The 2021 Toyota C-HR almost looks like it could be in a magazine from the future. It has unique stylings with sharp angles and interesting lines, helping it appeal to those who like vehicles that stand out. Inside the cabin, there are some fun elements along with the practical conveniences that Toyota is known to incorporate into its models. As a small SUV, the C-HR is efficient, and it would be a good purchase for anyone who cares a lot about looks and still wants something relatively versatile.
All four trims of the C-HR use a 2.0-liter engine. With 16 valves and four cylinders, the engine can churn out 144 horsepower. This isn't the most impressive of numbers, but it might not matter to people interested in the class of small SUVs. Likewise, torque is 139 pound-feet, which is fine if not very notable. What will likely matter to prospective customers in this market is fuel economy. The C-HR does well in this department, as it can achieve up to 27 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission and a front-wheel drivetrain. The multi-link rear suspension helps to smooth out bumps that one might encounter. With three different drive modes, people can change things up a little. Normal would obviously be the most commonly used mode, and on either end are the ECO and Sport drive modes. Sport mode may result in slightly decreased efficiency but more responsiveness, and the opposite can be said about ECO mode.
With room for five and a cargo area in the back, the Toyota C-HR will work perfectly for a large segment of the customer base. Leg room in the back is only 31.7 inches, but those who rarely pack the back seat with three passengers might not mind. The cargo area in the rear of the SUV measures 19.1 cubic feet in terms of its volume. This is larger than what sedans can offer because of the height that the C-HR has. Folding down the back seats increases cargo capacity to 37 cubic feet, which can be perfect for carrying larger or more bulky items. Since the rear seatback has a 60/40 split configuration, the cabin can be arranged in a few different ways.
The Toyota C-HR sits relatively low to the ground, having a clearance of just under six inches. With an overall length of 172.6 inches, it has a tight turning radius and can easily fit in small parking spaces. It can attract a lot of attention on the roads, thanks to its gently sloping roof, a shape that's somewhere between a car and a traditional SUV, and athletic curves near the front wheels.
Compare the 2021 Toyota C-HR LE vs XLE Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
From a price perspective, these two trims differ by about two thousand dollars. What does that extra money get you?
First, the LE rides on 17-inch wheels, and those on the XLE trim are larger by one inch. On the LE, the standard versions are steel, with alloy wheels being optional. The XLE uses vortex-styled sport alloy wheels that fit better with the overall aesthetic of the SUV.
The XLE has a smart key feature. This means that one can stand outside the car with the key in close proximity, and it only takes the touch of the door handle to lock or unlock it. The outside hatchback door has this type of touch sensor as well.
On the XLE, there are blind spot indicators integrated into the heated power outside mirrors. Also, these side mirrors have puddle lights. These lights are a fun little feature that displays the words "Toyota C-HR" on the ground. The mirrors have an auto-fold function that can be handy when someone is pulling into a garage or parallel parking. In contrast, the LE's side mirrors are heated and have turn signal indicators, but nothing else.
Moving to the inside of the cabin, there are a few differences that stand out. The LE has a urethane steering wheel with various controls for the audio and safety systems. The XLE has a similar steering wheel, but it's trimmed in leather for a more upscale feel. Both trims have leather-trimmed shift levers and sport fabric-trimmed seats. Only the XLE has seatback pockets.
As mentioned previously, the smart key system is found on the XLE but not the LE. This system comes along with push button start. This gives people the ability to keep their keys tucked away safely in pockets or bags for the whole duration of their trips.
Another minor difference that may be important to some is that the LE doesn't come with illuminated vanity mirrors like the XLE does. In order to see the vanity mirrors at night, one would have to turn the interior lights on. Also, the dual sun visors in the LE don't have the same types of sliding extensions that the XLE's visors have.
The two trims the C-HR have the same multimedia package. It consists of an eight-inch touchscreen, smartphone compatibility for Apple and non-Apple products, and Bluetooth. It also comes with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Amazon Alexa, both of which aren't a guarantee when looking at other brand's base models. This gives drivers and their passengers plenty of entertainment options and opportunities to connect to various networks. However, only the XLE gives customers the opportunity to opt for the "Audio Plus" package that comes with all the free channels associated with HD Radio.
Other things that these trims have in common are a two-zone temperature control system, remote keyless entry, and a 12-volt power outlet in the center armrest. On the exterior, both trims share the same type of LED Daytime Running Lights, rear door handles that seem to be almost hidden in the trim, a front windshield that can reduce the amount of acoustic noise, and a black insert in the front lower grille.
