What happens when Toyota designers blend sport coupe, hatchback and compact crossover? The boldly expressive, fun to drive and utterly unique C-HR happens. The C-HR’s standout design for 2021 is just as edgy – with the new introduction of a Nightshade edition and so much more. This includes newly standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 for C-HR across all trims.
New Nightshade Edition, New Color Options +More
The Toyota C-HR broke new design ground for the automaker, which applied new manufacturing techniques to take a highly sculpted concept-car body design into production while preserving its essence. The result melds sport coupe personality with crossover versatility. With this, it only made sense to take that versatility just one step further – enter C-HR Nightshade Edition.
The C-HR packs a lot of attitude in a compact package that measures 172.6 in. long on a 103.9- in. wheelbase – making the C-HR a tight, agile form that’s a joy to wheel through congested urban areas.
Never one to blend in, the C-HR updates its extroverted style for 2021 with a newly added Nightshade Edition. Available in exterior colors Black Sand Pearl, Blizzard Pearl with Black Roof, Magnetic Gray Metallic with Black Roof, and Supersonic Red with Black, other features include:
- Black fabric interior with gunmetal trim (same as LE)
- Black 18” alloy wheels
- Black Lug Nuts
- Black Door Handles
- Black Chin Spoiler
- Black Badges
The C-HR’s color palette is also new for 2021. New color choices include Oxide Bronze, Oxide Bronze with Black Roof and Magnetic Gray Metallic with Black Roof. Knockout Silver Metallic and Hot Lava are discontinued for all trims; while Supersonic Red and Blue Eclipse Metallic are now only available on XLE and Limited (discontinued on LE).
Carryover colors for C-HR include still include Blizzard Pearl*, Blue Eclipse Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, and Silver Knockout Metallic.
*Extra Cost Color
Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 (TSS 2.5) Now Standard
For 2021, the Toyota C-HR now comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.5), a comprehensive suite of active safety systems that includes:
- Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) is enhanced with daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection. Emergency steering assist is another enhancement of the PCS w/PD system for TSS 2.5. This function helps the driver avoid a pedestrian in their lane via steering assist and avoid crossing out of the lane). In addition, the TSS 2.5 PCS w/PD system includes intersection support which is designed to detect a preceding vehicle, or pedestrian in an intersection and may cause typical pre-collision alerts, and/or automatic braking)
- Road Sign Assist (RSA)
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
- Lane Keeping Technology: Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Lane Tracing Assist and Sway Warning System
- Automatic High Beams (AHB)
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) is standard on XLE and above.
The STAR Safety System comes with: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology® (SST). Also complementing TSS 2.5 are 10 standard airbags, standard Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and a rear backup camera. Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard on the XLE and Limited models.
2021 C-HR – Same Audacious Attitude
Carryover from 2020 include the redesigned front fascia, headlamps, bumper, grille and spoiler. The LE still comes standard with LED headlamps and also carries over from 2020 the optional 17-inch alloy wheel design. Carryover from 2021 for the Limited grade includes the 18-inch alloy wheel design.
All 2021 C-HR models come standard with Apple CarPlay compatibility and Android Auto compatibility. In addition, all trims come standard with SiriusXM® All Access 3-Month Trial Satellite Radio.
The XLE grade includes seatback pockets and windshield visor extensions, the kind of detail upgrades that owners appreciate in everyday usage. The top-of-line Limited, which already includes leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats and ambient lighting, reaches further into luxury territory with an 8-way power driver’s seat and Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with headlamp auto-leveling. AFS partially aims the headlight beams into turns as the driver steers, helping to provide an extra margin of night driving safety.
Turns Heads in Every Crowd
Toyota designers went all-in on expressiveness with the C-HR. The slim LED headlights wrap deeply into the sides of the hood, running rearward along the fender tops. Deep, curvy character lines emerge from a prominent Toyota badge on the front fascia and lead into the narrower core body. These lines continue below the side windows and above the rear wheel, where they join a high beltline and distinctive C-pillar with hidden-type design door handles.
The sport coupe persona is especially evident in the fastback-style roof, highly sculpted “wide body” rear quarter panels, and a lip spoiler on the hatchback. At the roof’s edge, a color-matched cantilevered wing tapers neatly inboard.
Canards on the rear quarter panels, front and rear spats, a streamlined rear lower bumper, and stabilizing fins integrated into the taillights all manage critical airflow in and around the body. Beneath the body, a bevy of rigid covers – on the engine, floor, fuel tank, and aft of the rear wheels – cull turbulence and, in doing so, help enhance vehicle control and fuel efficiency.
Toyota designers gave the C-HR a modern and uncluttered interior with a bold placement of accents and a driver-centric orientation. They call it “MeZONE,” but it’s hardly selfish at all. It means fun for the driver and welcoming for passengers.
Along with the soft-touch materials covering surfaces throughout, the C-HR also includes a Gray headliner for the LE and Limited grades and some striking interior color combinations to create a more light and spacious cabin.
The XLE offers a Blue/Black interior, featuring a blue instrument panel, center console armrest, seat trim and seat quilting in blue. The Limited grade’s available Black interior features an instrument panel and center console armrest, with an orchid instrument panel trim and diamond perforation seat pattern.
