Subaru Crosstrek

All Crosstreks come with a 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine making 148 horsepower. This engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). Both drivetrains come equipped with all-wheel-drive, a specialty of Subaru.

Subaru is serious about making sure the Crosstrek comes well-equipped from the factory. Crosstreks comes in two trim levels: Premium and Limited. Premium-specced cars come with plenty of useful features. The standard stereo has six speakers, iPod controllability, an auxiliary input jack, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity with live audio streaming. Interior amenities include heated seats, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise control, a tilting and telescoping wheel, a removable cargo mat with plenty of tie down hooks, a hill assist function to keep the car from rolling back on inclines, keyless entry, power windows and door locks and of course, air conditioning.

Limited Crosstreks come with the CVT, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, a 4.3-inch LCD screen, nicer instruments and a backup camera. Options on both models include a navigation system and a power moonroof.

Typically, all-wheel-drive vehicles must make accommodations for a driveshaft and rear differential, often reducing interior space. Fold down the 60/40 rear seats in a Crosstrek, however, and a flat load floor and nearly 52 cubic feet of carrying space are revealed. Rear seat legroom is also impressive with space comparable to many mid-sized family sedans.

Subaru has taken particular care with the safety features of the Crosstrek. It has all the standard electronic safety nets, including traction control, anti-lock brakes and stability control. The anti-lock brakes also feature a panic braking sensor that anticipates a panic braking situation and immediately applies full braking load. The front airbags are dual-stage and include a mechanism to detect how close the driver is sitting to the steering wheel, delaying airbag deployment accordingly.

Editors' Review

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is a solid all-rounder. This small SUV is pleasant enough to pilot, even if it's not the best-driving crossover around. Its interior is spacious and premium enough to not elicit feelings of remorse. Plus, the Crosstrek's available technology is intuitive and mostly functional. It's more balanced than a nutritionist's diet.

To keep pace with the Joneses, or rather, the Hondas, Toyotas and Fords of this world, Subaru enhanced the Crosstrek for 2021, adding more technology, a new engine and even a dash of updated styling. None of these enhancements are earth-shattering, but they further burnish an already respectable product.

Arguably the biggest change is under the hood. A new 2.5-liter boxer-four is offered in Sport and range-topping Limited models. Smooth and reasonably responsive, this engine delivers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque -- 30 and 31 more, respectively, than the base 2.0-liter H4. Matched to a standard continuously variable transmission (a six-speed manual is offered with that base engine), my top-shelf Crosstrek has adequate acceleration. Yet In a world where so many vehicles feature turbocharged engines, which typically provide ample low and midrange torque, this Subaru's performance is a bit disappointing. Even with this slight boost in power, a little more oomph would certainly be appreciated.

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The Good ~ Impressive real-world efficiency ~ Standard all-wheel drive ~ Attractive cabin

The Bad ~ Inconsistent lane-centering system ~ Somewhat tepid performance ~ Unrefined transmission

The Bottom Line The Crosstrek does most things well, even if it isn't outstanding in any particular areas.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Media 7

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