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Subcompact SUVs are appealing for a number of reasons. They're easy to handle, fun to drive, and have some versatility that can be very useful. For anyone in the market for a subcompact SUV that feels youthful, modern, and sporty, there's the 2021 Toyota C-HR. Since it is a Toyota, it comes packed with technology and safety components. It does a great job of standing out in a crowd, as its unique stylings make it feel different from the rest of the company's lineup.
What's New for 2021?
One of the most major changes is that there is a new Nightshade Edition that customers can choose if they like the look of black. This appearance package is available on the XLE model, and it comes with black accents and black wheels. Another change is that the driver-assistance offerings have been beefed up. Now, the C-HR comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, so it has some more advanced components than the previous model year did.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Toyota C-HR – The Pros
1. Great Fuel Efficiency
The C-HR is a smart choice if anyone is interested in saving money at the gas station. The vehicle can achieve an estimated 27 miles per gallon in the city. On the highway, fuel economy is bumped up to 31 miles per gallon. Having a combined mileage of 29 miles per gallon is excellent. Yes, there are hybrids out there that can do better, but in general, hybrids are more expensive than the C-HR.
2. An Affordable Vehicle
With a starting price of under $21,500, the C-HR is hard to beat in terms of affordability. There are some modest price jumps when moving from the base LE trim to the others. The Limited sits at the top of the C-HR collection, and its starting price is still only $26,500. Many other vehicles in the market start at that price or well above that mark.
3. A Brand Name
There are a lot of people in the market who prefer sticking with name-brand vehicles, and Toyota has certainly been one of the industry's most well-known companies for decades. As a Toyota, the C-HR can be relied upon in a variety of situations, and it should last for many, many years.
The C-HR should also be easy to care for. Getting an oil change, getting new tires, or having any work done shouldn't be a problem, as most auto shops will be very familiar with what's under the hood of the C-HR. The Toyota even comes with ToyotaCare. This is a maintenance plan that covers the cost of regular maintenance on new Toyotas for two years, and it includes roadside assistance that can be accessed at any time of day or night.
4. Sleek and Modern
It only takes one glance at the Toyota C-HR to realize that it's different from the average SUV. In a way, it sits in that category between car and SUV, offering the best of both worlds. It has a rear spoiler and a lip spoiler to help it look more sporty, and its curved roof adds to its aerodynamic feel. The doors that rear passengers use to get into the cabin have a cool design, with the handles being hidden inside the door frame. Many people appreciate little touches like this. Though they don't have a specific function, they add to the overall vibe of the vehicle.
5. Versatile Cabin
This Toyota model has the classic, two-row seating configuration. There's more to it, though, since the back row is set up as a 60/40 split bench. When needed, one side of that bench can be folded down flat to make space for more cargo. Of course, both sides can be lowered when cargo volume needs to be maximized. The dedicated cargo area in the back of the car measures 19.1 cubic feet. When the rear seatbacks are folded down, cargo volume increases to 37 cubic feet.
6. Two-Tone Roof
There are six different exterior paint choices that involve a two-tone look. This type of design can really attract a lot of attention. The choices are Blizzard Pearl, Oxide Bronze, Supersonic Red, Blue Eclipse Metallic, and Magnetic Gray Metallic, all of which are paired with a black roof. One other choice is Black Sand Pearl for the lower part of the body and a Knockout Metallic roof; Knockout Metallic is a shade of silver that looks bright and stylish in contrast to the dark body.
7. Nightshade Edition
As mentioned earlier, the 2021 Toyota C-HR can be decked out with a special appearance package called the Nightshade Edition. This model looks a bit more aggressive than the rest because there are several features that are blacked out. The 18-inch wheels have a black vortex design in addition to black lug nuts. The door handles and spoiler are black, just like the exterior badging. Inside the cabin, the theme continues with a gunmetal trim. Going with the Nightshade Edition would definitely be a bold choice, and it would be a perfect fit for some people.
