Toyota Says Lack Of AWD Is Hurting C-HR Sales

The Toyota C-HR went on sale in the United States earlier this year and it appears the model hasn’t been quite as successful as the company was hoping.

Carsalesbase shows Toyota only sold 21,889 units since April and that’s significantly less than rivals such as the Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V. Toyota’s well aware of the situation as the company’s North American executive vice president of sales, Bob Carter, recently told Wards Auto the lack of an optional all-wheel drive system is “hurting its sales potential.”

The C-HR is one of the few crossovers that doesn’t offer all-wheel drive and it will soon by joined by the Nissan Kicks. Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning, Michael Bunce, doesn’t think the Kicks will suffer the same sales problem as the C-HR as he expects the model will be popular in cities on both the east and west coast. As a result, the company expects to sell at least 50,000-60,000 Kicks annually.

Bunce went on to say the C-HR probably isn’t doing as well as it could because it’s expensive for its segment. As he noted, “In the U.S. there’s still a great correlation between size and price point” and the C-HR starts at $22,500 which is “relatively high.”

The product planner went on to say the Kicks will cost less than $19,000 and customers who need all-wheel drive can always move up to the Rogue Sport which starts at $21,420 and offer an optional all-wheel drive system for an additional $1,350.

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  • Yawn

    He’s delusional if he thinks AWD is the primary factor why it’s not selling.

    It’s simply because it’s utterly repulsive.

    • Hello Moto ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      The shape/design isn’t practical either, and it is very slow as well.

      • bd

        All of that.

        The lack of AWD hasn’t prevented the Kia Soul from being a big seller.

        The difference is that the Soul has a “box” shape which maximizes utility, whereas the C-HR has a shape that undermines the whole point of a getting a “crossover.”

        • AEE91

          The kia soul is cheaper. by alot.

    • SgtBeavis

      Yea, here in Colorado, the lack of AWD is definitely a factor, but not so much elsewhere. The Nissan guy, Mike Bunce, makes a good point about the price though. The AWD Mazda CX3 is more than a $1000 cheaper and is definitely a much nicer car.

    • jsz00

      That’s what you trolls say about Lexus and Toyota RAV4…. but thank God most people (the general public) don’t have your taste in cars.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Really? Hmmmm…didn’t see that comin’.

  • CaveatEmptor

    “Toyota Says Lack Of AWD Is Hurting C-HR Sales…”

    IMO Toyota OVER-price their cars in certain markets, then have to run regular specials to shift them… I don’t think Toyotas are bad cars but there are better cars to be found…

  • eb110americana

    It’s probably just because it’s an all-new model. People don’t know about it yet, so it’s not on their radar. Give it a little bit and sales will pick up.

    • paulgdeaton

      Or maybe because it is an all-new model, and it is terminally – fatally – ugly. At some point, Toyota will have to realize that it can’t continue to sell cars on reputation alone… sometimes, buyers (including the female contingent, for whom this fake-SUV-wannabe seems to have been aimed at) want to be seen in something that looks better than Cinderella’s pumpkin.

  • MultiKdizzle

    Maybe – just maybe – poor sales figures have something to do with how it looks?

    … no? ok.

    • khc

      Maybe Toyota will no longer be so smug about purposely producing a “polarizing” exterior? And its performance doesn’t match its overly aggressive looks. AWD should only be added if combined with more power to compensate for the additional weight (it’s already plenty slow) – but it will still look repulsive.

    • Dennis Scipio

      Sometimes style requires taking risks, and other times… not so much.

    • jsz00

      Nope. Nissan Juke did really well, so as most Lexus models.

  • Thomas Welcomer

    Here’s proof yet again that shows how STUPID car companies are. They have all the resources money can buy but no common sense. Most runaway success stories are purely by accident.

    An SUV without AWD???? That’s like Mustangs at Cars n Coffee without the crashes.

    • LWOAP

      I’ve seen Mustangs not crash at Cars n Coffee events. That must explain why the C-HR is doing terribly. lol

  • Honda NSX-R

    Why didn’t this have AWD in the 1st place?

    • WTF

      the ironic part of that question is that in other markets it does…., wasn’t a smart move by Toyota. Not to mention its styling means it wont be as popular as more boring cars it competes with they should expect lower sales especially without AWD its just a small hatchback

    • Krisnadi Imam

      the asian market does not need awd, and awd cars ae taxed heavily there as well. prolly thats why

      • Hello Moto ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        That doesn’t matter. Toyota already has an AWD CH-R for Europe. There’s no reason they cannot sell an AWD CH-R in the US.

        • Krisnadi Imam

          oh wow… yeah thats a stupid move… AWD sells in NA, why dont they have it there? if its about streamlining parts n services, they should have made it AWD as standard instead of omitting it given the vehicle starting price.

    • LWOAP

      Becoz reasons.

      • Honda NSX-R

        Stupid reasons that is 😛

  • Mark S



  • Auto

    America: I need all wheel drive to drive across a golf course!

