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Toyota’s team of global designers expounded on one theme: “Distinctive Diamond.” The iconic gemstone evokes universal notions of luxury, attractiveness, sophistication, and strength. Designers translated these traits into a physical form that’s collectively matchless, sexy, muscular, and edgy. 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.
At the C-HR’s nose, two slim projector-beam halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights wrap deep into its toned shoulders – nearly all the way into the front quarter panels. Because of this, the vehicle looks wider than it is, and possesses an assertive fascia that’s uncommon in the segment.
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 integrated door handle.
Look closely at the silhouette to see the clear resemblance of a diamond set on its side. Powerful arches housing the extra-large 18-inch aluminum wheels accentuate the C-HR’s sturdy posture and compact cabin.
The rear is a cohesive melding of its elaborate lines and 3D shapes. The tail lamps protrude outward, and the hatchback – outfitted with a lip spoiler and functional top wing – tapers neatly inboard, adding to the C-HR’s futuristic look, and, once more, surprising girth.
Opening a door reveals a modern, spacious, and uncluttered interior having a keen placement of diamond accents and a driver-centric “MeZONE” orientation. 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.
The slightly angled dashboard and amenity controls allows for the driver to have a clear view of the road ahead and intuitive access to instrumentation – a nod to the C-HR’s sports car influence. 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 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 sits between the twin-ring cluster.
Key XLE standard features include a premium leather steering wheel; power fold and heated mirrors; auto-dimming rearview mirror with backup camera; electric parking brake; and dual-zone climate control. The XLE Premium builds upon the XLE’s amenities and adds Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert; heated front seats; power lumbar driver’s seat; auto fold, heated side mirrors with puddle lamps that project “Toyota C-HR”; fog lamps; and Smart Key with Push Button Start. Both grades are equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display having AM/FM/HD Radio™, Aha™app, USB port and AUX jack, Bluetooth®, and Voice Recognition with voice training.
Bolstered bucket seats help keep passengers snug and comfortable, no matter their commute’s duration or dynamism. All passengers will appreciate the generous amount of small item storage space and cup holders. Designers used scalloped seatbacks, foot well cubbies carved below the front seats, and a chamfered headliner to create a spacious backseat environment. Sound insulating materials placed on the carpet, headliner, A-pillars, and door trim to help keep all unwanted noises out and the good conversations in. For extra cargo carrying versatility on weekend trips or errand runs, the rear 60/40 seat can split and fold flat.
The C-HR’s engine, a punchy 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 144 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, sends all power to the front wheels via continuously variable transmission (CVT). 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.
The all-new CVT 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 world’s-first 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.
Of course, drivers and passengers will appreciate the powertrain’s fuel efficiency, impressive smoothness, and quiet operation, but they’ll love Sport mode and the simulated 7-speed Sequential Shiftmatic. Engaging the 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.
No matter its grade, the C-HR comes equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense P™ (TSS-P). This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles cutting-edge active safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection function (PCS w/PD) featuring forward collision warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist function (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The C-HR is the only competitor in the segment to offer standard Full-Speed DRCC.
Complementing TSS-P are 10 standard airbags, standard Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and rear backup camera, as well as available Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which are only available on the XLE Premium grade.