Reviewing Toyota's 2018 CHR: The Newest Offering in Canada

Toyota's newest car, the Compact High Rider or CHR, has finally made its way to Canada. This crossover has been available in Asia and Europe for a couple of years, but it's making its grand debut to the North American market this year. The new car is apparently aimed at the urban explorer or hipster, with its slick design and convenient features. We thought we would give this car a quick review of its design and features.

Pros

  • Slick exterior design: the look is sure to get a second look on the road. Add to this a variety of colours or combination of two colours, and the car is definitely one of the best looking for cars in its price range. Just throw in an additional $700 CAD for a two-colour design.
  • Great interior design: Toyota has been touting its "Diamond" design for the car's interior. Admittedly, the car does have a slick interior design that follows nicely with the car design. That said, it's a fairly limited feature in utility and not too obvious unless you are looking at it. The diamond design is embedded in the ceiling, so it is difficult to notice for people who are not aware of it.
  • Electronic features: both lane departure warning and a front-camera sensor are available in the car's Premium model. This model will set you back an additional $2000 CAD, but it is probably an investment worth making in the year 2018.

Cons

  • Lack of a navigation system: this is probably the biggest fault of the car. For a 2018 car, it is ridiculous you would be forced to whip out your iPhone and buy one of them old-fashioned iPhone holders just to get somewhere new.
  • Lack of media platform connecting to your iOS or Android system: this one is a big deal because you don't have a native navigation system. You would think Toyota would at least bother to allow mirroring so you can view a navigation map from your iPhone or Android phone. Unfortunately, the best you get is turn-by-turn voice commands.
  • Design of the electronic entertainment system: looking at the design, you would think it came out of a 1980s New York cab. The dials and the overall have a grandpa feel to them, which is unfortunate given how much has been given to the fabric design of the car.
  • 2.0L engine: not exactly a power horse for a crossover. Additionally, the lack of an AWD model puts this cross at a sigificant disadvantage.

Neutral

The price is reasonable for a crossover. Expect to spend $30,000 CAD, give or take, on a new CHR premium. A thousand or two less if you are going for the base model. It would definitely be a good idea to pay upfront if you can, given that the interest rates on financing are criminal at Toyota.

Overall

In summary, this new car is definitely a nice change to the Toyota line-up and the crossover market in Canada. It depends on what you value when it really comes down to it: safety? This car has some pretty neat features for a car in its bracket. Cool gadgets and navigation? Probably look elsewhere for a car that has GPS.