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2021 Toyota C-HR, a CHR, not an SUV. A Preview.

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2021 Toyota C-HR

2021 Toyota C-HR

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The 2021 Toyota C-HR is a basic subcompact crossover. But it does not sell that well in the US, is can be found at the bottom of the 100 best sold cars in the US. C-HR is a different breed of car, not really a crossover SUV but something in between. CH-R is an acronym for Compact High Rider, Cross Hatch Run–about and Coupé High–Rider.

A brief history

Only revealed in march 2016 at the Geneva Motor show, the C-HR is one of the newest kids in the Toyota family. Production of the fist model year started in the fall of 2016 with the 2017 C-HR model.

The car is still in its first generation. Since the 2021 model year will be the fourth iteration we expect that Toyota has ironed out most issues with this edition.

Sales figures seems to be rising in Europe and Japan, in the US Toyota rolls out around 50K cars annually. That’s only half of the European sales figures. Subcompact cars tend to be more popular in the US.

2021 Toyota C-HR Hybrid & Electric Options

As of the time of writing Toyota does not have a Hybrid option available for the US version of the CH-R. The Hybrid version is available in Europe. We do assume that Toyota will start to offer the option in order to maybe bump the CH-R US sales volume.

2021 Toyota C-HR Just A 2 Liter Engine

All US CH-Rs are fitted with the same 2.0-Liter 4-Cylinder (CVTi-S) engine. These engines offer 144 horse power. Not very beefy but quit fuel efficient at 27/31/29 MPG. We do not expect an electric version of the car since Toyota seems to focus and invest more in plug-in hybrid cars.

2021 Toyota C-HR Engine & Trim Options

If the 2021 model year follows the line of the previous model years we expect the following models:

Exterior specifications are the same, most notable differences are options.

The C-HR does not have an all wheel drive option or AWD. We do not consider it to be in the SUV class.

2021 Toyota C-HR LE

This is the base model, this trim has everything standard. No real options are customizable.

Wheels as a trim differentiator – picture from toyota.com

Only offering 17-in. steel wheels options, where the 2 higher trims have 18-in. Sport alloy wheels. It does have a lot of safety and convenience options:

Most prominently we love that all trims have the Toyota Safety Sense system. The system offers:

  • PCS w/PD: a collision prevention system with pedestrian detection.
  • LDA with SA: lane departure alert with steering assist.
  • DRCC: Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Automatic High Beams

It is however missing Blind Spot monitoring and Rear Crossing traffic alerts.

We like the Apple Carplay support that is default on all models.

2021 Toyota C-HR XLE

The XLE and limited versions have more interior and exterior color details. A more premium sound-system is optional with Apple carplay. Blind sport warning and read cross traffic alert are available here as with the limited edition. Grey fabric seats are offered as an option.

2021 Toyota C-HR Limited

A Limited edition is available and offers the C-HR XLE features and options but also allows a more advanced multi media system with Wi-Fi Connect, Safety Connect and satellite radio. Black leather-trimmed seats come by default but are upgradable to Mixed brown fabric- and leather-trimmed seats.

What C-HR drivers think of the car

Current users rate the C-HR well above average. Past reviews are rating the C-HR above average.

Users like the spacious cabin – for a subcompact – and the drive suspension is great. 90% of the owners rate the car very well.

The only negative we seem to read was about a driver who rolled over his car during rainy weather, and that made him questioning the safety features.

First model year drivers have some complaints of out of stock replacement parts. This is an issue we see happening more often with new generation cars, especially when they are not the best sellers on our American car market.

2021 Toyota C-HR Interior & Exterior

We do not expect a great redesign for this 2021 Toyota. If the redesign specs would change we will update you here.

When considering the competition we would put this car against the Kia Niro and if you like a boxy design the 2021 Kia Soul might be a good alternative. We give the KIA a little more credit as we love the 7 year warranty (as opposed to the 5 year at Toyota) and KIA keeps stunning us with great price/quality offerings.

C-HR Images as published on the Toyota Website, based on the 2019 model.

Release Date & Price

We expect the car to hit the Toyota showrooms in the fall of 2020. Prices start around $21000 and go up to $26000 for the limited edition without options. These are fairly good prices. Full pricing will be released in the Toyota US website.

We only rate this Toyota model car a 3.5/5, mainly because of the low power, missing AWD and the lack of a hybrid version in the US.

What do you think of this new type of car Toyota is trying to brand as a subcompact SUB? Leave your feedback in our comments!

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