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

Victoria D. Doty

The Nightshade package is new for 2021.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

With its wild styling and youthful vibe, I can see how you’d believe the Toyota C-HR may well be a enjoyable minor runabout. But genuinely, this subcompact crossover was never meant to be everything extra than an affordable equipment, and it would not even genuinely excel in the most primary groups, both.


  • Great fashion
  • Loads of normal driver-aid tech

Never Like

  • Tedious to drive
  • Lackluster gasoline economic climate
  • A lot more high priced than its opponents

The C-HR is driven by a 2.-liter I4 generating 144 horsepower and 139 pound-ft of torque. That engine is paired with a repeatedly variable transmission that triggers the I4 to genuinely drone under acceleration, although it does enable the C-HR return EPA-estimated gasoline economic climate scores of 27 miles per gallon town, 31 mpg freeway and 29 mpg combined. Even so, great as that seems, the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Venue, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Kicks all beat that amount the Nissan can extend to an amazing 36 mpg freeway.

There is just not a great deal get-up-and-go in the C-HR’s powertrain, even in Activity method, which is accessed by the TFT screen in the gauge cluster. This modifications the transmission mapping to have it behave extra like a standard computerized, with “upshift” sensations that retain the engine revving reduced. This would not genuinely enable with sporty driving, of course. It just tries to make the C-HR extra gasoline-effective.

Like other subcompact crossovers, the Toyota C-HR is only readily available with front-wheel drive. If you want all-wheel-drive capacity, test out the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3. The C-HR is beautifully comfortable and skilled on sleek pavement, and it’s going to manage the occasional bump with poise. But this matter is hardly enjoyable to drive, with obscure steering and sloppy handling. Combined with the dreadful CVT, the C-HR is a overall dud guiding the wheel.

The great news is that driver-aid know-how gets a raise for 2021. All C-HR trims get Toyota’s Security Feeling 2.5 suite as normal. This pack features lane-departure warning, street sign support, forward-collision warning, lane-tracing support and total-pace adaptive cruise management. Blind-spot checking is normal on all but the base LE trim. Toyota always does a great task of providing a substantial amount of driving aids on its total array of cars, and this adds a ton of price to the C-HR, although it seems odd that blind-spot checking would be left off the normal devices checklist when anything else is integrated.

This 2.-liter engine is just not all that impressive or effective.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

However, Toyota’s Entune infotainment is just one of Roadshow’s the very least most loved techniques, with a clunky interface and dated graphics. Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are normal, which aids, but just one supremely disappointing aspect is the fuzzy, reduced-res backup camera. Occur on, Toyota, backup cameras are hardly new, and they have been a federally mandated piece of security devices for a couple decades now. That display screen need to be crystal-very clear. I should not have to guess if that is a bush or a sack of groceries guiding me. Further more, be organized to duke it out with your passengers more than charging ports. There is only just one USB-A and just one twelve-volt outlet in the front. Rear-seat passengers are SOL.

Talking of the backseat, it truly is not unpleasant. With the front seat set for my 5-foot, nine-inch driving placement, I however have some place between my knees and the seat again, and a lot of headroom as perfectly. My only grievance is that the uptick in the rear window tends to make for a genuinely higher beltline, which tends to make the rear compartment experience dark and extra cramped than it genuinely is.

The cabin’s layout is awesome, but the infotainment tech requirements some enable.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There is a ton of inexpensive plastic in right here, but the doors have some fascinating diamond-sample texture that is echoed in the fabric seats, and the fake-leather-based sprint is really fairly awesome. My Nightshade trim has a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, although the controls are oddly slanted at an angle.

The C-HR’s cargo capacity is below typical for the course, with 19.one cubic ft guiding the rear seats and 37 cubic ft overall. Those people needing tons of place would do perfectly to test out the Honda HR-V, which has as a great deal as 58.eight cubic ft of place with its again seats folded.

Great as the exterior layout is, I can see how it may well place some persons off. Even I in some cases appear at it and believe of Coco Chanel’s infamous line, “Just before you depart the dwelling, appear in the mirror and consider just one matter off.” Probably the C-HR would appear far better with no so several system creases. Or probably it truly is these bulging rear fenders. It is all a little bit a great deal. I do like the Nightshade trim, although, which is new for 2021. My vibrant crimson tester has a contrasting black roof and black trim, with one of a kind 18-inch wheels.

It is tough to advocate the C-HR.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The C-HR is priced higher than several of its opponents, at $22,620 which include $one,a hundred seventy five for spot. The sweet spot in the array is the midlevel XLE that gets you a proximity essential and blind-spot checking and expenditures $24,655. The Nightshade seen right here raises that MSRP a bit, to $twenty five,420.

In the close, the C-HR would not genuinely excel at any just one matter, apart from possessing tons of driver-aid tech normal. But even then, it truly is extra high priced, worse to drive, significantly less roomy and not as effective as its opponents. If all you care about is standout styling, then the C-HR may well be your jam. Usually, this subcompact CUV stays a hard just one to advocate.

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