According to the commercials, love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru and there’s no doubt that brand enthusiasts love the Crosstrek. Prior to the onset of the coronavirus, the Crosstrek was setting sales records with buyers opting for the subcompact SUV that’s big on cargo space and comes standard with all wheel drive.
However, there are two things missing from that equation. The Crosstrek wasn’t offered with a strong enough engine to make it truly playful and it didn’t come with the latest safety tech – something the rest of the Subaru SUV lineup delivers. For 2021 that’s all changed.
Subaru has integrated the fog lights into the front bumper. Here, the Crosstrek Sport wears unique wheel arch moldings.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek features a fresh front end with a new bumper that includes fog lamp insert covers or fog light covers (depending on trim level chosen), plus trim level-specific design details. It will continue to ride on standard 17-inch alloy wheels in black with machine finish and have roof rails, black side cladding, and a gloss black rear roof spoiler. Buyers can get 18-inch alloys.
Buyers can choose the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque or a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder that is shared with the Forester and gets 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque.
Both engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in most trim levels. The standard six-speed manual transmission in the Base and Premium grades is paired with the smaller engine. Models equipped with the CVT get Intelligent and Sport drive modes.
The larger engine gets 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. The smaller engine, mated with the CVT, achieves 28 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. With the manual, the Crosstrek gets just 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined.
The car is mostly unchanged at the rear and still just as capable.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.
All models will continue to be sold with standard all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring technology. Base models get a Low Shift Mode for descending hills.
Subaru is adding a Sport grade to the Crosstrek lineup for 2021. It, along with the Limited trim level, comes standard with the larger engine. The Crosstrek Sport gets dual-function X-Mode, which debuted on the 2020 Outback and includes hill descent control with snow/dirt and deep snow/mud selectable settings.
The Crosstrek Sport also gets many elements clearly inspired by the Outback Onyx Edition including specific wheel arch moldings; dark gray 17-inch alloy wheels; StarTex upholstery with yellow stitching; gunmetal and simulated carbon fiber interior trim accents; a high-grade combination meter with color LCD and yellow metallic finish trim rings; LED rear gate light; gunmetal colored grille, side mirrors, and badges; and the door trim panels, armrests, leather wrapped steering wheel, shift boot, driver information screen visor, and center console box lid all are also adorned with yellow stitching. The new model is available in seven exterior colors including new Plasma Yellow Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl.
The car has new front fascia that brings its looks more into line with the 2020 Outback.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru offers the Crosstrek with a standard 6.5-inch infotainment touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, power windows with auto up/down, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, tilt and telescoping steering column keyless entry, carpeted floor mats, and more.
Available upgrades include dual USB ports, automatic headlights, power moonroof, blind spot detection with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, push-button start, fog lights, steering responsive headlights, an 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen, navigation, Wi-Fi hot spot, CD player, satellite radio, and a Harman Kardon sound system.
The All-Weather Package, which includes heated front seats, windshield, and exterior mirrors is available.
The interior of the Crosstrek Limited grade serves as the base of the Sport trim level.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America, Inc.
Models with the CVT come standard with a suite of Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. That suite now includes adaptive cruise control with lane centering (debuted on the Outback) in addition to automatic pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure prevention, lead vehicle start alert, automatic start-stop, rear seat reminder, and SI-Drive.
The 2021 Crosstrek will arrive into retailers late summer. Base model pricing is expected to stay similar to the 2020 model, with the Sport model and larger engine models being sold at a premium.