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2021 Toyota C-HR: When you just need a new car

Starting at $21,695 US, this year’s C-HR (how do they come up with these alphabet soup names?) might be worth consideration if you just need a new car to get around town and do your ‘stuff’.

Mileage is 27 city / 31 highway, which isn’t bad for the class. describes the C-HR as an “extra-small crossover SUV”, which, well, yeah… it kinda is, at least for men of ‘size’.  

It’s easy to park.  It’s easy to miss in a crowded parking lot because it doesn’t stick out.  You really can zip in and out of traffic, and therein lies a potential danger, so be careful.

Standard safety features include the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 package, which includes road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane-keep assist and forward collision mitigation. Keyless entry, dual automatic climate zones and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto are also standard.

This is a basic car to be sure, but by looking at it, you wouldn’t guess that.  It doesn’t look rather sporty.  Yes, it does look like a sportscar, not an SUV in the same league as the Hyundai Kona or the Mazda CX-3. This car is full of surprises.

When I first got it, I was surprised to learn there are backseats, which, admittedly, are more than a bit cramped.  The door handles for the backseats are on the top of the door, so flexibility is key here. 

The 2021 C-HR drives well and handles well.  Assuming you are not out to impress your lovers and other strangers, like the hottie in the next lane, you should do well should decide this is the car for you. 

I test the Nightshade trim, which is just one down from the top-tier Limited trim, which will set you back $26,750 US (assuming you can find one – on time, at that price –- and not have to deal with whatever else may be out there in New Car Hell that is happening all over the world in late 2021.)

Many car reviewers recommend you get the next trim up from the base LE and get the XLE.  The Nightshade edition was a very sporty, very aggressively looking trim, which I liked. Mine had a noted exterior color of ‘Magnetic Gray Metal’, which is very hetero way of say Etch-a-Sketch Grey Glitter.  It was pretty.

If you are buying a new car, hang in there.  It is supposed to get better after the first of the year.

But honestly, Bears.  Haven’t we heard that before?

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