Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Is Getting a Big Power Boost

The U.S. News expert review team had a lot of good things to say about the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek when they tested the sporty off-road capable subcompact SUV in late 2019. They remarked on the Crosstrek’s comfortable ride, user-friendly infotainment system, well-built cabin, automatic climate control, and exceptional cargo space. They did have some concerns, though. The amount of body lean experienced in turns was off-putting and the 152-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine felt weak and uninspiring. But that’s about to change in 2021.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Thanks to Car and Driver, we have info on the new model’s under-the-hood upgrades. Newly redesigned for 2021, the Subaru Crosstrek features sleek lines and a rugged grill that broadcasts its underlying adventurous spirit.

Crosstrek buyers will have an additional model option for 2021 with the addition of the Sport model placed between the Premium and the Limited trims. The base Crosstrek along with the Hybrid will still be offered, bringing the total Crosstrek lineup to five versions.

Pricing has not been released for the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek yet, but the standard 2020 Crosstrek has an MSRP starting at $22,145. That isn’t likely to change significantly and neither is the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder with its 152-hp engine. It comes with a manual six-speed transmission but there is the option for a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) if you’d prefer to not have to shift gears.

Subaru provides all-wheel drive as standard equipment on all Crosstrek models as well as electronic stability and traction control with dynamic torque vectoring to ensure maximum traction when the road or trail gets slippery.

Stepping up to the Premium-trimmed Crosstrek will add $1,050 to the sticker price and provides the same basic drivetrain. Upgrades compared to the base trim come in the optional CVT transmission with an upgraded eight-speed manual mode and paddle shifters along with automatic on/off headlights and optional keyless, pin-code access and push-button start.

There are also some minor interior upgrades as well such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, orange stitching throughout, heated seats, and the option for a power-adjustable driver seat.

New for the 2021 model

The new-for-2021 Sport trim will come standard with a CVT transmission and two new driver-assistance features, adaptive cruise control, and lane centering. Also standard at this level is the dual function X-mode that offers enhanced capability with settings for snow/dirt and deep snow/mud and yellow accent stitching for the interior.

The most exciting standard equipment new for the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport and Limited models is the newly introduced 182-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder that answers critics’ calls for a more energetic Crosstrek. The addition of 30 hp over the 152-hp 2.0-liter engine is sure to make trips to the store or the next back-road adventure more fun.

Pricing and more details will be available closer to the expected late-summer 2020 introduction of the 2021 Subaru lineup. 

The Subaru Crosstrek upgrade

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For Subaru Crosstrek owners that are serious about taking their Subaru to the next level where off-road performance is concerned, check out the lift kit manufactured by Crawford Performance. The kit is priced at $550 and comes with all the parts needed to increase the Crosstrek’s body height two inches in the front and one and a half inches in the rear.

The available PDF instruction sheet makes this upgrade DIY friendly for most people with proper hand tools. Crawford does point out that a professional suspension realignment should be performed after installation.

But be forewarned, modifying your Crosstrek can be addictive and will likely lead to “needing” bigger tires, brush guards, rock sliders, skid plates, and the list goes on.