With a recent update for 2020, the 2021 Toyota C-HR shall hit the stores in the later half of 2020 with no major changes at all. A certain small hike in price could be on the cards though.

Absent since a significant time, Toyota marked its attendance in the sub-compact SUV/Crossover class with the C-HR in 2018. Holding typical Toyota values and all the flash of its segment, the C-HR is still one of the most unique looking things in its class. Even as an entrance to Toyota’s SUV fortress, the C-HR delighted enthusiasts with its sporty handling, abundant tech and safety features and of course, its standout design. However, noteworthy is the fact most of the valuable additions were made to the C-HR in its successive model years, especially 2020. 

Toyota C-HR has an aggressive design language

The 2020 Toyota C-HR saw some significant feature updates along with minor styling tweaks. However, the compact and proportions as well as the low-price packaging does have its own drawbacks. Even though the Toyota C-HR remains one of the most lively and youthful products in its segment. Still into its first generation, the Toyota C-HR is all set to enter its 2021 model year with expected release around fall 2020. As expected, the baby Toyota moves into its new model year with no changes. Here’s all we know so far about the 2021 Toyota C-HR.

Trims and Prices

The 2021 toyota C-HR shall be offered in the same three configurations as on the 2020 model. A base LE, mid-spec XLE and the range topping Limited. Prices for the 2021 range might kick in slightly higher than the present model with the base LE model ringing in around $22,000. The most notable absence in the C-HR, an AWD system shall be missed even in 2021.

Design and Exterior Highlights

Following some recent styling tweaks for its 2020 model, the 2021 Toyota C-HR will go unchanged on the exterior front. It even doesn't need to be tweaked with a severe intensity. The unique design of the C-HR is its biggest USP. Take a look at one of these beauties and your head is bound to turn.

The edgy sides add to its sporty looks

The Nissan Maxima like curvy windowline that seemingly integrates with the rear tail lamps give it a very modern appeal. Even the side body crease that starts from the front wheel-arch and ten goes to integrate with the tail section again, adds a lot of muscle and aggression into it. A roof and a deck-lid spoiler simply intensify its sporty quotient. Overall it's a very futuristic and sporty looking machine.

Model

2021 Toyota C-HR

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Hyundai Kona

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3300

3117

2906

2890

Length (in.)

172.6

175.8

170.4

164.0

Width (in.)

70.7

71.0

69.8

70.9

Height (in.)

61.6

63.6

63.2

61.0

Ground Clearance (in.)

5.9

8.7

7.3

6.7

Wheelbase (in.)

103.9

104.9

102.8

102.4

It's the exterior styling sheet that not only makes the C-HR one of a kind on the roads, but also in its class. In comparison to the C-HR, everything else looks conservative. That's how futuristic, the baby Toyota looks. The only area whereToyota could improve the C-HR on the physical front is by reducing its weight. At 3300 lbs, the C-HR is the heaviest among its segment. 

Engine, Transmission and Performance

The 2021 Toyota will continue deriving power from its sole 2.0-liter inline-4 engine. The engine does display a potent of 144 hp and 139 ft-lbs on paper, but fails to excite on the tarmac. In fact, the engine itself is the greatest disa[pppointment to the C-HR’s otherwise lively character. The engine feels underpowered and seems nothing less than a mismatch for the C-HR. To further distress, the baby Toyota is also the slowest in its competition with 0-60 coming up in 11.0 seconds. Maybe a turbocharger in the future models might rectify the complaint. Even the CVT transmission doesn't seem a right pair for the engine. In traditional fashion, the CVT does enhance throttle response but is again too hushed in its operation.

Models

2021 Toyota C-HR

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Hyundai Kona

Base MSRP

$22,000 (est)

$22,145

$20,820

$20,300

Engine

2.0-liter Inline-4

2.0 Liter Boxer-4

1.8-liter Inline-4

2.0-liter Inline-4

Transmission

CVT

6-speed manual or CVT

CVT

6-speed shiftable automatic

Horsepower (hp @ rpm)

144 hp @ 6100 rpm

152 hp @ 6000 rpm

141 hp @ 6500 rpm

147 hp @ 6200 rpm

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

139 ft-lbs @ 3900 rpm

145 ft-lbs @ 4000 rpm

127 ft-lbs @ 4300 rpm

132 ft-lbs @ 4500 rpm

Its rivals on the other side offer comparatively better engagement even with similar powertrains. The Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V offer similar power figures but with better tuned and more refined drivetrain, they offer considerably better performance. None of the C-HR’s rivals is ever going to take 11 seconds from 0-60 mph for sure.

Fuel Economy and MPG Figures

No added excitement in terms of efficiency and with the same old engine followed by no changes, the 2021 C-HR’s efficiency shall remain familiar as well. With relatively compact proportions than its rivals, the C-HR might seem to be a great fuel sipper, but that's not the case either. The 2020 Toyota C-HR delivers 27 mpg in city, 31 on highway and 29 combined. The figures are not the best in class or something out of the box but are fairly acceptable for its class and size.

