2018 Toyota C-HR

2018 Toyota C-HR

Episode 3644
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The upside of the Scion brand’s demise is that things are getting a little more exciting at corporate parent Toyota. This re-branded C-HR, or coupe high rider, gives Toyota a much-needed entry into the subcompact utility category, and one with looks that are quite out there. But, does C-HR also deliver meaningful utility, or is it all about funky style?    

First things first, the 2018 Toyota C-HR does indeed give Toyota another entry into what is the fastest growing vehicle choice today, utility vehicles. It slides under the Rav4 in their car-based crossover lineup. First revealed in concept form at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the CH-R also indicates a bolder direction in overall Toyota design.

The production model clearly resembles that concept, but is far from an exact copy. The front end sets a very confident tone; while deep-cut body lines point towards the C-pillars, where there’s both a floating roof design and high-mounted door handles.

From there, an almost horizontal back glass leads to a hacked-off rear with its own aggressive lines. Wheelbase is less than an inch shorter than the RAV4, yet there’s over a foot difference in overall length. 18-inch alloys and 50-Series tires are standard. 

There are plenty of aero treatments that the kid’s love these days, including diffuser, spoiler, wheel spats, and even “vortex generators”. 

Those high-mounted door handles actually work great. But, do yourself a favor and skip the white roof option; unless you’re going for the taxicab look. 

No all-wheel-drive for now, front-wheel-drive only. No factory turbo either, as those front wheels get power from a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 good for 144–horsepower and 139 lb-ft. of torque. Toyota is leaving it to the aftermarket to add more.

Unfortunately,  it’s CVT only for tranny duties. 

But not so fast; that CVT does a good job of delivering the moderate power smoothly, and CVT-induced engine noise is relatively minor here, as is noise in general.

It’s also has a very solid feeling for a small ute, riding on the Toyota Prius’ recently updated New Global Architecture chassis. Handling is quite good, as it remains very flat in corners, urging you to push it harder than you probably should; though there’s not enough power here for you to really get yourself into too much trouble. 

Through the rolling Hill Country around Austin, Texas, we found steering to be very quick, with good feedback through the wheel, as well as through the brake pedal. 

Things are very sporty in both look and feel inside, with a hip Scion-like touchscreen audio display, but no Satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto.

Likewise, gauges are more Scion than Toyota; with a 4.2-inch TFT multi-instrument display that gives lots of info including a G-Force monitor.

Front seat space is plentiful and are sufficiently comfortable. All controls are within easy reach. Rear seats are claustrophobic. Not a lot of space, and very little window to see out of; though there are belts for 3 back here.  

Like many sub-compact crossovers, cargo space is just adequate; 19.0 cubic-ft. puts it slightly under the Honda HR-V, but much higher than the Mazda CX-3. Folding the seatbacks takes it to more acceptable 36.4 cubic-ft. 

Now, as for what this Coupe High Rider crossover is not; well, despite its slick shape, it’s not a coupe, more of a 5-door hatchback.  And it doesn’t ride overly high either, with just 5.9-inches of ground clearance. And it’s certainly not a traditional crossover without all-wheel-drive.  So what’s left?  A lot of target marketing and a respectable amount of fun. 

No skimping on safety features however. Toyota’s unfortunately-named Safety Sense P, with Pre-Collision System and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, is standard, as are 10-airbags. 

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 27-City, 31-Highway, and 29-Combined. For a better than average Energy Impact Score of 11.4-barrels of yearly oil use with 5.0-tons of CO2 emitted. 

As for the sticker prices? Base XLE trim starts at $23,460; XLE Premium, at $25,310. That puts it above the Mazda3, Honda HR-V, and Nissan Juke; however, both models are very well equipped, and without options to hike that price up further.

In today’s “multi-culti” world, where we try to combine the best attributes of all cultures; the 2018 Toyota C-HR tries to put crossover practicality into a conglomeration with youthful style and peppy performance; and for the most part succeeds very well. 

 

But still, it’s a form over function piece that much like the Nissan Juke, will appeal mostly to city-dwelling urban adventurers who need an easy to park ride with more flexibility than the typical compact.  But, even without all-wheel-drive, that may be enough to give the Scion faithful an easy entry into the “Mother Brand” and make this high ridin’ coupe a hit for Toyota. 

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 144
  • Torque: 139 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 27 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 11.4 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.0 tons/yr
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles