2018 Toyota C-HR Review: This Compact SUV With Edgy Style Gets Attention

Toyota C-Hr Compact Suv
Side view of the 2018 Toyota C-HR at Deerfield Beach, FL. Photo credit: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

Who is the Toyota C-HR (Coupe High Rider) really for?

This is my second time driving the C-HR and I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked that question!

When I saw it for the first time I totally put it in a box and initially thought Millennials. However, after getting up close and personal with the vehicle, my mind changed pretty quickly.

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

The back of the 2018 Toyota C-HR at Deerfield Beach, FL. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

Millennials Don’t Get to Keep This One to Themselves

After a few days of driving the subcompact crossover, I revisited the question and can confidently say that I still stand by my initial thought, it is definitely perfect for millennials: college students and teens.

However, due to its eye-catching style, cutting-edge design, extremely reasonable price, and innovative technology, it is also great for sassy singles of any age, stylish and savvy couples, empty nesters who are looking to get their mojo back and first-time buyers. I know I am gonna sound cliché, but here goes, that is why we should “never judge a book by its cover.”

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

C-HR’s side mirror is where the blind spot monitors can be found Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

What It Costs:

  • XLE, which has sport wheels, sport, normal and eco drive modes, leather trimmed steering wheel, smart key entry and push start, built in WiFi, blind spot monitors and a live view rear view mirror, $22,550
  • XLE Premium, leather trimmed heated seats, and an enhanced Entune audio and app suite: $24,500

Further Reading: The Toyota C-HR puts tech and style right where you need it. 

Who This Car is For:

  • First time car buyers
  • Singles or couples of any age
  • Stylish buyers who want a stylish car
  • Buyers who need the flexibility of fold-flat back seats and cargo space
  • Buyers who want a crossover for its higher ground clearance
The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

The rearview camera image displays on the rearview mirror rather than on the touchscreen in the C-HR. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

A Rear View Camera… On the Rear View Mirror!

The touchscreen in the C-HR is only for media, not a backup camera. Toyota put the backup camera on the rear-view mirror which is pretty innovative. So when you put the vehicle in reverse, look in the rear-view mirror for a live view of what’s behind you. Additionally, when it comes to entertainment there is no satellite, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or navigation option, though this is all being added in the 2019 model. The 2019 model does include the basic radio and phone apps. However, I didn’t mind at all because it only took me a few seconds to sync my Bluetooth and all was right in the world again!

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

Empty Nester interested in purchasing the vehicle. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

I Couldn’t Take Her Anywhere…Without Being Stopped by Baby Boomers Asking Questions

I literally could not take this car anywhere! I was stopped at least once a day by people who loved the color, style or both. In addition to admiring the car, most wanted to actually get inside the vehicle! Yep, she is definitely an attention grabber. After day 5, I decided to start requesting to snap people’s pictures for proof!

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

The C-HR’s door handles. are set into the top of the door near the windows for a flush, modern look Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

2018 C-HR’s Color is Everything: 9 Gorgeous Options

The C-HR’ style starts with bold metallic colors flaked with a glimmer that gleam in the sun. The Radiant Green R-Code, which features a white roof, white side view mirrors, and black trim, that I drove looked perfect set against South Florida’s Art Deco and palm trees. But buyers have a wide choice: Silver Knockout Metallic, Blue Eclipse Metallic, Ruby Flare Pearl. , Black Sand Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic. Blizzard Pearl and the R-Code series: Radiant Green Mica R-Code, Ruby Flare Pearl R-Code, and Blue Eclipse Metallic R-Code.

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

Empty Nesters excited to take pics to be in the blog. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

A Little More About Toyota Safety Sense

The TSS features come standard on many new Toyotas including the C-HR. It is a bundle of active safety features at no additional cost, designed to help protect you and your passengers from harm. These features are simply amazing. They allow me to feel safer while driving. The pre-collision system with pedestrian detection is one of many that I found to put me at ease while on the road. This integrated camera and radar system are designed to help reduce the likelihood of colliding with a preceding car or pedestrian.

Just a few weeks ago, I got distracted by an accident on the other side of the road. Before I knew it, the car in front of me put on brakes. Thanks to the pre-collision system, the officers didn’t have to cross the street to assist with another accident.

Further Reading: Changing Careers: I quit my job and now I’m doing THIS

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

The 2018 Toyota C-HR and I hanging out in Downtown West Palm Beach, FL


The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel of the C-HR. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

Upgrade to XLE Premium For An Even Sportier Look and Feel

The XLE and XLE Premium trim levels provide pretty much the same standard equipment with no upgrade options. However, the features listed below are only available in the XLE Premium. And, it’s just a small upgrade in price.

  • Blind spot monitors
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Smart key system on front doors with push-button start, remote keyless entry system with lock, unlock and panic functions, and remote illuminated entry
  • Sport fabric-trimmed heated front bucket seats; 8-way adjustable driver’s seat with sport bolsters and power lumbar support; 6-way adjustable front passenger seat with sport bolsters
  • Red rear bumper garnish
  • Power side mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators, puddle lights with “Toyota C-HR” projection, and auto-folding feature
  • Outside hatchback door handle with touch-sensor lock/unlock feature
  • Front and passenger door handles with touch-sensor lock/unlock feature
  • Integrated fog lights

When it comes to the C-HR you are definitely coloring outside the lines, which in my opinion can be done by both the young and the young at heart!

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

Gear Shift. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

What We Loved

  • Very fuel-efficient 27 MPG highway, 31 MPG city. I drove 1.5 hours to Miami from home and back and the fuel needle hardly moved.
  • The Pedestrian Detection functions featuring forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
  • The striking color and bold exterior
  • Door handles high on the rear doors

Additionally, although there is a decent amount of legroom in both the front and back seats. People taller than 5’6 should probably sit in the front. I am just under 5’7 and as you can see in the picture below my knees were hitting the back of the seat.

The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

Me in the back seat of the Toyota C-HR. With the front seat set for me, I had just enough leg room. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

What you need to know about the 2018 Toyota C-HR

Outside of the striking style and pedigree performance, Toyota included State-of-the-Art-Safety technology and much more in this vehicle. Keep reading for details…

  • C-HR (Coupe-High Rider) comes available in two trim levels, XLE and XLE Premium.
  • Gets 27 mpg city, 31 mpg highway (29 Combined)
  • Received the NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) – A multi-feature advanced active safety suite that bundles Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection functions featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist function
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine
  • 144 horsepower
  • 139 pound-feet of torque
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
The 2018 Toyota C Hr Xle Premium

Truck space of the C-HR. Photo: Dawn Gibson-Thigpen

Disclosure: The vehicle was provided to me for testing purposes and editorial consideration. All opinions are 100% my own

Who Is The Toyota C-Hr Really For? I Thought This Stylish Compact Suv Was Just For Millennials. But Baby Boomers Who Stopped Me On The Street Disagreed.

Dawn is a sassy South Florida lifestyle influencer with a love for travel, music and stylish/sleek cars. Additionally, she... More about Dawn Thigpen