SUV Overview: 2021 Toyota C-HR LE

A cool-looking runabout is challenged by its new brother

Article content material

Anybody studying this missive who, as a youth, welcomed a brand new sibling into their residence will know precisely how the Toyota C-HR feels. Regardless of nonetheless being a cherished member of the household, it’s now not the next-big-thing or the one which will get all the eye. With the arrival of the Corolla Cross — one other small crossover with comparable pricing and energy however extra approachable identify and styling options — let’s simply hope the C-HR doesn’t fall in with a foul crowd and decide up smoking.

Commercial

Article content material

The C-HR is likely one of the final vestiges of Toyota’s shuttered Scion experiment, launched again in 2015 as a enjoyable however practical small crossover for its youth-oriented model. After scaling again these arm’s-length efforts, the C-HR was absorbed into the Toyota fold and hawked as a unusual tall wagon for purchasers looking for to inject a little bit of visible curiosity into their every day commute. Regardless of its crossover pretensions, it’s accessible solely with front-wheel drive (professional tip: FWD is simply nice for extensive swaths of our nation supplied the set up of a great set of winter tires). With a distinctly two-door profile — the again door handles may be discovered within the C-pillar in case you look arduous sufficient — it definitely stood out as an possibility for Toyota prospects who wished a crossover-style automobile smaller than a RAV4.

Commercial

Article content material

Right here’s the place sibling rivalry begins: that nook of the Toyota showroom has been usurped this yr by the brand new Corolla Cross – by way of mission, value, and area. Toss in a barely extra highly effective engine, styling which doesn’t want explaining to the neighbours, and an instantly recognizable identify and also you’ve a recipe for the brand new child grabbing a variety of the limelight.

Commercial

Article content material

However the C-HR continues to be bought, not less than for the 2022 mannequin yr, so let’s see the way it acquits itself when pressed right into a routine. Beneath the hood is a naturally-aspirated 2.0L inline-four making 144 horsepower funneled to the entrance wheels through a repeatedly variable transmission. It’s an engine that begrudgingly responds when prodded, like a sullen teen requested to scrub a bed room, however it not less than composes itself round city. The gearless CVT solely turns into an aural nuisance when prodded, not like some others in its class (or household, reality be informed). Aside from events during which the throttle is totally pressed into the carpet, this powertrain manages its drone effectively at freeway speeds. Regardless of its crossover form, the C-HR is obtainable solely with front-wheel drive.

Commercial

Article content material

If the powertrain is vanilla, then the styling provides a streak of spicy pistachio. Because it was initially designed to be a part of the Scion portfolio, designers got leeway to create one thing with loads of flares and offended flank slashes. There are some cases of favor over substance, such because the rear door handles which require customers to have palms on the entrance of their fingers to function seamlessly, however the general riot of shapes is not less than extra entertaining than its sedate cousins. Stylists have been apparently given a missive to incorporate as many “diamond-cut” silhouettes as attainable, with that geometry popping up in every single place from the headlamps to the inside headliner. Our tester was the bottom LE, making do with metal wheel and plastic hubcaps. Dearer trims have higher socks.

Commercial

Article content material

Regardless of its diminutive dimensions — only a foot longer than a Mini Cooper 5-door — your long-limbed writer had no bother acclimating to the motive force’s seat, discovering ample leg- and headroom. The identical can’t be mentioned (nor needs to be anticipated) for the rear cabin, which actually has 0.6 inches much less legroom than the aforementioned Mini, particularly when the entrance chairs have been adjusted to my liking. The cargo space measures 36.4 cubic ft (1,031L) with the 60/40 break up rear seats folded and is unencumbered with unusually formed protrusions from the suspension or spare tire space. The transition from cargo space to folded seat can also be markedly flat, which could be very useful when loading giant gadgets.

Commercial

Article content material

There are not any complaints concerning the meeting high quality of our check automotive’s inside, a unit which rolled off the road in Japan. Given the C-HR’s value level, the quantity of soft-touch surfaces on the inside’s dashboard and different contact factors is commendable and goes a great distance in direction of avoiding the sensation one is piloting a penalty field. A scarcity of heated seats on this base LE is disappointing however not less than the motive force’s eyes are usually not assaulted with clean swap block-off plates which scream “right here’s what you didn’t purchase, cheapskate,” in order that’s a web constructive. Funky textures on the door panels look dearer than the C-HR sticker value would recommend.

Infotainment is typical Toyota sizzling rubbish, offered like a PowerPoint slide with an excessive amount of haphazard element and customarily responding slower than chilly molasses going backwards uphill. Shiny spot consists of the presence of smartphone integration which mercifully obliterates the monochrome Toyota screens from existence and replaces them with day-glo icons that are intuitive and simple to make use of. Increase a glass for Toyota’s IT crew who’ve crafted a wonderful system for the brand new Tundra; right here’s hoping that UX makes its means into different Huge T merchandise quickly.

Commercial

Article content material

2021 Toyota C-HR LE

In case you’re hell-bent on choosing the C-HR, it makes greater than a lick of sense to think about the next-rung XLE trim. For the sake of $2,600 one will discover themselves with a machine which incorporates lots of the LE’s lacking options reminiscent of heated entrance seats and a blind-spot monitoring system. Keyless begin additionally means there’s no digging for keys on frigid winter mornings when it’s minus eleventy billion and also you’re dressed up like a mummer to cope with the chilly. That latter could also be a unusually particular instance confined to your writer throughout his time with the C-HR, however I digress.

The current addition of the span fireplace new Corolla Cross will complicate the C-HR’s existence. There’s a large quantity of overlap by way of value with the previous beginning simply $740 extra pricey than the latter regardless of being barely bigger and packing a couple of further horsepower. The subjective (however no much less essential) metrics of much less polarizing styling and a reputation with loads of cred can even absolutely trigger the Corolla Cross to outsell the C-HR in jig time. In actual fact, regardless of provide chain points and the newer automobile solely popping up on vendor heaps within the ultimate days of weeks in 2021, Corolla Cross managed to seek out virtually 300 new houses in Canada final December. The CH-R netted simply 389 models.

Sibling rivalry? It ought to solely take a few mannequin years to see if there’s room sufficient at Toyota’s desk for each the C-HR and Corolla Cross.

Feedback

Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback could take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the positioning. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. Now we have enabled e mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an e mail in case you obtain a reply to your remark, there’s an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Go to our Neighborhood Pointers for extra info and particulars on how you can alter your e mail settings.