2021 Toyota C-HR review: Standing out at the back of the pack

The Nightshade deal is new for 2021.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

With its wild styling and youthful vibe, I can see how you’d believe the Toyota C-HR may possibly be a enjoyment minor runabout. But genuinely, this subcompact crossover was never ever intended to be everything far more than an inexpensive appliance, and it isn’t going to even genuinely excel in the most primary categories, possibly.


  • Interesting type
  • Heaps of typical driver-guidance tech

Do not Like

  • Tedious to generate
  • Lackluster gas economic climate
  • Far more highly-priced than its opponents

The C-HR is run by a 2.-liter I4 making 144 horsepower and 139 pound-ft of torque. That engine is paired with a continually variable transmission that results in the I4 to genuinely drone less than acceleration, although it does aid the C-HR return EPA-estimated gas economic climate rankings of 27 miles per gallon town, 31 mpg highway and 29 mpg mixed. Even so, good as that appears, the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Venue, Mazda CX-three and Nissan Kicks all beat that number the Nissan can stretch to an remarkable 36 mpg highway.

There isn’t a great deal get-up-and-go in the C-HR’s powertrain, even in Activity method, which is accessed by the TFT monitor in the gauge cluster. This modifications the transmission mapping to have it behave far more like a traditional automated, with “upshift” sensations that keep the engine revving very low. This isn’t going to genuinely aid with sporty driving, of class. It just attempts to make the C-HR far more gas-successful.

Like other subcompact crossovers, the Toyota C-HR is only readily available with front-wheel generate. If you want all-wheel-generate functionality, check out out the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-three. The C-HR is completely cozy and qualified on clean pavement, and it will cope with the occasional bump with poise. But this matter is rarely enjoyment to generate, with obscure steering and sloppy dealing with. Blended with the terrible CVT, the C-HR is a complete dud driving the wheel.

The good information is that driver-guidance technology receives a improve for 2021. All C-HR trims get Toyota’s Safety Feeling 2.five suite as typical. This pack involves lane-departure warning, road sign help, ahead-collision warning, lane-tracing help and complete-velocity adaptive cruise management. Blind-spot checking is typical on all but the foundation LE trim. Toyota constantly does a terrific work of providing a significant number of driving aids on its complete range of cars and trucks, and this provides a ton of worth to the C-HR, although it would seem odd that blind-spot checking would be still left off the typical machines list when every thing else is provided.

This 2.-liter engine isn’t all that powerful or successful.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Sadly, Toyota’s Entune infotainment is one particular of Roadshow’s least preferred devices, with a clunky interface and dated graphics. Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are typical, which will help, but one particular supremely disappointing function is the fuzzy, very low-res backup camera. Appear on, Toyota, backup cameras are rarely new, and they’ve been a federally mandated piece of basic safety machines for a couple yrs now. That show really should be crystal-crystal clear. I should not have to guess if that is a bush or a sack of groceries driving me. Even further, be ready to duke it out with your passengers more than charging ports. There is only one particular USB-A and one particular twelve-volt outlet in the front. Rear-seat passengers are SOL.

Speaking of the backseat, it’s not unpleasant. With the front seat set for my five-foot, nine-inch driving position, I however have some place among my knees and the seat again, and lots of headroom as effectively. My only complaint is that the uptick in the rear window can make for a genuinely substantial beltline, which can make the rear compartment truly feel darkish and far more cramped than it genuinely is.

The cabin’s structure is great, but the infotainment tech needs some aid.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

There is a ton of low cost plastic in below, but the doors have some intriguing diamond-sample texture that is echoed in the cloth seats, and the fake-leather dash is in fact rather great. My Nightshade trim has a leather-wrapped steering wheel, although the controls are oddly slanted at an angle.

The C-HR’s cargo capability is down below regular for the class, with 19.one cubic ft driving the rear seats and 37 cubic ft total. All those needing loads of place would do effectively to check out out the Honda HR-V, which has as a great deal as fifty eight.8 cubic ft of place with its again seats folded.

Interesting as the exterior structure is, I can see how it may possibly place some people today off. Even I sometimes appear at it and believe of Coco Chanel’s notorious line, “In advance of you depart the house, appear in the mirror and just take one particular matter off.” Possibly the C-HR would appear improved without having so several body creases. Or maybe it’s people bulging rear fenders. It truly is all a little bit a great deal. I do like the Nightshade trim, although, which is new for 2021. My vibrant pink tester has a contrasting black roof and black trim, with unique 18-inch wheels.

It truly is hard to advise the C-HR.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The C-HR is priced larger than several of its opponents, at $22,620 such as $one,175 for vacation spot. The sweet spot in the range is the midlevel XLE that receives you a proximity essential and blind-spot checking and costs $24,655. The Nightshade noticed below raises that MSRP marginally, to $25,420.

In the close, the C-HR isn’t going to genuinely excel at any one particular matter, apart from having loads of driver-guidance tech typical. But even then, it’s far more highly-priced, even worse to generate, less roomy and not as successful as its opponents. If all you treatment about is standout styling, then the C-HR may possibly be your jam. Normally, this subcompact CUV stays a hard one particular to advise.

Maria J. Danford

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