By Veeno Dewan
Toyota’s swoopy C-HR Stands for “Compact – High Rider.” Toyota describes the C-HR as having “kick-ass styling.” The C-HR has a bold, dramatic, edgy look to it, with its daring fascias, rear-sloping roofline, bulging fenders and complex curves and creases. The rear doors almost melt into the body and feature high mounted hidden door handles. If Toyota is looking for attracting styling kudos, it certainly has it with the C-HR.
For 2021 there’s a new Nightshade edition, and standard road-sign recognition and pedestrian detection for its safety systems. The C-HR is sold in LE, XLE, and Limited trims. All models come very well equipped, with such features as: Toyota Safety SenseTM P, Backup Camera, Apple CarPlay integration, a new Entune 3.0 infotainment system Entune App Suite Connect, with a plethora of Apps to monitor items such as weather, sport, and traffic.
Finally, there is a new 8-inch touchscreen with integrated backup camera. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, power features, and active safety tech. Upmarket models get goodies such as blind-spot monitors and key-less start.
The C-HR has a 144-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 engine hooked up to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). There’s no all-wheel drive, or manual option.
We tested a wonderful looking Bronze Oxide painted Limited Package equipped model 18″ inch Aluminum Alloy Wheels, Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, Entune Safety Connect with – Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Emergency Assistance button (SOS), and Enhanced Roadside Assistance (3 year subscription), Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot, Monitor System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, heated Leather seating Surfaces, Push Button Start, Smart Key System, Power Folding, Heated Exterior Mirrors, Rain Sensing Wipers, Ambient Lighting, Puddle lamps. Pricing came to MSRP $29,150, for a subtotal of $31,120 with fees and levies and Freight & PDI
The interior design is edgy and well executed with soft-touch surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. The cockpit is neatly laid out, with large analogue gauges for the speedometer and tachometer, and a central 4.2-inch configurable colour screen mounted high up that operate the climate control system and entertainment functions. I would say it more of a comfortable two-seater in the back than a tight three-seater. There is 538 litres of cargo room behind the rear seats. The seats fold flat in a 60/40 split, and the rear hatch-like door opens nice and wide.
Safety is excellent with as included: Lane Tracing Assist, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Lane, Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Bicycle Detection, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar.
On the road, the C-HR is a comfortable, quiet, and docile performer. It’s not a standout hot –rod performer, the CVT transmission is not tuned for speed. However, a sport mode option provides more throttle response. Handling is better though, with quick steering and good reflexes. The front seats afford good comfort on long drives. The ride is stable and well composed, and there is some agility in the handling when pushed. Not many issues to speak of it. Rear visibility is a pain, but you do get the backup camera as standard. Some hard plastics could be softer and would be nice to see some colored accents around the cabin to break up the black finish. I hope AWD becomes available at some point, or a hybrid option. Fuel economy is good, with official totals of 8.7L/100 km and 7.5L/100 km in city and highway. The CH-R is well built and has the typical durability and solidness once expects from Toyota. To sum up, if you like the styling, the C-HR offers a unique looking package that is well- tailored to younger, or older demographic looking for something that’s a little more edgy and unique looking.
2021 Toyota CH-R Limited: MRSP price $29,150, for a subtotal of $31,120 with fees and levies and Freight & PDI.
More info at www.toyota.ca