2018-2022 Toyota C-HR: Pros and Cons, Common Problems

By Vlad Samarin, December 26, 2023
Toyota C-HR Toyota C-HR
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The Toyota C-HR is a compact crossover known for its sporty styling. In North America, the C-HR comes only with front-wheel drive. It's a practical vehicle, powered by a simple, fuel-efficient 2.0-liter 144-hp 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Let's start with pros and cons.


  • Eye-Catching Design: The C-HR offers a distinctive coupe-like styling setting it apart from typical small crossovers.
  • Fuel Economy: The Toyota C-HR delivers 27/31 mpg city/highway which is pretty good compared to other SUVs and crossovers.
  • Standard Safety Features: The C-HR comes equipped with a range of standard safety features, including Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Brake Assist and Smart Stop.
  • Cargo Space: Despite its compact nature, folding the rear seats flat reveals 36.4 cu. ft. of cargo space, much more than in a compact sedan.
  • Simple Reliable Engine: The 2.0-liter engine is simple and reliable and will last long with good maintenance.


  • Blind Spots and Rear Seat Access: Thick rear pillars limit rear visibility, and the sloping roof can make accessing the back seat a bit awkward.
  • Performance: The C-HR's performance is more about efficiency and a sporty image than spirited driving.
  • No All-Wheel Drive: Limited to front-wheel drive in North America.
  • Expensive Transmission: The CVT transmission could be expensive to replace if it fails and isn't covered by the warranty.
2018-2022 Toyota C-HR common problems: The C-HR sold in relatively small numbers in North America (just over 200,000 cars in the U.S. for all 2018-2022 model years), and so the overall number of reported problems is very small. The 2018 C-HR received more complaints than later model years at the NHTSA website; almost half of them are about 'Powertrain' and the CVT transmission in particular. Other reported problems include bad wheel bearings, failing tire pressure sensors, bad battery, issues with the air conditioner and connectivity problems with the infotainment system. Let's look at transmission issues deeper.
We found a number of complaints related to the CVT transmission in the 2018 C-HR on social media describe a loud whining, grinding, or humming noise during acceleration. According to some owners, the culprit is a faulty bearing in the final drive of the transmission. It's a cheap part, but the fix is to replace the entire transmission unit. Given the limited sales numbers, a used transmission might be costly to replace. We checked the prices and as of 2023, a used transmission was priced over $5,000.


We would not hesitate to recommend this car, and you will likely to recieve many compliments for its looks.
Toyota C-HR interior Toyota C-HR interior
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Although the chance of transmission problems is small, consider buying an extended powertrain warranty with no limit per claim that will cover potential transmission replacement. When test driving a Toyota C-HR, be wary of abnormal noises during driving or acceleration.

The air conditioner is another part that needs to be tested carefully. Other similar cars, such as Honda HR-V or Nissan Kicks are also not immune to some problems. The CH-R is not the best vehicle for cross-country trips; if that's what you need, check out something like the Toyota RAV4. Among small crossovers, the Mazda CX-3 has a conventional 6-speed automatic and is faster off the line. As of December 2023, Consumer Reports rated the reliability of the 2019 Toyota C-HR well above average; other model years were not rated.

Check out our reviews of similar cars:
Nissan Kicks 2018-2023
Buick Encore 2013-2023
Ford EcoSport 2018-2022
Mazda CX-3 2016-2021
Honda HR-V 2016-2022
Honda Fit 2015-2020

Toyota C-HR engine: The North-American Toyota C-HR houses the 3ZR-FAE 2.0-liter 144-hp 4-cylinder engine, a simple non-turbo DOHC design with an old-school sequential fuel injection, which makes this engine more reliable compared to many modern direct injection and turbo engines.

Timing Belt or Chain: This engine has a timing chain. While the timing chain doesn't require regular replacement, it might need attention at higher mileage.

Engine Oil Capacity: The 2022 Toyota C-HR's owner's manual specifies an engine oil capacity of 4.4 US quarts or 4.2 liters (oil change with filter), recommending SAE 0W-20 viscosity.