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Toyota C-HR gains crucial safety equipment for 2021

John Law

For 2021 Toyota has given the quirky C-HR a spec bump focusing on safety equipment to keep the compact crossover’s five-star ANCAP rating.

Naturally, the updates see the price go up, but not drastically. The entry-point GXL two-wheel drive climbs by $675 to $30,915.

There are no changes to the exterior or interior, but that isn’t a bad thing as the C-HR’s pleasing appearance was massaged late in 2019, and still stands up to current rivals.

2020 Toyota C-HR GXL
The entry-level is now the GXL and it gets improved AEB and lane-keeping.

Those rivals aren’t backing down, either, the Mazda CX-30 has now cemented itself in the market, while the Kia Seltos is making inroads. Toyota will be adding their own competition soon with the practical, wagon-esque Yaris Cross.

The changes to the C-HR lineup for 2021 begins with naming conventions; instead of just C-HR, the entry-level car is labelled the GXL while the range-topping variant retains the Koba moniker.

As to why the C-HR is getting an update so soon; vice president of Toyota Australia sales and marketing Sean Hanley said: “Toyota moving as quickly as possible to ensure customers benefit from new and upgraded features that improve safety”.

2020 Toyota C-HR GXL Light
With plenty of colours on offer, too.

So that means the safety suite is bolstered by a reworked AEB system that employs a combination of camera and radar allowing daytime cyclist and pedestrian detection, with nighttime pedestrian detection, too.

A further requirement for the full five-star ANCAP rating for 2020 is the inclusion of junction assist AEB, so the updated C-HR gets those features across the range. The upper-spec Koba variants also get rear AEB to supplement rear cross-traffic alert.

Otherwise, Toyota has refined the lane-keeping assist from a passive warning system to an active system that can trace the lanes on the freeway, supplemented by adaptive cruise control on all models.

2020 Toyota C-HR Koba Wheel
The spec stays the same otherwise – the Koba gets 18s.

The remaining specs for the C-HR remain unchanged. There’s a turbocharged 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine with outputs of 85kW and 185Nm. In front-drive configuration claimed fuel consumption is 6.4L/100km, while the extra $2,000 asked for all-wheel drive takes that up to 6.5L/100km.

The 1.2-litre powers both the $30,915 GXL which is equipped with cloth-appointed seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen and 17-inch alloy wheels. It’s also standard fare on the $35,615 upper-spec Koba which adds larger 18-inch alloys, leather-accented heated seats, rear parking sensors and 360-degree monitor.

Our pick of the range, though, is the 1.8-litre hybrid which is available only in Koba trim for $37,665. It combines an electric motor with a naturally aspirated four-cylinder for 72kW and 142Nm while dropping fuel consumption considerably to 4.3L/100km.

2020 Toyota C-HR Koba Hybrid
If you can afford it, we reckon the Koba hybrid is the way to go.

Additional customisation is possible – premium paint adds $500 to the asking price, while a contrasting roof is a $450 option on the upper trim Koba. The updated, safer 2021 C-HR is on sale now.

2021 Toyota C-HR Pricing

GXL 2WD petrol $30,915 (up $625)
Koba 2WD petrol $35,165 (up $475)
Koba 2WD Hybrid $37,665 (up $475)
GXL AWD petrol $32,915 (up $625)
Koba AWD petrol $37,165 (up $475)