but it’s a bit hit and miss. Sure, the diamond patterns on the seats and door panels add a touch of flair, but the abundance of hard plastic surfaces and the somewhat cluttered center console can’t help but remind you that this is still a budget-friendly crossover.
On the technology front, the C-HR does reasonably well. The eight-inch infotainment system is responsive and intuitive to use, and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, which is a welcoming addition. However, the lack of physical knobs and buttons can be frustrating for those who prefer tactile controls.
Now, let’s talk about how the C-HR drives. And let me be honest, this isn’t a car that you’ll buy for its performance credentials. Under the hood, you’ll find a rather lackluster 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a meager 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which, despite Toyota’s efforts to improve its characteristics, still leaves a lot to be desired.
Acceleration is lackadaisical at best, and the drone of the engine can become tiresome on longer journeys. However, the C-HR makes up for its shortcomings with competent handling and a comfortable ride quality. It’s nimble through corners, thanks to its compact dimensions, and the well-tuned suspension does a good job of ironing out potholes and bumps.
Safety-wise, the C-HR excels with a host of standard features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. Its crash test results have also been impressive, with the previous model earning top marks in various evaluations.
Ultimately, the 2023 Toyota C-HR is a car of compromises. It sacrifices performance for style, interior quality for edginess, and convenience for individuality. It won’t set your heart racing, but it will undoubtedly turn heads wherever it goes. If you’re in the market for a standout crossover that prioritizes design and safety, the C-HR is worth considering. Just don’t expect it to blow your socks off on the open road.