8. Comprehensive Infotainment Package
Even though the C-HR is such an affordable vehicle, it still comes with a nice infotainment system. Standard on the Toyota is an eight-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth technology, and smartphone compatibility. Also standard is Amazon Alexa, giving people the ability to use a variety of voice commands, just as they would with other Alexa devices. SiriusXM is another component that enhances the entertainment options in the vehicle. It's impressive that the C-HR has SiriusXM because many other base models don't offer it.
9. Looking Out For Drivers
For 2021, the C-HR has Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 incorporated into it. This suite of features includes automatic braking that can engage when it seems like the C-HR is about to hit a vehicle or pedestrian in front of it. Some of its other features are automatic high beams, the ability to read road signs and display key information to the driver, and an advanced cruise control system that works at all speeds. Plus, there are three systems that work together to keep the C-HR centered in its lane.
On top of all of this, the C-HR comes with a backup camera that can display a live feed when the vehicle is in reverse, and it has a few different stability and control systems that are always ready to make the necessary adjustments. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic monitoring are available on the higher trims.
10. Premium Interior Components
The C-HR isn't a luxury vehicle by any means, but it does have many high-quality components that will keep people happy. Remote keyless entry is standard, and upgrading to the XLE comes along with the addition of a Smart Key System and push button start. Leather seats are available on the C-HR, and the front seats can be heated. Leather can also be found on the steering wheel and shifter to make the cabin feel more upscale.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Toyota C-HR – The Cons
1. Slow to Accelerate
Under the hood of the C-HR, there is a 2.0-liter engine with four cylinders. It's adequate for most situations, providing drivers with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. While the driving in a C-HR can be smooth and controlled, the experience is far from exciting. By some estimates, it could take 11 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill. This is more than twice as long as it takes a performance SUV or car to reach that speed. Most C-HR customers won't mind this too much, but the sluggish performance may be noticeable when climbing hills and merging onto highways.
2. Doesn't Have Much Room
Second-row leg room is only 31.7 inches. To be honest, many adults will be uncomfortable sitting in the back of the C-HR for anything longer than a short trip. For people who plan on transporting more than one other adult in their cars, the C-HR might not be the best choice. That being said, most children should do fine in the back.
3. No All-Wheel Drive
In the past, finding vehicles with all-wheel drive was more difficult than it is today. It seems that there are now all types of modern vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive so their handling can be improved. All-wheel drive can be ideal in wintry conditions, obviously, and it can also play a role when making turns, accelerating, and running into the occasionally bumpy patch in the road. It's unfortunate that all-wheel drive isn't an option on the C-HR.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Toyota C-HR vs 2021 Honda HR-V
The HR-V has a similar size and shape to the C-HR, and their names are even a little similar. How the C-HR differentiates itself from the HR-V is mostly related to the infotainment package. The Toyota has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a touchscreen as standard features, but the Honda does not. This can be a deal breaker for some customers, driving them away from the Honda.
In addition, some people might feel that the interior of the C-HR feels more sophisticated than that of the HR-V, as its seats are more comfortable, the dashboard has a more streamlined layout, and everything just feels more refined. This would especially be true if one chooses the Nightshade Edition.
2021 Toyota C-HR vs 2021 Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona is comparable to the C-HR in many ways, as they have roughly the same horsepower and cabin size. While the Kona does feel fresh and look interesting, the C-HR has an even stronger and bolder design. The C-HR has the available two-tone look, and it has the blacked out look as well.
If a customer is looking for a small SUV that has a lot of style in addition to high-tech components, the 2021 Toyota C-HR would be an ideal choice. While it won't win any performance competitions, it certainly makes up for that in other departments. The C-HR is efficient, is nicely appointed, has many driver-assist technologies, and comes standard with smartphone compatibility. These are all things that many consumers want in their next vehicles, and if affordability is an important factor, then the C-HR jumps ahead of much of the rest of the pack.
• Why buy a 2020 Toyota C-HR? w/ pros vs cons