The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s Low Starting Price Is Incredibly Misleading

Are you looking to score a great deal on your next ride? If so, you should avoid the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying more than you’d expect.

Every manufacturer wants to make its models look like a better value than that of its competitors. Some automakers do so by packing their cars with desirable features, and others mark down the price as low as possible.

Subaru took the latter route with the Crosstrek. Without further ado, here’s what you might miss if you go into a Subaru dealership looking to get a base 2021 Crosstrek at its low starting price.

How much does the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek cost?

A blue 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited parked in the grass for a photoshoot with 3 other Subarus in the far-off distance
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek limited on display | Subaru

You can theoretically get a new Crosstrek subcompact SUV at or below its starting MSRP of just $22,295. However, most buyers won’t leave the dealership with this deal.

Subaru isn’t necessarily pulling a trick on consumers. Instead, it’s just offering a bare-bones model at a discounted price.

However, you might not just want to spend a little extra for the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s optional features. You might actually have to pay up for them.

Why does it pay to spend more on the new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

Do you know how to drive a stick? If not, then you’re out of luck if you want to score a Crosstrek at its lowest price.

This off-road capable subcompact SUV comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A car with a stick shift is a rarity these days. But equipping a model with a manual instead of an automatic transmission reduces the cost of the vehicle.

It’ll cost you an additional $1,350 to drop the manual transmission. In return, you’ll get a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT.)

But don’t fret over the added cost, as you’ll save big in the long run. According to the EPA, the Crosstrek returns an estimated 30 MPG city/highway combined when paired with the CVT. Comparatively, a model equipped with the manual transmission only achieves an EPA-estimated 25 MPG combined.

Other benefits of upgrading your Subaru subcompact SUV

A look at the black interior of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport’s interior | Subaru

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek has the potential to be the best model in its class. But you’ll have to invest some money in it to help give it elite status.

When you spend the money on the Crosstrek’s available CVT, you’re actually making the SUV safer. And it’s not just because you won’t have to take your hand off the wheel to shift gears manually.

Subaru adds its EyeSight driver-assistance technologies to every CVT-equipped Crosstrek model. This safety suite package includes vital features that’ll help you be aware of your surroundings. These systems include forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, and lane-departure warning. 

If your 2021 Subaru Crosstrek senses an impending collision and you don’t react immediately, then it has you covered. The EyeSight also features an automatic emergency braking system that mitigates the damage of a crash or helps avoid one entirely.

Finally, this package comes with an adaptive cruise control system that makes highway cruising easier than ever. Simply set your preferred speed and distance, and let the feature do the rest of the work. It’ll brake and accelerate with traffic, adhering to your desired settings.

Don’t dismiss this can’t-miss Subaru model


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The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek doesn’t have a rock-bottom price for most buyers. Once the CVT and safety features are added, it has a starting MSRP of $23,595. Plus, destination charges and dealer options will drive the cost up even more.

However, the Crosstrek is a stellar vehicle that’s worthy of your consideration. It’s one of the most reliable vehicles in its class. And its standard all-wheel-drive system and impressive ground clearance give it the capability to go places other subcompact SUVs can’t.

So, don’t be turned off by the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s misleading starting price. Just do your research before heading to your local Subaru dealer, and know how much you’ll have to spend on this impressive vehicle.