For some reason, Toyota refers to its C-HR as an “SUV” when it is actually the same size as the Corolla Hatchback. Although, it’s actually a little taller, so maybe the automaker is capitalizing on that fact to make it sound bigger and more capable than it actually is. In either case, we decided to check the specs on both cars and see if it’s actually better to buy a Toyota Corolla Hatchback over the quirky C-HR.
2020 Toyota C-HR
In case you’re wondering, the abbreviated C-HR allegedly stands for “Compact High Rider,” so we can see why the marketing group at Toyota decided to designate this small car in a larger class. And we can’t blame them as it likely appeals to more of the general public since SUVs and crossovers are in vogue. However, if you put the two cars together, like when you see them on the Toyota dealer’s lot, you will understand our initial confusion.
The truth of the matter is that both the Corolla Hatchback and the C-HR measure out almost identically, although the C-HR does have 0.8 inches of ground clearance over the Corolla. But size aside, we want to look at the type of value that we can get with each. Starting with the engine, the C-HR is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 144 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a CVT. That kind of power doesn’t sound too bad, until you drive the car and floor the gas pedal, only to realize how fast you are not going.
Car and Driver clocked the C-HR’s 0-60 time at 11.0 seconds, which is not good. And during the time we spent driving the car, we felt that is was almost dangerous when trying to pass a car or get out of the way in time.
Toyota C-HR features
Size and engine performance aren’t the key highlights to either of these cars, so let’s see what else the Toyota C-HR has to offer. For the week that we had the C-HR, we noticed that its ride qualities were smooth and relatively quiet and we really liked the front seats, which were supportive and comfortable. Since we had the top-trim Limited, we were able to take note of some of the standout features, which included the Toyota Safety Sense P suite of driver-assist features, heated seats, dual auto climate control, adaptive headlights, and the intuitive 8-inch touchscreen display.
And as far as gas mileage, we averaged around 27 mpg with combined driving, which is a little lower than Toyota’s projected average rating of 29 mpg.
2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Now that you’re fully aware of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback’s size, we get right down to the heart of the matter. The Corolla Hatchback is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that puts out 168 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, which is only 24 more than the C-HR, but it gets to 60 mph in a more reasonable 8.5 seconds, according to Motor Trend. They also deduced that the Corolla being 300 pounds lighter might have something to do with it.
Toyota Corolla Hatchback features
Now that we have that out of the way, this five-door hatchback actually has a lot of the same tech features as the C-HR and their cockpits look nearly identical. The Corolla Hatchback has the same 8-inch touchscreen with phone integration capabilities, the Toyota Safety Sense P, available adaptive headlights, available leather seats, and dual auto-climate control. But one thing does have over the C-HR is an available JBL premium sound system, which we can never recommend enough.
As far as gas mileage, the Corolla Hatchback can achieve up to 32 mpg in the city and 41 on the highway with 35 mpg in combined driving situations, which is far better than the C-HR.
Which one is a better buy?
From a value standpoint, we would recommend the Toyota Corolla Hatchback over the C-HR due to better performance, better fuel economy, and a slightly better feature set. On top of that, the Corolla Hatchback has a starting price of $21,390 and tops out at $24,340, which the C-HR starts at $21,445 and top outs at $26,500. We just don’t think that you’re getting too much more with the C-HR for the added cost unless you’re really in love with its unique styling and minimal ground clearance advantage.