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Entry price: $22,500

Price as tested: $24,049

We’re driving the all-new 2018 Toyota C-HR this week, a sub-compact crossover built to do battle with competitors like Chevy Trax, Ford Eco Sport, Nissan Kicks, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, and Mazda CX-3. This vehicle joined the Toyota family when corporate decided to discontinue sales of its lower priced Scion models and moved this unit over to the Toyota family of vehicles. This move results in many positives and a few negatives.

First the positives, and specifically one big positive: price.

Scion was noted for its low entry and final retail prices, and the new Toyota C-HR follows suite. Two models are available, starting with the XLE entry model at $22,500 (our tester this week) or the upscale XLE Premium, which adds more amenities and starts at $24,350.

One thing I really liked about the compact C-HR is its handling, as I put over 400 miles on the C-HR during my week long review. Thanks to standard Dunlop 18-inch tires on nice alloy wheels, there wasn’t a turn or corner in front of me the little Toyota didn’t like. Cruising was comfortable, too, although there is more than the usual road and engine noise common to these lower priced subcompact models. But overall, and thanks to well built underpinnings, lots of safety features and good ABS 4-wheel disc brakes, this little car was much fun to drive.

As for the negatives, it pretty much surrounds the infotainment system, or lack thereof. Specifically, Toyota previously used the same lower grade stereo/info 6-speaker system on its Scion models. Simply stated, “lower grade” means consumers seeking a new C-HR with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are out of luck. Although most everyone knows a Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone will fill in for the navigation needs, if you must have Android or Apple Smartphone integration and you happen to be part of the main target consumer demographic group (millennials), you’ll need to upgrade to a Rav4, which starts at $24,500. I recommend Toyota bring over its respected Entune Infotainment system to replace the dated Scion info system.   

Sans the modern Entune and Android/Apple drawbacks, the new C-HR is a pretty nice-looking vehicle. The actual nomenclature stands for “Coupe High Rider.” 

Important numbers include a wheelbase of 103.9 inches, 3,300-pound curb weight, 17.1-ft. turning radius, 5.9-inch ground clearance, from 19.0 to 36.4-cu. ft. of cargo space and a 13.2 gallon fuel tank.

The 2018 Toyota C-HR currently comes solely as a front-drive unit, although in the future an AWD would be a smart move and maybe even a turbo for more power. Your Toyota dealer is waiting to explain everything in person when you visit the showroom.

Likes: Excellent value, lots of safety equipment, good looks.

Dislikes: No Smartphone integration, noisy, needs more power.

Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now.

 

auto bits

Many people are ripe for an extended warranty scam

The Federal Communications Commission says “If you own a car and a phone,” you are a target for predatory marketing that offer extended warranties over the phone and in the mail. 

In the communication you receive, it’s difficult to track down just who you’re communicating with.

DO NOT, warns the FCC, provide any credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank routing numbers or any other type of financial information. At best, you will have signed up for a service for which you already may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. At worst, you could be providing credit card information to a “criminal,” according to the FCC. 

 

— BestRide.com

 

Cars recalled because of steering wheel problem

Ford is recalling nearly 1.4 million midsize cars in North America because the steering wheels can detach from the steering column and cause drivers to lose control. According to the carmaker, two crashes and one injury have been caused by this problem so far.

The recall is for 2014-2018 Ford Fusions and 2014-2018 Lincoln MKZs. Owners will be notified by mail the week of April 30 if their vehicle is part of the recall.

 

— More Content Now