For some everyday drivers, there’s something extra special about shifting a manual transmission. Those who prefer the stick shift suggest a performance enhancement and describe feeling empowered behind the wheel. But most consumers have transitioned to choose automatic transmission configurations.
And the automakers have phased out many of their manual transmission options because fewer folks out there want the stick. Subaru, however, hasn’t abandoned the trusted gear shifter. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek presents with a manual option. However, it may mean settling for less than some of its other engine and powertrain configurations.
What’s new and improved for the Subaru Crosstrek?
Subaru refreshed the exterior of this fun and athletic hatchback for 2021. There’s a new front bumper framing up a new grille design. But more impressive for this generation is the new Sport model, formerly offered in other Subaru models including the Legacy and the Outback station wagon.
The Sport trim has its own cool features, including Deep Snow/Mud and Snow/Dirt settings for the already standard all-wheel-drive. This makes venturing off-pavement or commuting in all kinds of weather, a fun and easy drive.
Shifting gears manually in the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek
The Subaru Crosstrek will offer both manual and automatic transmission variations for this new model year. For those who need to hold the gear shifter in hand, it’s one of the few remaining models out there that offer the stick shift.
For the Crosstrek, manual drivers will enjoy the 152 horses harnessed by the 2.0-liter engine, married to the six-speed stick shift. Base pricing starts at $23,295, and the estimated gas mileage is around 31 mpg on average.
Why you’ll be settling if you choose a stick shift
As with any choice in options and features, choosing a stick shift means you might be settling. The manual transmission version is only available with the one engine, but the Crosstrek has more power to offer. The new Sport trim also brings 182 horses and a 2.5-liter engine, meaning more gusto from under the hood.
But even the plug-in hybrid model of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek demonstrated quicker zero-to-sixty times, than the 2.0-liter, manual transmission variation. It may boil down to which you value more, the stick shift, or the better performance.
The plug-in hybrid of the Crosstrek you didn’t know you needed
Not all of the critics have had a chance to review the hybrid model of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek just yet. But it sounds like this version will charge for up to five hours on a household 120-volt outlet. Plugging into a 240-volt outlet can get the Crosstrek fully charged in around two hours. The electric-only ranges are mild, and only about 17 miles, so it is a true hybrid with a gas need. But in the end, the commuters will appreciate the increased fuel efficiencies, expected to average 35 mpg on the highway, and rated up to 90 MPGe combined.
Expect a marriage of pep and fuel efficiency
Subaru is a brand defined by its dependability and safety. But Crosstrek fans will be looking for capability and real-world value. With the engine variations available, and even the stick shift for those who prefer manual, there’s a Crosstrek for nearly everyone.
And across the board, this small SUV brings plenty of pep and savings at the gas pump. The 2.0-liter engine earns a combined 30 mpg while the 2.5-liter Sport version is expected to average 29 mpg combined.
Subaru fans have plenty to be excited about with the 2021 Crosstrek. Most everyone will be pleasantly surprised by what this small crossover has to offer. Even those who prefer to drive a stick shift will have their favorite Crosstrek, although they may have to compromise slightly in the performance department to get it.