The subcompact SUV model lineup continues to expand. For the 2018 model year, at least two brand new subcompact entries are hitting the market. Ford and Toyota have been late to the game but are looking to make up lost time and sales with two impactful new models.
Not to be confused with Honda’s HR-V subcompact model, Toyota’s brand new crossover SUV is the C-HR (Coupe High-Rider). This model boasts a turbo 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine with 144 HP and 140 lb-ft of torque, powering a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front wheel drive.
This model’s robust engine is balanced with Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and Valvematic which not only brings smoother operation, but also improved fuel economy. It’s turbo engine boosts its power output towards the middle of the class, above competitors including the HR-V and Chevy Trax.
The C-HR is more edgy than you might think from a Toyota model. The model was originally to be sold as a Scion, a brand that Toyota has now made defunct, which explains its more curvacious, aggressive style lines. The model has distinctive front and rear fenders with some similarities to the Nissan Juke but is more striking – in a good way.
Safety features include Toyota Safety Sense P™ (TSS-P) with features such as automatic high beams, an adaptive cruise control system, lane departure warning with steering assistance and a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians and automatically brakes.
The CH-R comes in two trim levels, XLE and XLE Premium and has the following standard features: 18-inch alloy wheels, bucket seats, a large audio display, and dual climate control. This crossover model arrives in Toyota showrooms in Spring 2017.
Ford’s EcoSport is a subcompact crossover SUV that comes in for trim levels: S, SE, SES, and Titanium. The EcoSport’s engine has a standard 1.0-L, 3-cylinder engine, with 123 horsepower and 125 ft.-lb. of torque. Safety features include a blind-spot warning system and a rear cross-traffic alert.
The EcoSport will have you well connected with the Sync 3 infotainment system. Drivers can use the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto technology, as well as use the Ford Pass app for smartphones that can, for example, remotely start the engine to cool or warm the interior. Other interior features include many different places for storage and two USB hubs that can quickly charge devices.
One unique feature about the Ecosport is the rear tailgate, which opens from the side instead of up. If you parallel park, you’ll need to be aware of the extra clearance needed to open the door. The Ford EcoSport will arrive sometime in 2018. Both of these models are among the most anticipated 2018 models.