Crossover & Midsize

Subaru Fixed the Crosstrek’s Only Problem

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek got stellar marks across the board. It seemed perfect in every category except power. Although the Crosstrek is far from a sports car, it was reportedly very slow. Subaru went back to the drawing board to fix the power issue, ushering in its final form, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport.

“Time is a piece of wax, falling on a termite, who’s choking on a splinter” – Beck

2021 Crosstrek Sport
2021 Crosstrek Sport | Subaru

Time and speed are, as we all know, relative. “Slow” doesn’t mean that much without context. So when Motor1 says the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek was “Languid in its acceleration. Tortoise-like, even.” What does that mean? 

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek crawled from 0-60 mph in an agonizing nine seconds. It had a 2.0-liter flat-four that makes 152 hp. That is kind of a large motor to make such little power. Everyone gave the Crosstrek glowing reviews, but its sluggishness dampened many reviewer’s love for the other aspects. 

The Crosstrek gets some much-needed “umph”

Thankfully, Subaru heard the cries from its people and offered us the Crosstrek Sport for 2021. The new wagon ditches the 2.0-liter for a 2.5-liter flat-four that brings the horsepower up to a far more user-friendly 182 hp. Motor1 reports that the added 30 hp and 31 lb-ft of torque bring the Crosstrek Sport right where it always needed to be. 

Crosstrek sport off-road
Crosstrek sport off-road | Subaru

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Motor1 explains that on the highway, the upgraded motor shines. They say a 70-mile-per-hour cruising speed feels much better than the 2020 Crosstrek with 2.0. If the need for sudden passes or any such quick maneuver should arise, it is now much easier to execute. 

Fuel economy has also been nicely dealt with. Even though the motor grew by 25 percent, the Subaru Crosstrek still gets excellent mileage. The EPA estimates 27 mpg in the city and 34 on highways, averaging about 29 mpg overall. 

Not just some borrowed parts

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport’s newly received heart didn’t come from thin air. The 2.5-liter flat-four was borrowed from its compatriots at Subaru. The Forrester, Outback, and Legacy all share this motor. What makes this such a great motor for the Crosstrek Sport is how much less it weighs than its motor-sharing friends.

With 3,265 pounds to carry around, 272 pounds less than an equivalent Forester Sport, and 399 pounds less than an Outback Premium, the 2.5-liter flat-four gets to stretch its 182 hp a bit further with the Crosstrek Sport. 

Subaru Crosstrek sport
Subaru Crosstrek sport | Subaru

We can’t let all this good news get to our heads; Subaru still saw fit to give more picky auto enthusiasts a little jab by only pairing the 2.5-liter motor with an automatic continuously variable transmission. 

As Motor1 points out, these CVTs are fast, responsive, and smooth transmissions that work well. There is no quality complaint to make here, but the six-speed would have made this a car to get properly excited about. Subaru did see fit to continue pairing the six-speed manual transmission with the non-sport version of the Crosstrek with the old 2.0-liter flat-four.

But hows the interior?

The Motor1 reviewer doesn’t quite gush over the interior but gets close. The Crosstrek Sport has accents of fluorescent-yellow stitches sprinkled throughout the cabin. The driver’s position is reported to be great along with the back row, being spacious and comfy for two adults. They go on to call the cargo space “cavernous.” 

Subaru puts some driving mode cherries on top of this rad-car Sundae. While all automatic Crosstreks will have various driving modes, the Crosstrek Sport has the most sophisticated and extensive driving modes. There are settings for dirt, gravel, mud, and snow. 

Overall this seems to be the best version of the Subaru Crosstrek. Off-road: Check. Faster: Check. Exciting, but not overdone. Styling: Check. Fuel efficient: Check. Technology: Check.