Production version of Toyota CH-R subcompact crossover coming

Toyota CH-R front
The 2017 Toyota CH-R subcompact crossover, which should be arriving on our shores early next year.

After some rumblings and a handful of scant specs, Toyota has finally taken the covers off what appears to be the production version of the CH-R, or Coupe High-Rider, subcompact crossover. Surprisingly, the vehicle retains a lot of the originally Scion-branded concept’s forward-thinking, coupe-like design (hello hidden rear door handles), going with the slogan “polarizing is okay, but boring is not.”

Based off of the shared Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that provides a stiffer, lighter and better handling platform for future models, first utilized by the 2016 Prius, the CH-R doesn’t resemble your typical micro SUV. There’s definitely a little RAV4 when examining the vehicle’s face, such as the similar trapezoidal lower grille, but the headlights are much more exaggerated, so elongated they almost meet in the centre. Non-RAV elements include ultra-wide fender arches, a piano black roof and aggressive side skirts.

Toyota CH-R side

Aimed at young, creative professionals, the goal was to give the crossover a non-conventional look — you may notice there are lots of hard lines and angles on the CH-R, because the manufacturer says it takes “inspiration from a diamond with sheered sides.” Although possessing a low and wide stance, measuring in at a height of 1,565 millimetres and width of 1,795 mm, a high ride height is still maintained to allow travel in a variety of environments.

The gemstone theme is reflected in the interior and other parts of the car as well down to the wheels, which feature chiselled spokes mirroring the surrounding body panels.

Toyota CH-R rear

The engine choices unveiled so far are a 1.2-litre turbocharged gasoline motor producing 115 horsepower, or an efficient and low emissions 1.8-litre hybrid system good for 122 horsepower mated to a CVT transmission. Front or all-wheel drive will be available. Exact North American powertrain offerings are not yet known, but keep your ears open for an announcement later this month.

The 2017 Toyota CH-R is expected to hit dealerships sometime next year.

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights