Toyota has assembled a complete package of strength and style in its all-new compact crossover C-HR, first launched in the 2018 model year. The Toyota C-HR is a standout with agile handling, an athletic stance, and a fuel efficiency of 29 mpg combined.

The C-HR is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with a continuously variable transmission with intelligence and Sport mode. The engine delivers 144 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 139 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,900 rpm.

The C-HR sits higher than most crossovers, to which the large 18-inch wheels have much to contribute. Its height and steeply raked windows work to provide a sportier, passenger-friendly cabin. The standard 60/40-split rear seats complement the rear hatch that swings up to reveal a large cargo space.

My test model was the XLE Premium. The two C-HR models XLE and XLE Premium have the same powertrain, but Premium has a more expansive set of features and technology and costs $1,850 more. The Premium will be my focus for this review.

The interior is stylish, starting with the driver-focused cockpit. Once inside, you are surrounded by standard soft-touch comforts, like leather-trimmed steering wheel and a satin-plated shift knob. The 4.2-inch color multi-information display behind the steering wheel shows data such as outside temperature, total mileage, and trip mileage. And the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system houses Entune 3.0 software with Bluetooth streaming and Apple CarPlay support, funneling sound through six speakers.

The interior of the 2018 C-HR. (Courtesy of Toyota Newsroom)

With the terribly hot weather in the Southern United States this summer, the vehicle’s dual-zone climate control helped to make life more bearable. And when colder weather arrives, the automatic climate control can take care of that as well.

The 2018 Toyota C-HR is not only attractive, but also smart. The available Smart Key System on the front doors with Push Button Start gets you ready to go places with ease.

Most manufacturers provide an array of safety features for their vehicles. Unfortunately, they charge extra for them. The 2018 C-HR offers a package called Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which provides a full feature set including a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and full speed range dynamic radar cruise control.

Late one night, on my way home, I was impressed by the rich pathway of light created by the C-HR’s standard projector-beam halogen headlights and cluster LED daytime running lights. The headlights covered a great distance down the narrow road taking me to my house.

It starts out as a small, winding two-lane road just off the busy highway. There are thick trees on both sides, with few streetlights and no other houses along the way. The road crosses a creek and runs about 6 miles before narrowing to a single lane leading to my house on a small cul-de-sac.

With my headlights shining bright, the road was no longer so dark. No deer were spotted, but I saw a startled, slow-moving raccoon scuttle across the road in front of my vehicle.

The Toyota C-HR is designed to maximize driving pleasure. The interior is comfortable and even luxurious to the eye. Its quiet, cool cabin has small, convenient spaces to safeguard your personal items and larger compartments to hold bigger items while numerous safety items assist you on the road. Just let yourself go and let her rip.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is an unbelievable $24,360 for the XLE Premium.

For two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, Toyota has a Maintenance Plan. There is also a 24-hour Roadside Assistance Plan, which is also for two years and unlimited miles.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at

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