The Most Reliable Toyota SUV Fell Off a Sales Cliff
Toyota is a brand commonly associated with safe, practical, and reliable transportation. However, one SUV recently exited the brand’s lineup with an unconventional aesthetic that strayed from the Toyota corporate design language. Even though the C-HR SUV model looked a little odd, it upheld the brand’s reputation for reliability.
The Toyota C-HR was recently discontinued
The Toyota SUV we’re talking about is the quirky C-HR. The Toyota C-HR came out in the U.S. in 2018 as the brand’s smallest SUV. Originally designed to be part of the stylish Scion lineup, this subcompact crossover has a highly unconventional aesthetic, which had the consequence of a cramped interior. The C-HR wasn’t roomy or fun to drive, but it was affordable, efficient, and reliable.
In fact, the Toyota C-HR is so reliable that a recent J.D. Power study ranked it as the most affordable car on the market, tied with the Lexus RX. “The Toyota C-HR and Lexus RX are the highest-ranked models in the study, each with 111 PP100,” says J.D. Power. “Both models show improvement in eight of the nine problem categories from a year ago.” The PP100 data point references problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average is 186 PP100. It’s kind of like golf; a low score is a good score.
Why are Toyota C-HR sales so low?
According to data on GoodCarBadCar, the Toyota C-HR has only sold 769 units so far in 2023. That’s down 90% compared to the same period last year. The reason sales have tanked is simple; the C-HR has been discontinued in the U.S. Toyota recently unveiled a hybrid second-generation C-HR, but it’s not coming to the States.
The Toyota C-HR was effectively replaced in the U.S. by the Toyota Corolla Cross. The Corolla Cross is actually mechanically similar to the C-HR, but it has a more conventional SUV shape and has the familiar Corolla nameplate that Americans trust. So far, in 2023, the Corolla Cross has sold a whopping 22,707 units.
Although we’re not getting the hybrid second-gen C-HR, American drivers do have a hybrid version of the Toyota Corolla Cross available. This hybrid Toyota SUV is more powerful and efficient than the non-hybrid Corolla Cross while retaining a modest price tag. That makes it an appealing choice if your budget allows it.
Is the Corolla Cross a reliable Toyota SUV?
It’s a little too early to say whether the relatively new Toyota Corolla Cross will be as reliable as the Toyota C-HR. However, it’s off to a good start. J.D. Power gave the Corolla Cross a score of 82 out of 100 in the “Quality & Reliability” category. That’s good enough to classify it as “Great,” and it’s one of the best scores in its class.
Since the Toyota Corolla Cross is a close mechanical relative of the Toyota C-HR, it’s a safe bet that it’s a reliable Toyota SUV. Toyota also has a well-earned reputation for excellent resale value, which further enhances the value proposition of the Corolla Cross if you’re in the market for a practical subcompact SUV.