Toyota announces major safety upgrades for popular C-HR, and a sporty flagship could be on the way.
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  • 2021 Toyota C-HR gets significant safety upgrades
  • Prices climb again, this time by $1225 or $1375 depending on variant
  • Sports-styled C-HR GR Sport could be on its way to Australia

A raft of safety enhancements have been announced for the 2021 Toyota C-HR, along with a number of new convenience features.

News of improvements to the C-HR follows the appearance of the recently revealed C-HR GR Sport in the Australian government's Road Vehicle Certification System database – often a sign of launch plans, though never a sure thing.

2021 Toyota C-HR Safety upgrades

These upgrades come just 10 months after the facelifted 2020 C-HR reached Australia, which also brought a number of updates and small price increases. You can read about that update here.

For the 2021 model year, the C-HR's upgrades are headlined by a number of autonomous emergency and driving assistance technologies, all forming part of the Toyota Safety Sense suite.

The 2021 C-HR's radar- and camera-based pre-collision system can now detect pedestrians not only in daylight but also at night, and daylight cyclist detection has also been added.

Safety in intersections is improved with the ability for the C-HR to both warn and brake as needed, to avoid collisions with oncoming cars and pedestrians in the intersection.

Toyota's Emergency Steering Assist system (ESA) is now also featured, designed to keep drivers from swerving into the opposite lane when making an emergency steering manoeuvre.

That technology is joined by Lane Trace Assist (LTA), upgrading from the usual visual and audible alerts to include gentle steering assistance to keep the vehicle in its intended lane.

Road-sign recognition is now also featured, indicating speed limit changes in the vehicle's display and automatically adjusting cruise control as needed.

The top-shelf Koba variant gains upgraded rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), now applying the brakes if it detects an imminent collision with stationary or moving objects.

Beyond safety, the entry-level C-HR becomes C-HR GXL and gains keyless 'smart' entry and push-button ignition.

The C-HR is otherwise unchanged beyond the equipment levels announced in November 2019, although these latest upgrades have contributed to price increases of $1225 and $1375, depending on the model – noted below.

Existing safety kit includes seven airbags, a reversing camera, all-speed adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, auto high beam, and parking sensors front and rear.

The C-HR remains a popular model for Toyota, with its 5411 year-to-date sales only just down on the 5472 it recorded at the same time in 2019. It is the third best-selling model in the small SUV segment, behind the Hyundai Kona and value-leading fleet favourite Mitsubishi ASX.

2021 Toyota C-HR pricing for Australia

  • GXL 2WD petrol $30,915 (up $1375)
  • GXL AWD petrol $32,915 (up $1375)
  • Koba 2WD petrol $35,165 (up $1225)
  • Koba AWD petrol $37,165 (up $1225)
  • Koba 2WD Hybrid $37,665 (up $1225)

2021 Toyota C-HR GR Sport appears in Australian database

Last year, a sport-styled and named C-HR GR Sport was revealed overseas, adding a number of handling and styling upgrades to the popular small SUV.

Power upgrades were not revealed with the package, although that is no surprise, with any such enhancements more the province of a full-bottle C-HR GR model.

You can learn more about the new variant in our reveal story here, but the key takeaway at the time was that Toyota Australia had confirmed the GR Sport was not on the local radar – but also that it had not been ruled out.

The company's plans may have finally progressed, with the new variant appearing recently in the Australian government's Road Vehicle Certification System database.

This is often a clear signal that a given model is on its way to our market, but until the company announces its intentions, we can only speculate.