The Nightshade package deal is new for 2021.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

With its wild styling and youthful vibe, I can see the way you’d assume the Toyota C-HR could be a enjoyable little runabout. But actually, this subcompact crossover was by no means supposed to be something greater than a cheap equipment, and it would not even actually excel in the most elementary classes, both.


  • Cool fashion
  • Lots of commonplace driver-assistance tech

Don’t Like

  • Boring to drive
  • Lackluster gasoline financial system
  • More costly than its rivals

The C-HR is powered by a 2.0-liter I4 producing 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. That engine is paired with a repeatedly variable transmission that causes the I4 to actually drone beneath acceleration, although it does assist the C-HR return EPA-estimated gasoline financial system rankings of 27 miles per gallon metropolis, 31 mpg freeway and 29 mpg mixed. Even so, good as that sounds, the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Venue, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Kicks all beat that quantity; the Nissan can stretch to a powerful 36 mpg freeway.

There is not a lot get-up-and-go in the C-HR’s powertrain, even in Sport mode, which is accessed by way of the TFT display screen in the gauge cluster. This modifications the transmission mapping to have it behave extra like a traditional automated, with “upshift” sensations that maintain the engine revving low. This would not actually assist with sporty driving, of course. It simply tries to make the C-HR extra fuel-efficient.

Like different subcompact crossovers, the Toyota C-HR is simply accessible with front-wheel drive. If you need all-wheel-drive functionality, verify out the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3. The C-HR is completely snug and competent on easy pavement, and it will deal with the occasional bump with poise. But this factor is hardly enjoyable to drive, with obscure steering and sloppy dealing with. Combined with the terrible CVT, the C-HR is a complete dud behind the wheel.

The excellent news is that driver-assistance expertise will get a lift for 2021. All C-HR trims get Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5 suite as commonplace. This pack consists of lane-departure warning, street signal help, forward-collision warning, lane-tracing help and full-speed adaptive cruise management. Blind-spot monitoring is commonplace on all however the base LE trim. Toyota all the time does a fantastic job of providing a big quantity of driving aids on its full vary of automobiles, and this provides a ton of worth to the C-HR, although it appears odd that blind-spot monitoring can be left off the commonplace gear listing when all the things else is included.

This 2.0-liter engine is not all that highly effective or environment friendly.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Unfortunately, Toyota’s Entune infotainment is one of Roadshow’s least favourite methods, with a clunky interface and dated graphics. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are commonplace, which helps, however one supremely disappointing characteristic is the fuzzy, low-res backup digicam. Come on, Toyota, backup cameras are hardly new, they usually’ve been a federally mandated piece of security gear for a number of years now. That show must be crystal-clear. I should not must guess if that is a bush or a sack of groceries behind me. Further, be ready to duke it out together with your passengers over charging ports. There is just one USB-A and one 12-volt outlet in the entrance. Rear-seat passengers are SOL.

Speaking of the backseat, it isn’t uncomfortable. With the entrance seat set for my 5-foot, 9-inch driving place, I nonetheless have some house between my knees and the seat back, and many of headroom as effectively. My solely grievance is that the uptick in the rear window makes for a very excessive beltline, which makes the rear compartment really feel darkish and extra cramped than it truly is.

The cabin’s design is sweet, however the infotainment tech wants some assist.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There’s a ton of low cost plastic in right here, however the doorways have some attention-grabbing diamond-pattern texture that is echoed in the material seats, and the faux-leather sprint is definitely fairly good. 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 beneath common for the class, with 19.1 cubic ft behind the rear seats and 37 cubic ft total. Those needing tons of house would do effectively to verify out the Honda HR-V, which has as a lot as 58.8 cubic ft of house with its back seats folded.

Cool as the exterior design is, I can see the way it may put some folks off. Even I typically look at it and assume of Coco Chanel’s notorious line, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Maybe the C-HR would look higher with out so many physique creases. Or perhaps it is these bulging rear fenders. It’s all a bit a lot. I do like the Nightshade trim, although, which is new for 2021. My vivid purple tester has a contrasting black roof and black trim, with distinctive 18-inch wheels.

It’s exhausting to suggest the C-HR.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The C-HR is priced larger than many of its rivals, at $22,620 together with $1,175 for vacation spot. The candy spot in the vary is the midlevel XLE that will get you a proximity key and blind-spot monitoring and prices $24,655. The Nightshade seen right here raises that MSRP barely, to $25,420.

In the finish, the C-HR would not actually excel at anybody factor, other than having tons of driver-assistance tech commonplace. But even then, it is dearer, worse to drive, much less spacious and never as environment friendly as its rivals. If all you care about is standout styling, then the C-HR could be your jam. Otherwise, this subcompact CUV stays a tricky one to suggest.

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