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It’s common for automakers to offer a choice of engines among their various models. Typically the base engine provides less power and lower fuel efficiency at a lower cost. However, over the last several years, Subaru and other automakers began limiting engine options to specific trim levels, and the 2024 Crosstrek is a prime example. 

Side view of gray 2024 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact crossover SUV
2024 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

2024 Subaru Crosstrek engine options

A J.D. Power review notes that the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek received a complete redesign from last year’s model. Subaru’s smallest SUV boasts new styling, an updated all-wheel drive system, and five trim levels: 

  • Base
  • Premium
  • Sport
  • Limited
  • Wilderness, available later in 2023

The base engine comes in the two lowest trims, and the top three get the upgraded engine option. 

The $24,995 2024 Crosstrek Base and the $26,145 Premium come with a 152-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 145 lb-ft of torque. Engine power routes through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). That combination and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive returns an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. 

Higher trims feature a more powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 horsepower and 176 to 178 lb-ft of torque. The larger engine nets an EPA-estimated 27/34 city/highway mpg. The Premium, Sport, and Limited CVTs feature paddle shifters and an eight-speed manual mode. 

The Wilderness trim has a final CVT drive ratio designed for off-roading. In addition, the optimal gear ratio and transmission oil cooler increase its tow rating to 3,500 pounds, 2,000 pounds higher than its stablemates.

Is the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek’s more potent engine worth the upgraded price?

J.D. Power reviewed two 2024 Crosstrek trims, one with each engine option, at different times. They found the 2.0-liter base engine “sluggish in some scenarios.” 

Mostly, the lower-trimmed Crosstrek failed to impress with its acceleration from low speeds up to 40 mph. Noisy protests from the engine compartment punctuated the climb to 40 mph. However, the interior remained “surprisingly quiet” at higher speeds.

However, test driving the Crosstrek Limited with its 2.5-liter didn’t impress the reviewer either. The 2.5-liter equipped Crosstrek is “adequate for most driving situations,” but that’s where the accolades end. The only other positive comment in the review included the Limited’s SI (Sport) drive mode, which keeps the engine revs higher for improved throttle response. 

To get a 2024 Crosstrek with the more powerful 2.5-liter, you’ll have to opt for one of the three higher trim levels:

  • Sport – $28,995
  • Limited – $30,895
  • Wilderness – $33,290, including a $1,295 destination charge

In addition to more horsepower and torque, upgrading to the Limited trim level provides Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind-spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. The upgraded driver assistance features complement Subaru’s standard suite of driver assistance systems, dubbed EyeSight. 

If you prefer to support American-made products, you’ll enjoy knowing that all 2.5-liter engine-equipped models roll off a Subaru assembly line in Lafayette, Indiana. You’ll want to buy any of the 2.0-liter models if you’d rather buy a Crosstrek built exclusively in Japan. 

Ultimately, for most poeple the 30 horsepower gain alone isn’t worth the extra cost. However, when combined with the higher trim level’s additional features, extra power is always good. Finally, the Wilderness trim looks enticing if you’re willing to wait until later this year.


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