Skip to main content

Toyota C-HR Crossover To Get All-Wheel Drive By 2019 - Too Late?

Toyota's new C-HR crossover is a hit, despite being offered in just front wheel drive. Here's when the AWD version arrives and why it was delayed.


Toyota's new C-HR is a hit. The company describes the C-HR as, "...a stylish and technology-filled subcompact SUV crossover vehicle." We won't argue that the C-HR is stylish and technology-filled, but how can any vehicle with just front wheel drive be called a crossover or a sport utility vehicle?

C-HR Development & Background
The C-HR was originally intended to be a new Scion model. Scion was at death's door when the C-HR was in development and Toyota didn't have time to make many adjustments before the plug was pulled on Scion. That left the company with a cool new subcompact car without any AWD option. Every competitor to the C-HR, such as Mazda's CX-3 and Honda's HR-V has AWD and the majority of sales in key markets are AWD-equipped trims. Still, Toyota went forward and launched the C-HR.

C-HR Success So Far
Toyota is happy they did proceed with the C-HR. Sales have been robust. The list of models that the C-HR currently outsells after just a few short months on the market is impressive. The vehicle also fills a gap in the Toyota product line. Something that Toyota needs in order to avoid having compact crossover shoppers head to other brands' dealerships.

C-HR Platform and AWD Timing

The C-HR is built on the same new platform that the Prius and Camry are. Called the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), this platform is very "adaptable." That is whole the point of using a platform for many vehicles and thus saving money. One way the TNGA platform is adaptable is to all-wheel drive. Torque News recently confirmed this at a Toyota media event for another vehicle. During that event, the press asked questions of the Toyota representatives who officially won't comment on future products but hinted strongly that during the mid-year refresh of the C-HR Toyota will launch it with optional AWD. That should occur during calendar 2019.

Read a full Torque News review of the C-HR here.


Mark Day (not verified)    September 20, 2017 - 11:11AM

Toyota should do AWD for the Camry V6 also. While they're at it raise the Camry AWD ground clearance, add some cargo room, and voila, an exceptional Camry SUV - the hot ticket. Highlander – too big. Current RAV4 – a boring, uninspired, slow, compromise.

S (not verified)    March 27, 2018 - 10:42AM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

Unfortunately this is the way things are nowadays. You want an AWD Volkswagen? Go up to Audi. Want an AWD Honda? Go up to Acura. Want an AWD Toyota? Go up to Lexus. Chevy? Cadillac. Nissan? Infinity. And so on and so on. Don't get me wrong, I'd take an AWD Accord over the looks of an Acura TLX any day of the week.
That's just the way these manufacturers are doing it.

Mark Day (not verified)    March 27, 2018 - 6:27PM

In reply to by S (not verified)

Thanks for this post. I wondered why I have been looking at higher priced vehicles lately – now I know. That's all I'll be doing – looking and test driving – and wondering when the market will collapse for lack of buyers, at the current prices, for desirable vehicles.

Barry (not verified)    September 2, 2018 - 11:24PM

In reply to by Mark Day (not verified)

Mark, I completely agree with you. The price of new vehicles is outrageous and it has to come crashing down at some point. I cant understand why people keep paying these outlandish prices for cars and truck.

Gman (not verified)    February 4, 2018 - 10:11AM

The vehicle screams for a turbo for fuel efficiency and a sunroof for rear seat illumination. AWD is a must for Canada. Throw in leather and Nav and this Toy would be a huge hit. Fun size, practical.

Kevin (not verified)    April 21, 2018 - 12:21PM

I have looked at the 2018 Toyota CHR...loved it...except for the CVT Transmission...had Saftey and Longevity concerns with the I have read about the new Direct Drive Launch gear Transmission.....are any 2019 Toyotas going to have this new Transmission????

Zak (not verified)    May 3, 2018 - 5:22PM

A lot of the info are not correct on this article. In Europe the C-HR comes wit the following options:
1- AWD
2- Manual
3- Hybrid
The C-HR was released first in Europe and after its success Toyota decided to bring it to the US without all the options available in Europe, which was a wrong move. Majority of this segment buyers are looking for AWD and they end up choosing a different vehicle instead. Toyota finally realized their mistake and they will be offering the C-HR with AWD option next year.

Abdul Munir Ghiasi (not verified)    May 22, 2018 - 4:57PM

Thank you so much for the bunch of useful information about the CHR, I am latterly in love with this car and I am looking to buy one recently, but I am not sure when I see it doesn't have the option AWD, what do you recommend me to get from the list of crossovers? waiting and thanks again.

Bob (not verified)    July 14, 2018 - 9:11PM

C-HR is a great looking little car, but no AWD is *very* disappointing. Another pozer aimed at urban moms.

If Suzuki was still selling their great little AWD SX4 into Canada, I would buy another one in a heartbeat - Suzuki SX4 with AWD and Diff lock - now that was the real deal!

Greg Branch (not verified)    August 20, 2018 - 11:55AM

How much will AWD increase the selling price in 2019 models? Will it an option or a standard feature?

Daniel Guerrero (not verified)    January 12, 2019 - 6:09PM

This is AWESOME news,,, I currently own a cx3 sport AWD,,, when I first seen the commercials for the CH-R my jaw dropped,,, loved the sleek look,,, and the reputation of reliability that toyota is known for,,, then found out it did not have an AWD option,,, my dropped jaw turned into a frown,,, this is a wonderful decision that it's going to be offered on the 2019 model,,, I most likely will be trading in my cx3 later this year...

Juan (not verified)    March 12, 2019 - 12:37PM

Love the vehicle. I was a little disappointed in the fact that it does not have the sunroof or navigation options.