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2021 Toyota C-HR vs. 2021 Hyundai Venue: Which Is Better?

The 2021 Toyota C-HR and the 2021 Hyundai Venue are two very different takes on the sub-compact crossover. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The Toyota C-HR’s name stands for “Coupe High-Rider.”
  • The Hyundai Venue is six inches shorter than the Hyundai Kona.

2021 Toyota C-HR2021 Toyota C-HR Front Right Side in White

Base Price: $22,620 / Read our 2021 Toyota C-HR Review

What we like: Standard safety features; sporty handling; strong resale value; reputation for reliability.

What we would change: Make all-wheel drive available; improve rear visibility; offer the option of a more powerful engine.

Overview: The funky-looking Toyota C-HR is marketed as a crossover, but it’s really more of a hatchback with a tall body. The C-HR is front-wheel drive only, and it has less utility than most crossovers. Wide C-pillars constrict the view rearward and create claustrophobia for rear-seat passengers, who suffer a dearth of legroom. The cargo area is also on the small side, with 19 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 33 cubic feet with the seatbacks folded. The interior is nicely finished despite the C-HR’s low price, however. Handling is sporty, but the powertrain is not. The sole offering is a 2.0-liter inline-4 with 144 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and while acceleration is leisurely, fuel economy is fairly good at 27 mpg city and 31 highway.

What’s new for 2021: The C-HR sees an enhanced roster of standard active-safety features for 2021, and there’s also a new Nightshade Edition trim level that’s based on the XLE but gets blacked-out exterior trim and 18-inch wheels also finished in black.

Features and technology: The 2021 Toyota C-HR is available in LE, SLE, Nightshade, and Limited trim levels. Toyota includes a fair bit of standard equipment including forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-centering, automatic high-beams, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are on all but the LE. All C-HR grades get an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. The top-spec Limited comes with leather, heated seats, a power driver’s seat, adaptive headlights, LED foglights, and rain-sensing wipers.

What does the future hold: We’d love to see Toyota add a more powerful engine option, but more likely would be the addition of a hybrid variant. See 2021 Toyota C-HR models for sale near you

2021 Hyundai Venue2021 Hyundai Venue Front Passenger Side in Gray

Base Price: $19,935 / Read our 2021 Hyundai Venue Review

What we like: Value pricing; good fuel economy; ease of parking; great warranty

What we would change: More power would be welcome; make AWD available; add blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert to the base model

Overview: The 2021 Hyundai Venue is the smallest least expensive crossover in the brand’s lineup. A 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is the sole engine choice and is paired exclusively with a CVT and front-wheel drive. The CVT makes good use of the engine’s modest 121 hp, and the Venue feels spry enough around town, less so on the highway. Fuel economy is 30 mpg city, 33 mpg highway. The ride can be busy, but the steering is light and accurate. The tidy footprint and a tight turning circle make the Venue highly maneuverable, and with good outward visibility, it’s a cinch to park. Although the interior is not large, the tall roof and upright seating position allow just enough room for adults in the back seat. The Venue’s cargo space, though, is limited with 18.7 cubic feet behind the seats and 31.9 with rear seatbacks folded.

What’s new for 2021: The manual transmission previously available in the base SE is gone, and that trim upgrades from steel wheels to 15-inch alloys. The contents of the SEL’s Convenience Package are now standard on that model, bringing blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a sliding center armrest, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Features and technology: The Venue’s three trim levels are SE, SEL, and Denim. The SE includes forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and a driver attention monitor. The SEL adds a sunroof, automatic climate control, 17-inch wheels, roof rails, and more. A Premium Package for the SEL brings heated front seats, navigation, LED headlights, and pushbutton start among other features. The Denim includes all those items except for the sunroof and adds a white contrast roof plus unique denim-and-vinyl upholstery. The Venue’s cabin has plenty of hard plastic inside, but the controls are straightforward and easy to use, including the 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that’s standard on all grades.

What does the future hold: The Venue was introduced last year, so we don’t expect any major changes soon. See 2021 Hyundai Venue models for sale near you

C-HR vs. Venue: Strengths comparison 

Toyota C-HR benefits: Reliability; strong resale value; sporty handling; 2-years free scheduled maintenance

Hyundai Venue benefits: Lower pricing; longer warranty; 3-years free scheduled maintenance

2021 Toyota C-HR vs. 2021 Hyundai Venue: Which is better?

The Toyota C-HR and the Hyundai Venue are affordably priced urban warriors with similar equipment and similar drawbacks. Their most stark difference is in their styling. So buyers need to ask themselves whether they prefer the wild-child C-HR or the squared-off look of the Venue. Most days, we’d prefer to see the 2021 Hyundai Venue in our driveway. See 2021 Toyota C-HR models for sale or See 2021 Hyundai Venue models for sale

2021 Toyota C-HR 2021 Hyundai Venue
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.0-liter I4 1.6-liter I4
Horsepower 144 hp @ 6,100 rpm 121 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque 139 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm 113 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission CVT CVT
Fuel Economy 29 mpg (27 city/31 hwy) 31 mpg (30 city/33 hwy)
Also Available n/a n/a
Specs
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars 4 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.9 inches 99.2 inches
Overall Length 172.6 inches 159.1 inches
Width 70.7 inches 69.7 inches
Height 61.6 inches 61.6 inches
Turning Diameter n/a 33.2 feet
Headroom, Front 38.1 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.3 inches 38.6 inches
Legroom, Front 43.5 inches 41.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 31.7 inches 34.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 49.0 inches 53.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 52.5 inches 53.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 86.0 cubic feet 91.9 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 19.1/37.0 cubic feet 18.7/31.9 cubic feet
Joe Lorio
Joe Lorio is an author specializing in automobiles. He says, “I have been into cars ever since I started with Matchboxes, and have been sharing my opinions about them for almost as long. Granted, I was pretty young at the time, but my parents really should have listened to me when I told them not to buy an Austin Marina.”

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