What’s the Holdup?

03.19.16 - Toyota C-HR

We were supposed to already see the new subcompact crossover SUV on the market for Toyota. This SUV would carry the name of the C-HR that was shown in concept form and offer the same polarizing good looks and futuristic body structure, but somehow this new small SUV has been delayed. Did this SUV end up needing a revision in style due to costs? Are we going to get an SUV that looks completely different and be let down by the fact we were expecting to see something similar to what was shown at the various shows this vehicle came to?

To both these questions I have the same answer. In Aaron Rodgers-like fashion; R-E-L-A-X. The new C-HR will come out and look and feel just like what we saw at the shows there was simply one change that had to be made, but this change was so big it required a lot more time for Toyota to get this vehicle back on track. This change was to take the C-HR off the small car platform and add it as the second vehicle that will make use of the new modular TNGA platform which seems to fit it much better.

The first car from Toyota that made use of this new platform is the new 2016 Prius. If you have seen this awesome new Prius you should immediately be excited by what the C-HR will be as it will share much of the development and features that make the Prius an attractive vehicle. The only drawback to putting the C-HR on this platform is that the vehicle was halfway through its development before the leadership at Toyota realized this was the right architecture for this new SUV; but that’s how it goes sometimes.

The beauty of using this new platform is now Toyota can offer the C-HR with three powertrain choices and lower the overall production costs which should equate to a lower entry price to own this beautiful new SUV. This result is the product of sharing some components with the new Prius, which makes for a fantastic marriage of the platform to the vehicle but did cost the company the sales they might have realized had they kept the C-HR on the small car platform and waited to change it in a couple years.

This was a bold move by Toyota to put the new C-HR on the right platform and delay their own realization of a great new subcompact crossover SUV for the market. This segment has exploded in popularity with sales in 2015 of 389,960 which was more than double the 2014 numbers and so far this year the increase is close to 88 percent over 2015.

The C-HR will be offered with a 2.0-liter engine in the US and a 1.8-liter hybrid in Europe, which we expect to have in the US as well at some point. This new model for 2017 just might be the right choice for more drivers than ever, as many Toyota models tend to be, as the company is chomping at the bit to get this vehicle into production and to the dealerships where they can see if their change of platforms was the right decision.

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