Small price bump, big power gains

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek comes with a modest $100 price bump but more standard equipment and more power. A new Sport trim highlights a more powerful engine option that is only $600 more than the base engine, the automaker announced Thursday. 

A common gripe from shoppers interested in Subaru’s smallest crossover SUV was that they needed more power than the standard 152-horsepower 2.0-liter flat-4. Subaru has mollified some by taking the Forester’s 181-hp 2.5-liter flat-4 and making it standard in the new Sport trim and the top Limited trim. The larger boxer engine trails the smaller engine in efficiency by only 1 mpg, with an EPA-rated 27 mpg city, 34 highway, 29 combined. 

The 2021 Crosstrek still comes with a 6-speed manual transmission standard on base and Premium trims. The upgrade to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) costs $1,350, same as last year, and it’s well worth the price because it is 5 mpg combined more efficient than the manual, and CVT models come with Subaru’s suite of advanced safety features known as EyeSight. New for 2021 is the inclusion of adaptive cruise control with active lane control to EyeSight, which still has automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warnings. CVT models offer Sport and Intelligent drive modes that alter the throttle responsiveness. 

All Crosstreks come with all-wheel drive, hill-descent control, roof rails, black body cladding, an integrated rear roof spoiler, and 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Base models start at $23,295 which is $40 more than last year (all prices listed include $1,050 destination fee) with the manual, or $24,645 for the CVT, which is $100 more than the 2020 model. It includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, power features, and keyless entry. 

Premium trims start at $24,345 for the manual and $25,695 for the CVT, which are both $100 increases over 2020. Paddle shifters accompany the CVT on Premium and higher grades. Premium comes with fog lights, heated front seats, heated windshield and exterior mirrors, dual USB ports, automatic headlights, a six-speaker sound system (instead of four speakers on base models), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The Premium model with the CVT was our value pick for the 2020 model, but the Sport model might change that for 2021.  

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

The new Sport trim starts at $27,545 with the CVT and uprated engine standard. It also wears different 17-inch alloy wheels in dark gray, and gray or “gunmetal” flourishes on the grille, side mirrors, and badges. Yellow stitching adorns the water-repellant upholstery, synthetic leather armrests, center console and carpeted floormats. 

The Limited trim starts at $29,045, or $600 more than the 2020 model with the smaller engine. The CVT and 2.5-liter engine come standard, as do LED daytime running lights, LED fog lights, and LED adaptive headlights, black 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts and rear automatic braking. Limited models get orange stitching around the leather interior, keyless start, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen.  

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek arrives in dealers later this summer. 

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