Another tiny SUV? No AWD for 2018 Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover

The 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show was awash in crossover utility vehicles, including a new modelfrom Toyota that stretches the definition of that category.

The 2018 Toyota C-HR features the high driving position of a crossover, but in a vehicle with decidedly car-like styling, and without an all-wheel drive option.

Adding to the confusion, the letters C-HR stand for “Coupe High Rider” but, unlike a traditional two-door coupe, the C-HR has four conventional doors and a rear hatch.

Unveiled earlier this year at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and previewed by multiple concepts, the C-HR was originally to be sold in the U.S. under Toyota’s now-defunct Scion “youth brand.”

It will compete against a growing array of subcompact crossovers, including the 2018 Ford EcoSport also unveiled in L.A., the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, and the Nissan Juke—which features similar funky styling.

Aside from its jacked-up ride height, the C-HR looks more like a small hatchback than a traditional crossover, with a low roofline and headlights and taillights pulled back toward the wheel wells.

2018 Toyota C-HR2018 Toyota C-HR

Pronounced creases over the rear wheel wells and thick D-pillars seem to be an attempt by Toyota to camouflage the rear doors.

Underneath the sheetmetal, the C-HR rides on the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform that debuted with the current-generation Prius hybrid.

Toyota claims the TNGA platform allows for a lower center of gravity that can improve handling, and boasts that the suspension setup was tuned at the famous Nürburgring race track in Germany.

The sole engine option in the U.S. will be a 2.0-liter inline-4, producing 144 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque.

That power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously-variable transmission (CVT).

EPA fuel-economy ratings will be published closer to the C-HR’s launch. A hybrid version may also arrive at a later date.

2018 Toyota C-HR2018 Toyota C-HR

The C-HR will come standard with the Toyota Safety Sense P bundle of electronic driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning with lane keep assist.

Other notable features include an infotainment system with 7.0-inch touchscreen and Aha smartphone app, dual-zone automatic climate control, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The C-HR will arrive in U.S. dealerships next spring, with pricing information to be released closer to the launch date.

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