The Nightshade package deal is new for 2021.

Emme Corridor/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. However actually, this subcompact crossover was by no means meant to be something greater than a cheap equipment, and it does not even actually excel in essentially the most fundamental classes, both.

Like

Cool styleLots of normal driver-assistance tech

Do not Like

Boring to driveLackluster gasoline economyMore costly than its opponents

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 constantly variable transmission that causes the I4 to actually drone underneath acceleration, although it does assist the C-HR return EPA-estimated gasoline financial system scores 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 within the C-HR’s powertrain, even in Sport mode, which is accessed by means of the TFT display screen within the gauge cluster. This modifications the transmission mapping to have it behave extra like a standard automated, with “upshift” sensations that preserve the engine revving low. This does not actually assist with sporty driving, in fact. It simply tries to make the C-HR extra fuel-efficient.

Like different subcompact crossovers, the Toyota C-HR is barely obtainable with front-wheel drive. If you would like all-wheel-drive functionality, try the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3. The C-HR is completely comfy and competent on easy pavement, and it will deal with the occasional bump with poise. However this factor is hardly enjoyable to drive, with obscure steering and sloppy dealing with. Mixed 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 Security Sense 2.5 suite as commonplace. This pack contains 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 at all times does a fantastic job of providing a lot of driving aids on its full vary of vehicles, and this provides a ton of worth to the C-HR, although it appears odd that blind-spot monitoring can be left off the usual tools listing when the whole lot else is included.

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

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

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

Talking of the backseat, it is not 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 again, and loads of headroom as nicely. My solely criticism is that the uptick within 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 Corridor/Roadshow

There is a ton of low-cost plastic in right here, however the doorways have some fascinating diamond-pattern texture that is echoed within 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 category, with 19.1 cubic ft behind the rear seats and 37 cubic ft general. These needing a number of house would do nicely to take a look at the Honda HR-V, which has as a lot as 58.8 cubic ft of house with its again seats folded.

Cool as the outside design is, I can see the way it may put some individuals off. Even I generally have a look at it and consider Coco Chanel’s notorious line, “Earlier than you allow the home, look within the mirror and take one factor off.” Perhaps the C-HR would look higher with out so many physique creases. Or possibly it is these bulging rear fenders. It is all a bit a lot. I do just like the Nightshade trim, although, which is new for 2021. My brilliant purple tester has a contrasting black roof and black trim, with distinctive 18-inch wheels.

It is arduous to advocate the C-HR.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The C-HR is priced greater than lots of its opponents, at $22,620 together with $1,175 for vacation spot. The candy spot within 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 long run, the C-HR does not actually excel at anyone factor, except for having a number of driver-assistance tech commonplace. However even then, it is costlier, worse to drive, much less spacious and never as environment friendly as its opponents. If all you care about is standout styling, then the C-HR could be your jam. In any other case, this subcompact CUV stays a troublesome one to advocate.

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