Toyota’s all-new C-HR is a subcompact crossover SUV that will arrive at U.S. dealers next spring. Image source: Toyota.

Toyota (NYSE: TM) took the wraps off of the U.S. version of its all-new C-HR this past week. The 2018 Toyota C-HR is a new small SUV with dramatic styling that Toyota hopes will help it return to growth in the United States.

What it is: a small crossover with a big mission

The C-HR (for “coupe high-rider,” Toyota says) is a subcompact crossover SUV. It’s about the same size as Honda ‘s(NYSE: HMC) HR-V and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ‘(NYSE: FCAU) Jeep Renegade — two of the vehicles the C-HR will be expected to compete with around the world.

The C-HR has more dramatic styling than is typical of Toyotas, something the brand hopes will attract younger buyers. Inside, it’s typical Toyota — controls laid out simply and sensibly — with a bit of what Toyota says is “sports car influence” in the design.

While the C-HR will be available in hybrid and manual-transmission versions elsewhere in the world, U.S. buyers will have just one powertrain choice, a 2.0 liter four-cylinder with a new continuously variable transmission.


Another view of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Image source: Toyota.

Like the new-for-2016 Toyota Prius, the C-HR is based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture, or TNGA. TNGA allows Toyotas of different sizes and shapes to share some common underpinnings, reducing costs and engineering time. That should help make it a profitable product.