Kurt Verlin
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2021 Toyota C-HR Gets Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5

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2021 Toyota C-HR Supersonic Red
Photo: Toyota

The 2021 Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover has arrived. It comes with a newly standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 suite as well as a new Nightshade special edition model, plus some cool new exterior colors like Oxide Bronze and Magentic Gray Metallic.

The C-HR, which first went into production at the end of 2016, has always been one of Toyota’s most strangely designed vehicles. It tries to combine hatchback, compact crossover, and sport coupe elements into one, and the resulting style is a polarizing one.

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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR family 02
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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR family 01
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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR family 04

Still, we think the automaker has done pretty well with the 2021 iteration. It has a sporty, dynamic look, cool sculpting down the length of the car, and though its proportions are unusual, its overall appearance is cohesive.

New for 2021, the Toyota C-HR comes with standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5, and we’re not actually sure how it differs from TSS 2.5+, which is offered on other 2021 models like the Camry and Highlander. As far as we can tell, the feature list is identical.

Also new is a Nightshade edition, which is part of a larger trend among Toyota’s 2021 lineup. Virtually all of the company’s new cars are now available with a Nightshade edition, which in this case includes black door handles, black badges, a black chin spoiler, black lug nuts, black alloy wheels, and black fabric interior with gunmetal trim. You get the idea.

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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR Limited interior
  • 2021 Toyota C-HR Limited Blizzard Pearl wheel
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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR Limited Blizzard Pearl front
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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR Limited Blizzard Pearl side

The 2021 Toyota C-HR features an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the latter being noteworthy as Toyota is only just now rolling out standard support for the many Android users out there. Better late than never.

Under the hood, the C-HR has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 144 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque, and that’s the only available engine. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission that features a sport mode and simulated shifting feature so you can feel like you’re doing something.

Interestingly, the C-HR gets very similar mileage wherever you drive it, which is unusual. It gets about 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, for a combined 29 mpg. That’s pretty low by Toyota’s usual standards, and you might wonder why get a C-HR when even the bigger, non-hybrid RAV4 gets better fuel economy. But if you’re looking for something bigger than a hatchback, the C-HR is your first stop — and with a starting price of $21,445, it’s more affordable than many smaller vehicles too.