    Finland: Takes front-wheel drive VW Golf across a road covered and ice and is perfectly fine

    • brn

      Auto (user): Misuses conjunctions when taking cheap shots at the US.

    • dumblikeyou2

      Haha. Finland. As if that matters.

  • DBP

    His biggest problem is that potential customers have the ability to see. The thing is just ugly. It’s like the Lexus spindle grill had a baby. An ugly one. Stop it already.

  • Krisnadi Imam

    its rather small, cramped inside (this coming from an asian) its expensive,its not well equiped (except for the hybrid) it doesn’t look particularly good.
    Toyota cannot always rely on its reputation alone to sell cars anymore. they really need to step up the game.

    • diesel_vdub

      And the US doesn’t get the Hybrid version. It was supposed to be a Scion here until they shuttered the brand.

      • Krisnadi Imam

        they have brought in autoshows here, but its expected to be very expensive to sell, price would be between a HRV and a CRV. even then we might even only get the spec down version which runs 1.5L engine with 4speed auto, only 2 airbags and no active safety features.

  • eye.surgeon

    Having less power than my lawnmower might have something to do with it, too. I know why AWD isn’t offered, not enough HP to turn all 4 wheels.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    They should have an AWD model with at least 180/200 HP. In Europe they would need a Turbodiesel model, AWD. It would sell well.

  • BlackPegasus

    The car has the old Scion infotainment system and it doesn even offer leather seating options.

  • Sébastien

    It sells well in Europe, I guess Americans are too conservative

  • fabri99

    It really might be that. Sales in Europe are going rather well and to me it looks great, very sporty and unique. Since AWD is available in Europe, it’s really dumb of Toyota not to offer that in the US as well, perhaps with a punchier engine too.

  • Liam Paul

    so it has nothing to do with it being ugly as sin?

  • StrangerGP

    C-HR is doing fine in Europe, it’s already selling much better than RAV4. And it can be bought with 4WD

    • cristian estalayo

      Yes, its true. But buying it with 4WD also means losing the hybrid motor (i.e you need to go 1.2 turbo over the 1.8 hybrid). And that’s fine. Also, we need to realise that adding 4WD ads parts and weight to the car. So having the low-consumption hybrid technology won’t do with the 4WD extra weight. I find this car to work just fine. I mean, for those who think 1.8 is a joke – go get a 70Gs BMW or Audi and drink 10l/100km or more of diesel 😉 it’s all a matter of point of view and what you looking for. I would use 4WD maybe… say… 3 times a year? Then, I would stay home those 3 days rather than paying an extra 3-4-5Gs. That’s IMO.

  • Joke

    Well done Sherlocks. And the reason for poor Lexus/Toyota sales are underpowered engines and lack of AWD in Europe. 313hp for RX is a joke. 1.8 for CT is a joke. GS450h without AWD option is a joke. IS200T without AWD is a joke.

  • Joke

    Toyota’s management is just stupid. Next they will wonder why Land Cruiser 2.8 diesel with 177hp priced 65k euro does not sell in europe. Maybe because diesel with eco gear like dpf and egr is unreliable. Moreover it has got performace of aygo. Why do not they offer Land Cruiser 4.0/3.5 for Europe? Nobody knows…

  • Trackhacker

    AWD is not the problem. This thing of a car as a lot of other problems.

    • cristian estalayo

      Such as?

  • Karl

    No Toyota,it is lack of looks that’s killing this monstrosity…

  • erly5

    I think it looks great, but don’t see many in the UK because it’s overpriced here too and there’s no diesel option.

    • cristian estalayo

      I agree – I like the “head-turning” looks of it. Funny enough, there is more and more being done over here in Switzerland to remove diesel and go only on gasoline (95/98) due to the crazy amount of pollution diesel produces. I am personally quite pleased with this car. I can take my family places, fit stuff in it, have a LOT of technology (that goes as far as auto-parking and warmed-up steering wheel – great in winter!) WITHOUT having to spend tons on gas (diesel is way more expensive over here) and without polluting as much (hybrid really works great for me). Not to mention the lack of noise for the neighbours @ low speed ;))


    Or perhaps people here in the states just don’t like it?

  • smartacus

    needs a V8

  • jsz00

    If this car is so ugly, then why is Lexus doing so well?

    • cristian estalayo

      See, it’s all a matter of point of view. Some haters LUVVVV hating this car for it’s “looks” and… oh well, that’s what they think. But the truth of the matter is is that I owned a Prius and have several friends that own one and the feedback is always the same: “I surpassed 300’000km and it still goes strong without a problem”. I know this car will last and the hybrid motor is just great. People that don’t like the looks should just keep it to themselves – it’s a PERSONAL taste. Same for the power of the car and not have 4WD – not everyone needs a . BMW X6 to be happy all around the year – no?

  • ck

    It is one of the most popular new cars in Europe right now. They are all hybrid models though which is why. US customers are not being offered this option and as a result, Toyota has another sales bomb in their lineup.

    • cristian estalayo

      Very well said!

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