When examining the LE and XLE from a safety perspective, they are almost identical to each other. The exception is that the XLE is the only one out of the two to have blind spot monitoring. This can be quite useful when traffic is busy and people can't always see what's around them. Another safety feature seen in the XLE and not the LE is rear cross-traffic alert.
The standard safety package on the 2021 Toyota C-HR is called Toyota Safety Sense 2.5. It includes what is commonly seen in the market, such as pre-collision braking and automatic high beams. What sets it apart from some of the competition is that it has pedestrian detection, a steering assist feature that can keep the vehicle centered in its lane, the ability to "read" road signs and remind drivers of them, and an adaptive cruise control system. These technologies are often found in higher-end trims, so it's generous of Toyota to incorporate them into the LE.
Compare the 2021 Toyota C-HR XLE vs Nightshade Edition. What is the Difference?
For a little less than one thousand dollars, customers can upgrade to the Nightshade Edition. In many ways, the Nightshade Edition is a copy of the XLE. The ways in which they differ are exclusively related to exterior features.
The Nightshade Edition of the Toyota C-HR has a more bold and sleek appearance. It has black exterior badging to match the black door handles. Black is also found on the lug nuts on the 18-inch black sport alloy wheels. One more black feature is the chin spoiler, and this really ties everything together.
The Nightshade Edition has some unique exterior color choices that feature the two-tone look. Choices include Blizzard Pearl, Supersonic Red, and Magnetic Gray Metallic, all of which are paired with a Black roof.
Compare the 2021 Toyota C-HR Nightshade Edition vs Limited Trim. What is the Difference?
At the Limited level, there are LED headlights that can adjust their level and angle in order to better illuminate the road. They can do so independently and according to the direction that the vehicle is traveling in. The Nightshade Edition only has LED headlights that can turn on and off automatically. More LEDs are found in the fog lights, which are exclusive to the Limited trim.
There's a slight difference in the wheels of these two models. Both are 18-inch versions, with the Limited using a turbine design while the Nightshade Edition has a vortex design.
The Limited is the only trim to have a chrome window trim accent that can really shine from certain angles. Its B-pillars are piano black to contrast with that chrome accent. Further, it's the only C-HR version to have a bumper garnish in the back that's been painted a bright red to add a little extra flair.
More premium features are found on the interior of the 2021 Toyota C-HR Limited trim. For example, it has leather-trimmed seats, with the front seats being heated to add warmth to the cabin. The driver's seat has lumbar support, and it can be power-adjusted in eight different ways. The other trims only have six-way manually adjustable driver's seats, though they do have sport bolsters just like the Limited's seats have.
Like the other trims, the limited has a glove compartment and storage pockets in the front doors to make it easier to keep small things organized. The tonneau cover can hide items in the cargo area from sight and provide additional shade for things like groceries. With the one-touch automatic function for all the window positions, the driver can quickly open things up or close up the windows at the end of the ride.
The safety package on the Limited is the same one that the Nightshade Edition and XLE trims have. Rather than looking at this as a limitation, one can see this as a positive aspect to the C-HR, considering that Toyota decided to put a comprehensive suite of safety features on all trims. In addition to what was discussed above, the C-HR has a tire pressure monitoring system, the LATCH system to help with securing child seats in the back row, and three-point seatbelts for every passenger. Plus, Hill Start Assist Control can keep pressure on the brakes when the driver moves to the gas pedal while stopped on an incline. It prevents the vehicle from moving backwards before there's enough acceleration to get things going again.
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Which Trim to Choose?
When deciding which vehicle trim to get, one can't ignore the finances. Fortunately, the Limited's starting price is only $26,500, meaning that all four trims can be considered affordable. However, is one trim better than the others in terms of value?
Remember that all of the trims have Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 as well as the same engine and infotainment package. The only difference in safety is that the base model doesn't have blind spot or rear cross-traffic monitoring. Considering this, it really comes down to whether aesthetic differences and convenience are important enough to warrant spending more money.
If a customer really wants his/her new vehicle to be fun and sporty, the Nightshade Edition is recommended. Its two-tone appearance is striking, as are its exterior accents. If someone prefers a more understated look, than the XLE would be perfect. It has the Smart Key System and a leather-wrapped steering wheel to help it feel more luxurious. For those who don't mind paying a little extra and want leather seats, heated seats, and LED exterior lighting, the Limited would be the only choice to consider.
• Compare the 2020 Toyota C-HR Trim Levels