What kind of car is the 2021 Toyota C-HR? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Toyota C-HR is dubbed a sport-utility vehicle by its maker, but it isn’t fooling us. It’s front-wheel drive, and doesn’t have a wagon body; it’s a hatchback to us. It compares to cars like the Hyundai Kona and Ford Ecosport.

Is the 2021 Toyota C-HR a good car?

It’s slightly above average, with a TCC Rating of 5.5 out of 10. It gets there with extra points in styling and features.

What’s new for the 2021 Toyota C-HR?

Not much. There’s a new Nightshade edition, and standard road-sign recognition and pedestrian detection for its safety systems.

Otherwise, the C-HR is sold in LE, XLE, and Limited trims. It still wears a slightly cleaner look than when it was new in 2018, but it’s a rowdy-looking car with every styling cue in Toyota’s book thrown at its body. The cockpit’s more of a snooze—and it’s a welcome respite. We applaud its nonconformist stance, but don’t let it get any more carried away. (Looking at you, Nissan Juke.)

The C-HR taps a 144-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 for juice and routes it through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). There’s no all-wheel drive, no manual gearbox, and not much zest, either. The C-HR performs leisurely, with a polished ride and weighty steering but ultimately not much excitement—not even in fuel economy, which dips below some all-wheel-drive competitors.

The C-HR’s look robs the second row of head and leg room, and it makes outward vision a trick, too. Cargo space is a strength, though it’s still somewhat smaller than its rivals.

How much does the 2021 Toyota C-HR cost?

The $22,565 C-HR LE is where we suggest you start and stop. It has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, power features, and active safety tech. More expensive versions get blind-spot monitors (good) and keyless start (fine), but fully loaded C-HR hatchbacks cost $27,620 and aren’t any safer or faster, and don’t get a better warranty: It’s Toyota’s standard-issue, 3-year/36,000-mile coverage, this year with two years’ included maintenance.