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QOTD: How Does The Toyota C-HR Make You Feel?

2018 Toyota C-HR, Image: © Timothy CainPeople want to talk to me about the 2018 Toyota C-HR.

Since I took possession of a Toyota Canada-supplied C-HR last Friday, more people have approached me to discuss the C-HR than any other car I’ve ever had the pleasure or displeasure of testing.

Naturally, I assume they’re not going to have kind things to say. Let’s be honest: the Toyota C-HR is not a conventional beauty. “It’s not mine,� I quickly declare to a couple examining the C-HR in the grocery store parking lot as I approach it, bags in hand. “You can say whatever you think.�

And then they do. But the words they speak are not in keeping with my expectations.

“I love it.�

“I want one.�

“We’ve already gone to the dealer to see what colors they have.�

“My husband wants to wait until we can get the teal one with the white roof.�

“It’s like the CRX we used to own.�

Huh? CRX?

Then they ask me what I think. Given that every one of these C-HR adorers is well into retirement age, I mention the treacherous visibility and the backup camera that resides in a corner of the rearview mirror.

Two of the couples who wish to discuss the 2018 C-HR hopped out of older Corollas to come talk to me. There’s no mention in any case of the Honda HR-V or Buick Encore or Mazda CX-3 or Subaru Crosstrek or Jeep Renegade. The 2018 Toyota C-HR is the car they want.2018 Toyota C-HR, Image: © Timothy CainFront-wheel drive. 144 horsepower. 3,300 pounds. Continuously variable transmission. Enough unique design elements — love it or hate it — to get noticed in a parking lot full of exotics.

Intended to be a part of the youth-oriented Scion brand before Toyota discontinued Scion, the 2018 Toyota C-HR is a $23,495 subcompact with mountains of appeal (apparently, anecdotally) to an older generation.

Toyota wants to sell 30,000 C-HRs in the United States this year; 60,000 annually. That would put the front-wheel-drive-only C-HR well back of the front-wheel-drive-only Kia Soul; behind the Jeep Renegade, Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Buick Encore, too.

Reasonable expectations? That depends how the C-HR makes you feel. Would you jump out of your car to talk to me about the 2018 Toyota C-HR in the parking lot of a grocery store? And if so, what would you want to tell me?

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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