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

The Nightshade offer is new for 2021.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

With its wild styling and youthful vibe, I can see how you’d assume the Toyota C-HR may well be a enjoyment little runabout. But genuinely, this subcompact crossover was never supposed to be anything much more than an affordable equipment, and it would not even genuinely excel in the most fundamental classes, possibly.

Table of Contents


  • Cool design
  • A lot of normal driver-guidance tech

Never Like

  • Monotonous to travel
  • Lackluster gas economic system
  • Additional costly than its rivals

The C-HR is driven by a 2.-liter I4 manufacturing a hundred and forty four horsepower and 139 pound-toes of torque. That engine is paired with a consistently variable transmission that results in the I4 to genuinely drone less than acceleration, nevertheless it does support the C-HR return EPA-estimated gas economic system scores of 27 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg freeway and 29 mpg mixed. Even so, excellent as that seems, the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Location, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Kicks all beat that quantity the Nissan can extend to an remarkable 36 mpg freeway.

There just isn’t considerably get-up-and-go in the C-HR’s powertrain, even in Sport method, which is accessed as a result of the TFT display screen in the gauge cluster. This alterations the transmission mapping to have it behave much more like a traditional automated, with “upshift” sensations that preserve the engine revving lower. This would not genuinely support with sporty driving, of system. It just tries to make the C-HR much more gas-effective.

Like other subcompact crossovers, the Toyota C-HR is only obtainable with front-wheel travel. If you want all-wheel-travel capability, check out out the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3. The C-HR is correctly relaxed and proficient on easy pavement, and it’s going to manage the occasional bump with poise. But this detail is rarely enjoyment to travel, with obscure steering and sloppy dealing with. Combined with the terrible CVT, the C-HR is a complete dud behind the wheel.

The excellent information is that driver-guidance technologies gets a strengthen for 2021. All C-HR trims get Toyota’s Protection Sense 2.5 suite as normal. This pack incorporates lane-departure warning, road indicator aid, ahead-collision warning, lane-tracing aid and whole-speed adaptive cruise control. Blind-place monitoring is normal on all but the foundation LE trim. Toyota often does a terrific task of giving a huge quantity of driving aids on its whole variety of cars and trucks, and this adds a ton of value to the C-HR, nevertheless it appears to be odd that blind-place monitoring would be still left off the normal gear checklist when everything else is integrated.

This 2.-liter engine just isn’t all that highly effective or effective.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Sadly, Toyota’s Entune infotainment is one of Roadshow’s the very least most loved methods, with a clunky interface and dated graphics. Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are normal, which allows, but one supremely disappointing element is the fuzzy, lower-res backup digicam. Arrive on, Toyota, backup cameras are rarely new, and they have been a federally mandated piece of security gear for a couple many years now. That exhibit need to be crystal-very clear. I shouldn’t have to guess if which is a bush or a sack of groceries behind me. Even further, be organized to duke it out with your travellers in excess of charging ports. There is only one USB-A and one twelve-volt outlet in the front. Rear-seat travellers are SOL.

Talking of the backseat, it is not awkward. With the front seat established for my 5-foot, 9-inch driving posture, I still have some area in between my knees and the seat back, and loads of headroom as effectively. 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 really feel darkish and much more cramped than it genuinely is.

The cabin’s design and style is nice, but the infotainment tech wants some support.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There is certainly a ton of low-cost plastic in listed here, but the doorways have some exciting diamond-pattern texture which is echoed in the fabric seats, and the fake-leather-based dash is basically fairly nice. My Nightshade trim has a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel, nevertheless the controls are oddly slanted at an angle.

The C-HR’s cargo capacity is beneath common for the class, with 19.1 cubic toes behind the rear seats and 37 cubic toes over-all. Those needing heaps of area would do effectively to check out out the Honda HR-V, which has as considerably as 58.eight cubic toes of area with its back seats folded.

Cool as the exterior design and style is, I can see how it may well place some folks off. Even I occasionally look at it and assume of Coco Chanel’s infamous line, “Right before you go away the household, look in the mirror and choose one detail off.” Possibly the C-HR would look far better without having so many body creases. Or perhaps it is all those bulging rear fenders. It is really all a bit considerably. I do like the Nightshade trim, nevertheless, which is new for 2021. My brilliant crimson tester has a contrasting black roof and black trim, with unique eighteen-inch wheels.

It is really hard to advise the C-HR.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The C-HR is priced bigger than many of its rivals, at $22,620 which include $1,a hundred seventy five for spot. The sweet place in the variety is the midlevel XLE that gets you a proximity important and blind-place monitoring and costs $24,655. The Nightshade witnessed listed here raises that MSRP a bit, to $25,420.

In the end, the C-HR would not genuinely excel at any one detail, aside from acquiring heaps of driver-guidance tech normal. But even then, it is much more costly, even worse to travel, significantly less roomy and not as effective as its rivals. If all you treatment about is standout styling, then the C-HR may well be your jam. Otherwise, this subcompact CUV continues to be a hard one to advise.