Together with slim A-pillars, the angled dashboard and controls give the driver a clear view of the road and intuitive access to instrumentation. Passengers will appreciate the generous amount of small-item storage space (sculpted in-door pockets) and cup holders (two front cup holders; two front and two rear bottle holders). Designers used scalloped seatbacks, footwell cubbies carved below the front seats, and a chamfered headliner to create a spacious rear seat area. Sound-insulating materials beneath the carpet, headliner, A-pillars, and door trim help to keep the cabin quiet for conversation and music listening.
The 8-inch Toyota Audio display is positioned centrally atop the dash, rather than in it, to help reduce drivers’ eye movements. A bright 4.2-inch color Multi-Information Display (MID) sits between the twin-ring instrument cluster and shows odometer, SPORT and ECO modes, outside temperature, fuel economy and trip information, fuel economy history, G-force monitor, and much more.
Then there’s C-HR’s practical side. It is, after all, part of Toyota’s SUV/crossover family. The 60/40 split rear seat folds flat, and seatback lock releases are positioned at shoulder height, making it easy to fold the seats without bending over. The rear seats are designed so that the seatbelts do not interfere when folding the seats. Compartments below the cargo area deck board, along with a hidden compartment in the cargo area sidewall, can store small items. A standard cargo cover conceals the trunk area.
Making the Grades
The Toyota C-HR exemplifies Toyota value in all three grades. The LE may be the entry model, but one could hardly use that term to describe such standard equipment as dual-zone automatic climate control, power/heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED headlamps and Toyota Audio with 8-inch touchscreen display and 6 speakers. Additional standard features include an array of multimedia perks, such as Android AutoTM Compatibility, Apple CarPlay® Compatibility & Amazon Alexa Compatibility, USB Media Port, Hands-Free Phone Capability, Advanced Voice Recognition and Music Streaming via Bluetooth® Wireless Technology, SiriusXM® with 3-month All Access Trial. Also standard are Connected Services, that includes Safety Connect® with 1-year Trial and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2 GB within 3-month Trial. Notable Safety Connect features include an Emergency Assistance Button, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Locator.
The LE grade’s generous standard equipment roster goes on and on with a tilt/telescopic steering wheel integrating controls for the audio, Multi-Information Display, Bluetooth® hands-free phone, and voice-command; leather-trimmed shift lever with satin-plated shift knob; Sport fabric-trimmed, 6-way adjustable front bucket seats with sport bolsters; 60/40 split fold-flat second-row rear seat with adjustable headrests, and center armrest with 12V power outlet.
The XLE takes it from there, adding 18-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, auto-folding side mirrors, “Toyota C-HR” puddle lamps, Smart Key with Push Button Start, Blind Spot Monitor + Rear Cross Traffic Alert and an optional Toyota Audio Plus system.
The Limited tops up the luxury and tech with LED fog lamps, piano-black B-pillar trim, heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat adjustment, ambient lighting, chrome window trim, leather-trimmed seats and an optional Toyota Audio Plus system (also an available option on XLE and Nightshade).
Compact Punch, Dynamic Moves
The C-HR’s punchy dual-overhead cam 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 144 horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 139 pound-feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. The engine employs many of Toyota’s latest-generation technologies, including Variable Valve Timing (VVT) and Valvematic valve lift control.
The front-wheel drive C-HR comes standard with the Continuously Variable Transmission with intelligence and Shift mode (CVTi-S). A preload differential helps to distribute torque between the front wheels during low-speed operation to make for easier, composed driving.
Drivers will welcome the powertrain’s well-sorted nature, and they’ll love Sport mode and the simulated 7-speed Sequential Shiftmatic feature. Engaging Sport mode via the multi-information display (MID) increases throttle responsiveness, quickens the CVT’s simulated automatic “step-up” shifts, and maintains high engine speed to enhance acceleration. Pushing the gearshift over to the left while in Drive engages Sequential Shiftmatic, and lets drivers shift simulated gears manually.
On all C-HR grades, the Brake Hold Function is designed to maintain braking force on all four wheels to keep the vehicle stationary when at a full stop. As a result, the vehicle will remain still even if the driver reduces brake pedal pressure. When the driver depresses the accelerator, brake pressure releases, and the vehicle will move forward.
The C-HR has an EPA-estimated MPG of 27 city / 31 highway / 29 combined.
The C-HR is a Smooth Rider, Too
The Toyota C-HR scores high on style points, but it’s also a hit when it comes to driving fun and ride comfort. The Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) C-platform is designed with an inherently low center of gravity, high strength, and low weight. Extensive spot welding, gussets, braces, and adhesives at key connection structures provide outstanding structural rigidity, the cornerstones of nimble handling and smooth ride quality.
The MacPherson strut front suspension uses angled strut bearings and a large diameter stabilizer bar to help the C-HR respond quickly and precisely at initial corner turn-in. The sports car-like multi-link rear suspension utilizes a stabilizer bar with urethane upper supports. The material, together with an aluminum-cast upper support housing, aids in the dampers’ absorption efficiency and benefits vehicle agility, ride comfort and cabin quietness.
Column-type Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system gives the C-HR a sporty driving character. The steering returns a light feel at low speeds, while, at higher speeds, drivers will notice stronger feedback for increased confidence. Braking is handled by 11.7-inch front ventilated discs with 11.5-inch rear solid discs.