OK, where do we start in talking about the Toyota C-HR? It’s probably easier to talk about what it is not.

The name stands for Coupe-High Rider. OK, it has 4 doors so it isn’t a coupe. And it rides 5 inches lower than the Toyota RAV4 compact SUV.

It isn’t a sport ute, really. It has no optional all-wheel-drive. What is really is is a small sedan with no trunk that is styled to within an inch of its life.

And I mean that. Like the Nissan Juke, the C-HR doesn’t have a square millimeter that isn’t occupied by some sort of crease, scoop, scallop or bulge. It’s almost as though the styling team was frightened of plain, flat sheet metal. And don’t get me started on the taillights.

Inside, the trend continues with a dash that is multi-level, divided into tiers. It’s a futuristic dash that takes a bit of time to become comfortable with, but it all works. The seats are comfortable, and the car has plenty of room front and back.

So, my petty criticism aside, how is the C-HR as a car? Well, it isn’t exciting, but has the same endearing qualities of such dependable stalwarts as the Camry and Corolla. It is relatively lively, relatively frugal, reasonably priced, and built like a brick, uh, storehouse.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter, twin-cam four cylinder mill cranking out 144 horsepower. That is enough to move this 3286 pound puppy to 60 miles per hour in 11 seconds and the quarter-mile takes over 18 seconds. OK, that is slow, and the culprit seems to be the CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission. That means no shift points, just a smooth, continuous delivery of what power there is to the front wheels. The CVT isn’t about performance, but economy.

In that regard, the C-HR should return 29 miles per gallon city-31 highway. And, for all my carping, since it is a Toyota, quality is first rate. If you take care of it, it will probably be willed to your heirs, and theirs as well.

It’s a beautifully screwed-together people mover with more styling crammed into its 171 inch length than the law allows.  In short, for between $20,000-$26,000 it will probably sell like cold beer in August.

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