Models

2021 Toyota C-HR

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Hyundai Kona

MPG (city)

27

27

28

27

MPG (highway)

31

33

34

33

MPG (combined)

29

30

30

30

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

13.2

16.6

13.2

13.2

Range (city/highway/combined)

356.4/409.2

365.2/481.4

369.6/448.8 

356.4/435.6

Even its rivals dont put up extravagant differences on the fuel-economy sheet. Though the Subaru crosstrek, Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V post a marginally better 31 mpg combined, the C-HR is not far behind at all. Also apart from the Crosstrek’s 16.6 gallons of fuel tank, all the other three cars have a similarly sized 13.2 gallons fuel tank. With a large body and large tank, the Crosstrek surely ensures the best driving range among the lot.

Interior, Seating and Cargo

Things on the inside of the 2021 Toyota C-HR shall also remain exactly the same as the present 2020 model. The inside of the Toyota C-HR has always been one of the best in class with typical Toyota standards. You do get some cheap plastics at some places, but the overall cabin has a sumptuous vibe with upscale materials. We do like the way the dashboard is wrapped in faux-leather along with a simulated stitching effect. the dashboard layout does remind you od the Toyota Highlander though.

The 2021 Toyota C-HR features a plush interior

 The diamond pattern plastic on the doors and headliners also elevate the vibe inside. Also interesting is the way a piano black runs along the dash wrapping in the infotainment and center panel. The dashboard itself is very clean and minimal with your regular A.C vents, a floating touchscreen infotainment and buttons for climate controls. Overall, the C-HR does a good job of aligning its exterior youthfulness with its interiors as well. 

Models

2021 Toyota C-HR

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Hyundai Kona

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.1/49.0/43.5

39.8/56.7/43.1

39.5/56.8/41.2

39.6/55.5/41.5

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.3/52.5/31.7

38.0/55.6/36.5

38.3/54.5/39.3

37.8/54.5/34.6

Cargo Capacity (cu-fts)

19.1

20.8

24.3

19.2

In comparison to its rivals, the Toyota C-HR has the best balance of minimalism, premiumness and a modern flavor. However, owing to its cramped proportions and dynamic design, it's not the most spacious in its class. In fact it offers the least headroom at the front and legroom at the rear. Even in terms of cargo capacity, it fares significantly behind its rivals with its 19.1 cu-fts of cargo area. Another disappointment with the C-HR is the lack of power-adjustable seats, which all of its rivals offer. We would certainly love to see that in the 2021 model.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Not something extraordinary again but the Toyota C-HR gets all the essential tech-gizmos. Its feature suite remains unchanged for 2021 since it did add some necessities for the 2020 model. That being said, the 2020 Toyota C-HR comes standard with an 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment display along with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The 8-inch infotainment screen is intuitive and easy-to-use

A 6-speaker audio system is also part of the standard feature list. The infotainment system is basic and minimal with clean graphics and interface along with good responses. Located within a fair reach of the driver, the infotainment system is one of the most intuitive one in its class. 

Safety Features and Ratings

One of the primary reasons why you buy a Toyota is the strong sense of safety and reliability, the Japanese giant offers. The C-HR is no different. With plentiful safety and driver assistance features standard across the lineup, the Toyota C-HR is one of the safest products in its class. No surprise the 2020 Toyota C-HR received a 5-star rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick by IIHS. With no changes, things should remain very similar for its 2021 model as well and that's only a good thing. That being said, mentioned below are some of the highlighted safety features of the Toyota C-HR:

  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Automated emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Pre and post-collision safety system
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Self-levelling adaptive headlights

Verdict

The Toyota C-HR is one car that tries to bring some fresh breeze into the herded segment of sub-compact crossovers. It also does all the basic job that you would expect from it. It's stylish, safe and reliable, efficient and easy to maneuver as well. It's the go-to car if you are looking for something very stylish and unlike anything else on the road. However, if you wish for better utility and overall value, the Subaru crosstrek, Honda HR-V and even the Hyundai Kona are worth looking at. All these three cars also offer more responsive powertrain than the C-HR.

Also Read:

Honda HR-V: The leader in cabin space and practicality among sub-compact crossovers.

Here's why the Hyundai Kona is a very good alternative to the Toyota C-HR.

FAQs

Is the Toyota C-HR a good car?

Yes, the Toyota C-HR is a very good sub-compact crossover for someone looking for style and sportiness. It looks distinctive, has plenty of standard safety and tech features, is efficient and has an upscale interior as well. However, its let down by its cramped interior space and dull powertrain

What does Toyota C-HR mean?

There are several closely related meanings of the term. The C-HR stands for Compact High Rider, Cross Hatch Runabout or Coupé High–Rider. However, the Toyota C-HR’s overall form and character very aptly align with either of these interpretations.

Is the Toyota C-HR AWD?

Sadly no. Surprisingly, even in a time when most of its rivals do offer an optional AWD, the Toyota C-HR is yet to receive one. We can only hope and wish to see an AWD C-HR in the near future. As of now, it remains a complete miss for the sub-compact Toyota.