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2021 Subaru Crosstrek: More Power & Refinement

New 2.5-Liter Engine & Loads of Updated Features Keep the 2021 Crosstrek Fresh

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

One of the hottest cars on the market the past few years sees some big improvements for 2021. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek redesign gets more power and better fuel economy. Oh, it also gets a bit more grown-up styling as well.

Subaru beefed up the Crosstreck’s horsepower via its new direct-injection 2.5-liter boxer engine. This new powerplant leaves the outgoing Crosstreck’s 2.0-liter base and premium trim level powerplant in the dust. Offering up to 34 miles per gallon fuel economy, the updated Crosstrek will save you a few dollars at the pump as well.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited parked

Which 2021 Crosstrek Trim Levels Get the 2.5-Liter Engine?

The 2021 Crosstrek Sport and Limited models will get the peppy new engine option. The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which debuted on the 2019 Forester, produces 182 horsepower with 176 lb.-ft. of torque. Only available with a CVT (continuously variable transmission), both trim levels should offer 27 city / 34 highway / 29 combined MPG EPA ratings. Sorry, manual transmission lovers, no stick-shift option here.

The 2021 Crosstrek Base and Premium models continue to use the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine, which delivers 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. Whereas the Limited and Sport trim levels utilize only a CVT, the two bottom trim levels offer up either CVT or 6-speed manual transmission options.

The 2.0-liter CVT models achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 city / 33 highway / 30 combined MPG while the 6-speed manual comes in at 22 city / 29 highway / 25 combined MPG.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport's exterior accents

What Enhancements Does the 2021 Crosstrek Sport Have?

The snappy new Crosstrek Sport is the only model to feature the dual-function X-MODE. For instance, this feature includes hill descent control with snow and dirt as well as deep snow and mud settings. This optimizes AWD performance for challenging road conditions. Weekend warriors and long-haul travelers will have extra peace of mind with Subaru’s legendary AWD system.

The new Sport trim level showcases distinctive exterior trim bits like a gunmetal finish for the front grille, side mirrors, and badges. Also included are black wheel arch moldings and sporty 17-inch alloy wheels. The new 2021 Crosstrek Sport is athletic in appearance, yet refined in amenities.

Subaru 2021 Crosstrek Sport's seats

Interior Sport niceties include premium trim level features, plus exclusive water-repellent StarTex upholstery and yellow stitching. The StarTex upholstery is a lightweight urethane made without items like polyvinyl chloride (PVC upholstery), phthalate, or chlorine. The rear floor mat backing is made from 25 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The 2021 Sport is available in several exterior hues. These include the radiant Plasma Yellow Pearl and eye-catching Horizon Blue Pearl.

Subaru 2021 Crosstrek Limited

What about other 2021 Crosstrek Trim Levels?

All Crosstreks equipped with the CVT feature X-MODE, with hill descent control, for added performance in slick conditions or challenging conditions.

SI-DRIVE is standard on every CVT-outfitted model. SI-DRIVE is a powertrain performance management system permitting the driver to adjust the vehicle’s throttle characteristics by navigating certain modes. Moreover, the “intelligent” mode saves fuel by smoothing out accelerator adjustments while a “sport” mode engages enhanced performance.

Every CVT-equipped model (except the base trim level) showcases an 8-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. However, the base model features a “low shift” mode for added control when driving down steeper hills.

Subaru 2021 Crosstrek Limited 8" touchscreen display

Above all, the 2021 Crosstrek also comes with a huge list of standard niceties. For instance, these include items like automatic climate control, the Starlink 6.5-inch multimedia system and touchscreen (8.0-inch also available on select trim levels), Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a security system with engine immobilizer.

Subaru 2021 Crosstrek Limited's interior

The 2021 Crosstrek Includes a Multitude of Safety Features

Crosstreks, when equipped with the CVT, come with Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technology. The EyeSight system is enhanced for 2021. Subaru has added advanced adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature.

EyeSight includes other safety features like automatic pre-collision braking and throttle management, lead vehicle start alert, lane departure prevention, auto start-stop, and SI-Drive.

CVT models are equipped with a rear-seat reminder. Therefore, this feature helps drivers check for their children or pets before exiting the vehicle.

All 2021 Crosstrek trim levels include seven airbags, too. The Crosstrek is named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK+ for six years running (2015–2020).

Subaru 2021 Crosstrek Sport driving

The Crosstrek is an Adventurer’s Dream Vehicle

The 2021 Crosstrek dons a rugged yet refined look. With 8.7-inches of ground clearance, driving enthusiasts will enjoy years of off-road excursions with this AWD crossover. No matter if you’re navigating through snow, rain, or fog, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will have you seeing clearly. As with previous iterations of the Crosstrek, the latest is poised to tackle on- and off-pavement terrain successfully.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek should arrive on showroom floors late this summer.

Mercedes Lilienthal
About Mercedes Lilienthal

Mercedes is an Oregon-based freelancer who specializes in vehicular adventure travel. She and her husband have three right-hand-drive turbo-diesel Mitsubishi 4x4s and two customized subcompact daily drivers. Mercedes enjoys automotive adventure competitions, having competed in the 2018 Rebelle Rally and the 2020 Alcan 5000 Rally. Her freelance work includes writing, editing, photography, social media management, event coverage, and marketing services.