Subcompact vehicles seem to keep growing in popularity, and for quite a few good reasons. With the expanding market in mind, Toyota introduced the C-HR for the 2018 model year. Thus, the 2019 Toyota C-HR marks the second year ever that the vehicle has been manufactured. Although there are still some elements that need refining (including its excessively slow acceleration), the C-HR is loaded with high-tech features for a pretty modest price.
What's New for 2019?
There have been a few significant changes made to the 2019 Toyota C-HR. Most notably, the line-up features two new trim levels, the base LE and the line-topping Limited. Toyota has also switched up some of the features that are available and added Apple CarPlay as a standard smartphone app integration. There is also a new factory navigation system that is optional on the Limited trim.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Toyota C-HR – The Pros
1. Unique Exterior Styling
The 2019 Toyota C-HR stands out the most in its class for how it looks on the outside. Its sloping roofline and swooping angles along the sides help to make the C-HR distinguishable from the rest of the pack. The front and rear fascia both have a sporty edge that is not typically seen in the hatchback segment, and the upward-slanted headlights and taillights also reflect this more aggressive and edgy styling.
2. Handling Feels Sporty
To add to the sporty look of the exterior, handling on the Toyota C-HR feels remarkably spunky. Although the engine (a 2.0-L 4-cylinder that generates 144 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque) lacks ample power and has low rolling resistance tires that do not give much feel for road grip, the C-HR is able to handle twists and turns with ease. Navigating a tight parking lot or crowded city street is made all the more enjoyable thanks to the C-HR's sporty handling.
3. The XLE Trim
If you're looking to get the most for your money, the mid-level XLE trim is the smartest bet among all three trim levels. This trim level hosts the numerous standard safety and technological features you get on the base trim (including an 8-inch touchscreen display, heated mirrors, and keyless entry) while adding a good deal more for a minimal price. The XLE gives you the addition of blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, upgraded 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, and a steering wheel clad in chic leather.
4. Comfortable Seating
Seating on the 2019 Toyota C-HR is nothing fancy since the front seats do not have power adjustment capabilities. However, they offer plenty of support and feel well-bolstered. Also, the rear seats are packed with comfort for passengers. The seats do not require any type of ventilation system since the cloth upholstery does a good enough job of cooling down on its own during those hot summer days. Overall, it is easy to enjoy riding around in any seat on the C-HR for hours at a time.
5. Climate Control is User-Friendly
The C-HR's dual-zone climate control system might seem basic, but it is just the right level of user-friendly for all drivers. The system is easy to figure out with simple controls and, once you have it on the setting you want, you probably will not feel a need to continuously readjust it. Air is distributed evenly throughout the cabin, and the system appears to function well all-around.
6. Superb Outward Visibility
Outward visibility on the 2019 Toyota C-HR is excellent due to both the thinness and the angles of the roof pillars in the front of the vehicle. Also, despite having rather chunky rear roof pillars, the rear windshield is so wide that these pillars do not at all obstruct the view for the driver. It is easy to see out of all sides of the vehicle, so backing out of parking spots should be a breeze, even though the small rearview monitor on the center console can provide a little bit of extra visual aid. But it is definitely not required that you look at the screen.
7. The Quality of Interior Materials
A lot of economy-priced hatchbacks have interior materials that are simply average in terms of their quality and do not really catch the eye. This is not true for the Toyota C-HR. The cloth upholstery looks and feels well-crafted, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel that you get on the XLE trim certainly boosts the feeling of luxury inside the cabin. The entire cabin feels well-designed and looks as though nothing will easily wear down and break over time.
8. Helpful Driver Aids Are Not Intrusive
One of the biggest issues newer vehicles are having with active driver aids is that they tend to be overly sensitive. On the 2019 Toyota C-HR, however, the driver assist features seem to be well-tuned to function only when necessary. Drivers should not experience any unnecessary warnings or alerts regarding a frontal collision. Additionally, adaptive cruise control seems to work exceptionally well at keeping the vehicle safe while on the road.
9. Apple CarPlay Now Comes Standard
Having Apple CarPlay come standard this year was a smart move on Toyota's part. Since smartphone app integration is rapidly becoming a standard feature in vehicles made by other auto manufacturers, it only makes sense that Apple CarPlay was added to the Toyota C-HR. This feature allows drivers to access the apps on their iPhones and sync them with their vehicle, making it easy to play favorite songs while on the go.
10. Excellent Safety Scores From IIHS and NHTSA
The 2019 Toyota C-HR has received excellent safety ratings from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). IIHS assigned "good" marks for all of the crash tests it conducted (side impact, roof strength, rear crash protection and head restraint, the IIHS small overlap front test, and the moderate overlap front test). The NHTSA gave the vehicle five out of five stars on everything but rollover, which received four out of five stars. No tip was found during the dynamic test, and the risk of a rollover was estimated to be 14.2 percent.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Toyota C-HR – The Cons
1. No All-wheel Drive Option Exists
Unlike quite a few of its hatchback competitors, the 2019 Toyota C-HR does not offer an all-wheel drive option. Giving the line-up this option could benefit sales, especially in regions where drivers often have to worry about sliding off in slick road conditions. This additional element of stability is something that Toyota will hopefully consider adding to the line-up in the future.
2. Cargo Space is Too Minimal
Cargo space is something you would expect to be fairly limited on a small crossover vehicle, but the C-HR's lack of cargo space puts it seriously behind its competition. With the rear seats in place, you only get 19 cubic feet of cargo space. This gets maxed out to 36.4 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. The way the cargo area is set up also feels a bit impractical, so do not expect that you will be able to successfully store awkwardly-shaped or bulky cargo in the back without experiencing something of a hassle.
3. A Noisy Cabin
Elevated amounts of noise from both the engine and the road seep their way into the poorly insulated cabin of the 2019 Toyota C-HR. Even when you are driving at well below highway speeds, you will hear a significant amount of wind noise. The higher you push the rpm, the louder the road noise will get. Also, road noise becomes much more intrusive while going over rugged road surfaces. There is an awkward rattling noise that drivers have reported hearing coming from somewhere in the back of the cabin, and the engine gets downright obnoxious the harder you try to accelerate.
4. Sluggish Acceleration
Speaking of acceleration, this is another huge pitfall on the C-HR that Toyota is going to need to consider revising in order to keep up with the competition. Hatchbacks typically are not a segment known for their speedy nature, but the C-HR is probably one of the slowest vehicles that you can find. In fact, it has been clocked going from 0 to 60 mph in 10.6 seconds, a time that even bulky trucks and SUVs are able to best with ease. The sluggishness is very noticeable, so you will not be able to make a lot of hasty moves in this vehicle.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Toyota C-HR vs. 2019 Honda HR-V
The 2019 Honda HR-V is not a little speed demon, but it can accelerate at a rate of about one second faster than the C-HR. Also, it is far roomier and offers exponentially more cargo space. There is also an all-wheel drive option available on the HR-V.
2019 Toyota C-HR vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3
The 2019 Mazda CX-3 also suffers from a diminished cargo space, and the rear seats are small. However, it can accelerate more quickly than the C-HR and offers an enjoyable driving performance that feels pretty refined.
The 2019 Toyota C-HR is a relatively new model, so there is a lot that the company still needs to tweak in order to get right. However, with its impressive safety ratings and features and its sporty handling, a few changes could really help the C-HR step up to the competition.
• Why buy a 2018 Toyota C-HR? w/ pros vs cons