The 2021 C-HR is Toyota’s smallest crossover. While it’s big on attitude with its in-your-face styling, the C-HR has a tough time standing out in the super-competitive subcompact SUV/crossover category. Still, buyers may be enticed by the Toyota name and the long list of standard features and safety tech.
Base Price: $24,245
As Tested: $25,240
Mileage: 27 mpg city/31 mpg highway/29 mpg combined
The CH-R was introduced for the 2018 model year. Since then, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto became standard, and for 2021, the new Nightshade Edition is added with some interior and exterior styling touches.
The five-passenger CH-R comes in four trims: LE, XLE, Nightshade Edition and Limited. Starting prices range from $21,445 to $26,500. Front-wheel-drive is standard; all-wheel-drive is not available.
The 2021 CH-R is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The CH-R has lackluster driving dynamics. There’s enough power for driving around the city, but the CH-R can be slow to accelerate from a stop and downright leisurely when trying to merge and pass at freeway speeds. And when you do floor the accelerator, you’ll hear a loud groan. At least the ride is mostly smooth and the CH-R feels planted when cornering. And its small size and tight turning radius makes it easy to park in tight spaces. Visibility to the rear is hampered due to the thick pillars.
Fuel efficiency is about what you’d expect for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 27 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with a combined rating of 29. I got 28 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is handsome and pleasant. There are some hard plastics as you’d expect at this price point, but also some diamond-pattern designs that add a nice touch. Average size adults will be fine in both rows of seating, but the second row can feel claustrophobic because of the thick pillars and small rear windows.
Standard features include rearview camera, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable front seats, eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB port, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, voice recognition, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
Available features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and HD Radio.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane tracing assist, pedestrian detection, road sign assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Available driver assistance technologies include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
The infotainment system is intuitive with its straightforward menu. It’s eight-inch touchscreen sits on top of the dash, making it easy to see and use. Physical buttons make it a snap to adjust the volume and climate settings.
The CH-R has less cargo room than many rivals with 19 cubic feet with both rows of seats in place and 36.4 cubes with the rear seats folded.
Bold, aggressive looks
Lots of standard features and safety tech
User-friendly infotainment system
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Hampered rear visibility
Claustrophobic back row
Below average cargo space
Not available with all-wheel-drive
My tester starts at $24,245. Delivery fee is $995 bringing the grand total to $25,240.
The 2021 Toyota C-HR boasts unique, bold styling that sets it apart from other subcompact SUVs and crossovers, and also comes with a long list of standard features and safety tech. But its dull performance, small cargo space and claustrophobic back seat may convince you to look elsewhere.