American roads are becoming inundated with sport utility vehicles and crossovers. It makes sense, though. They are incredibly versatile vehicles that have a wide range of appeal to drivers. Everything from full-sized SUVs like the Suburban or Expedition to subcompact crossovers like the Trax or the 2019 Toyota C-HR have carved out niches for themselves with specific demographics. The appeal of a family sedan or wagon is waning in place of SUVs that offer far-reaching varieties.
Automotive evolution is nothing new. It has been around since the days of Karl Benz and Henry Ford. The cars and trucks they produced more than a century ago bear very little physical resemblance to the cars and trucks of today. The only real indicator that those long ago generations were even remotely related is the fact that they all have four tires. In that same way, we are seeing automobiles evolve in the 21st century, although now it is on a much faster scale. Where the SUV was once an anomaly, it is now the largest automotive market in the world.
With that inevitable evolution come crossover SUVs like the 2019 Toyota C-HR. “C-HR” stands for Coupe High-Rider, which itself seems like an oxymoron. And given that it has four doors and sits low to the ground, it is exactly that. What it is is a sleek and stylish crossover with an undeniable aesthetic appeal. The exterior boasts corners and angles that make it seem more at home on a planet other than Earth. It has eye-catching designs and head-turning qualities. It will certainly appeal to some drivers.
The 2019 Toyota C-HR comes in three trim levels – the LE, the XLE and the Limited. All three trim levels come with the same 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and front wheel drive. The trim levels don’t vary all that much, compared with other similar models in the subcompact crossover market. The real differences come in interior features, add-ons, and price.
True to Toyota’s history, the 2019 Toyota C-HR comes with a long list of available safety features. Along with six airbags and 4-wheel Antilock Brakes, this crossover comes with such helpful amenities as Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Warning, Electronic Stability Control, Cross-Traffic Alert and more. These safety features help keep the driver aware of his surroundings and keep the 2019 Toyota C-HR under control in certain situations. It also has a Rear View Camera to aid in seeing behind the vehicle.
As far as other interior comforts go, the 2019 Toyota C-HR is a little on the thin side. While the front seat is spacious enough, the back seat is a little tight. You can opt for heated leather bucket seats up front. And with 38.1 inches of headroom and 43.5 inches of leg room, it is certainly quite roomy. The back seat, however, only offers 31.7 inches of leg room. Additionally, the unique contours of the rear exterior limit the amount of hip and shoulder room rear passengers could enjoy. If you and your group of friends frequently carpool, perhaps your friend with the larger SUV should start doing more driving.
As far as cargo room goes, well, the 2019 Toyota C-HR is a subcompact crossover, after all. The rear cargo room only offers 19 cubic feet, which is only slightly larger than a sedan. The volume jumps up to 36.4 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. The interior nooks and crannies that hold so much of your valuable stuff from time to time are small and limited.
The creature comforts that so many people have come to enjoy from the modern automobile also seem to be lacking in the 2019 Toyota C-HR. You can opt for a premium stereo system, but you will have to go about listening to your favorite music or podcasts like you did in the Stone Age, circa 2005. It offers an MP3 player and auxiliary audio input, AM/FM stereo, and HD radio, but does not offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. You can still connect your smartphone up to the sound system and enjoy iTunes or Spotify through the auxiliary input or BlueTooth, but the smartphone integration is not even an option. The 2019 Toyota C-HR does not offer a Wi-Fi hotspot, either.
When it comes to what the 2019 Toyota C-HR offers under the hood, it is pretty standard for a subcompact crossover. It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 144 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. That isn’t much of an engine, in terms of sheer size and performance, but it suits this subcompact crossover just fine. It delivers fine acceleration and above average handling for a smooth ride. Perhaps best of all, it offers up to 31 miles per gallon fuel efficiency. That will certainly be a selling point for any vehicle, subcompact crossover or not.
Despite features such as Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control, the 2019 Toyota C-HR is very much meant to be kept on the streets. Even though it is a sport utility vehicle, it is ill-equipped to handle much off-roading. However, the target demographic for this type of vehicle does very little of that sort of extracurricular activity.
We mentioned earlier that the 2019 Toyota C-HR will appeal to some drivers. While it is impossible to really predict what any given age or demographic will really go for, the 2019 Toyota C-HR seems aimed at the millennial generation. It is a competent vehicle but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some other vehicles in its market. It offers some great advantages, such as safety features and easy maneuverability. It lacks in places such as cargo space and technological advancements.
The 2019 Toyota C-HR – Is This Compact SUV Right For You?
The 2019 Toyota C-HR is what it is. It is not pretentious or presumptive. It offers a quality Toyota vehicle aimed at a specific target audience. This car is actually quite perfect for a recent college graduate, for example. It is certainly not a family SUV, given the limited space. It is not meant for much utility, such as hauling or towing, given its small engine.
What it does offer the driver is good handling and great gas mileage, coupled with safety-conscious interior features. It gives an inner-city or suburban driver a great feel for the road while having enough unique exterior designs to offer aesthetic appeal. It isn’t too much, it isn’t too little.
With a starting MSRP of less than $21,000, it is great for someone just out of college, looking to reward himself for the degree and/or a new career. It will certainly not break your piggy bank, and there are the three trim levels to choose from. Each offers something worth looking at.
However, if you are looking for the best Toyota has to offer, the 2019 Toyota C-HR is not it. If you are looking for the best subcompact crossover in the class, the 2019 Toyota C-HR is not it. If you are looking for a sporty, affordable vehicle with ample safety features, agile maneuvering, a spacious front seat and a design that is unlike any other on the market, the 2019 Toyota C-HR might be right up your alley.