2021 Subaru Crosstrek First Look: More Power + Sport Trim Level

2021 Subaru Crosstrek First Look: More Power + Sport Trim Level

We have been reporting for some time that the small Subaru Crosstrek 2021 SUV would receive an optional larger and more powerful engine. It is now official thanks to Subaru’s confirmation of the Crosstrek 2021 Sport model which uses the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder seen in the current Forester.

In addition to the Sport, which is located above the base and the Premium, the high-end Limited trim level will also get 2.5, which makes 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. These figures are 30 hp and 31 lb-ft more than the basic 2.0-liter boxer that will still be used in the base and Premium Crosstrek models. The standard manual transmission will also remain in place in 2021, but only in 2.0-liter cars. Opt for the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and you’re stuck with the Subaru CVT automatic transmission.

According to the EPA, the two engines will return very similar fuel economy figures in the Subaru compact SUV. The standard engine is rated for 28 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined when coupled to a CVT or 22/29/25 mpg with the stick. The 2.5-liter model almost matches the CVT numbers of the smaller engine, however, with figures of 27/34/29 – not bad considering the larger displacement and higher power output.

The new Sport 2021 will be the only Crosstrek to offer a dual-function X mode, which optimizes the all-wheel drive system for various terrains via a button on the center console that can be set to Normal, Sand / Mud or Snow / Ice modes. It also includes yellow stitching exclusive to Sport on the steering wheel, gearbox and leatherette upholstery.

Other Crosstrek models with the CVT option also benefit from X mode to help on slippery surfaces, but it is the version activated by a single press of a button and which does not allow you to select a specific terrain. They also benefit from a descent control and the Subaru SI-Drive which modifies the gas mapping characteristics between its default and Sport modes. All CVT cars also have paddle shifters that allow you to cycle through eight predefined gear ratios, which is useful during a steep descent or during overtaking maneuvers.

Aesthetically, the updated Subaru Crosstrek has received new front fairings on all versions, new unique grilles across the range and new 17 and 18 inch wheel designs. Two new paints are also on board: Plasma Yellow Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl replace Sunshine Orange and Quartz Blue.


Subaru has made safety technology a priority lately, and it has added more driver assistance features to the Crosstrek for 2021. Crosstreks equipped with CVTs now benefit from Subie’s EyeSight driver assistance technology by standard, which for 21 adds an adaptive cruise control and automatic centering on its repertoire. Pre-collision braking, lane departure assistance, lane departure warning and auto-stop starting are again part of the EyeSight feature set.

In other technology news, all 2021 Crosstreks will include Subaru StarLink infotainment as standard. It comes with standard integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 6.5 inch touch screen. On the Limited model, which can be upgraded to an 8.0-inch screen via a package that also brings Harman Kardon audio and an electric sunroof. This last article can also be ordered on all models except the base.

Despite these changes, the starting price of $ 23,295 for the Crosstrek 2021 is just a change of $ 140 from last year’s model. Look for the updated Subaru Crosstrek to hit dealerships later this summer.

Subaru Crosstrek 2021 trim price

  • Basic, six-speed manual: $ 23,295
  • Base, CVT: $ 24,645
  • Premium six-speed manual transmission: $ 24,345
  • Premium, CVT: $ 25,695
  • Sport, CVT: $ 27,545
  • Limited, CVT: $ 29,045

Update: this story now includes official pricing information.

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