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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Review: Expected Release Date, Prices, MPG, And Performance

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Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

July 13, 2020 at 02:00 PM

One of the most popular sub-compact SUVs in the States, the Subaru Crosstrek is slated to be mildly updated for its 2021 model year. The 2021 Crosstrek will not only get a more powerful engine but an all new top-of-the-line Sport trim as well.

Since its launch in 2013, the Subaru Crosstrek has been one of the most renowned vehicles in the highly competitive American compact SUV space. With its rugged character, efficient powertrain, and spacious interior, the Crosstrek offers a great deal of value to its buyers. Its attributes were further chiseled up in its second generation, unveiled in 2018. 

However, the only quibble that it has consistently received is its underpowered engine and uninviting driving experience. Thankfully, Subaru has taken up the call and has finally decided to address the issue with a more powerful engine joining the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek lineup. Here's a quick look at what other changes, the 2021 Crosstrek might probably feature.

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

The major highlight of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek family is certainly the new and more powerful engine. Tom Doll, CEO of Subaru of America, made the aforementioned announcement at the 2020 National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) Live event in Las Vegas. He stated that the 2021 Crosstrek will feature a more powerful 2.5-liter Boxer-4 engine. The 2.0 L motor will continue to be offered in the lineup and will continue to be a good option for those who prioritize fuel efficiency over outright power, but for those who wished for more power in the Crosstrek, Subaru has been listening to your prayers.

 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will get a more powerful version of the 2.5L Boxer engine

He also added that a new “Crosstrek Sport” trim will also join the lineup which along with the existing Limited trim will offer the new engine. The familiar 2.0-liter pot will continue to serve in the Base and Premium models though. As the name suggests, the Sport trim is likely to come loaded with all the bells and whistles on offer with the 2021 Crosstrek. The new trim will also sit right at the top of the Crosstrek range above the Limited which will also be getting the new and more powerful motor.

Models

2021 Subaru Crosstrek (Expected)

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Buick Encore

Base MSRP

$23,000 (est)

$25,900

$26,200

$25,800

Engine

2.0L/2.5L Boxer-4

1.6L Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Inline-4

1.4L Turbo Inline-4

Transmission

6-speed manual/CVT

7-speed automated manual

6-speed shiftable automatic

6-speed shiftable automatic

Horsepower

182 hp (est)

175 hp @ 5,500 rpm

148 hp @ 6000 rpm

138 hp @ 4,900 rpm

Torque

176 ft-lbs (est)

195 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm

146 lb. ft. @ 2800 rpm

148 lb-ft @ 1,850 rpm

No in-depth details have been shared by Doll, but the new 2.5-liter engine is most likely to be a familiar friend. We could see the same 182 hp 2.5-liter engine that also powers the Forester, Outback, and Legacy. Considering the powertrain configuration in other Subaru’s, the new engine is also likely to be paired with a CVT. The 6-speed manual shall remain intact with the 2.0-liter engine. 

The new 2.5-liter engine should at least surge up the Crosstrek’s power output by 30 hp and 31 lb-ft. With the added power, the Crosstrek shall be more comfortable in highway passings and cut short its 0-60 mph timing by a significant margin. If calculations and expectations go right, the 2021 Crosstrek will surpass the Hyundai Kona, as the most powerful subcompact SUV.

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek deliver?

Thankfully, there is no great change expected in the efficiency virtue of the Crosstrek. The 2.5 liters powered 2021 Crosstrek models should not take a major hit in fuel efficiency figures. The similar 2.5-liter powered Forester which is heavier and bulkier than the Crosstrek does 29 mpg combined. The Forester’s economy figure is just 1 mpg less than the 2.0 liter Crosstrek’s 30 mpg. 

As for the tank capacity, the Subaru will expectedly have a 16.6-gallon fuel tank which will allow it to have a range of approximately 448 miles at city speeds and 548 miles at highway speeds. This kind of range is pretty decent for this category and would allow you to even cross States without worrying about filling up.

Models

2021 Subaru Crosstrek (Expected)

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Buick Encore

MPG (city)

27*

28

29

25

MPG (highway)

33*

32

34

30

MPG (combined)

30*

30

31

27

Fuel tank capacity

16.6 gallons

13.2 gallons

12.7 gallons

14.0 gallons

Range (city/highway/combined)

448/548 miles*

370/422 miles

368.30 / 431.80

350/420 miles

*2020 model data used for reference

Deducing the aforementioned statistics, we don't expect a large variation in the fuel economy of the 2021 Crosstrek with either of the engines. While the present 2.0-liter pot churns out a healthy 30 mpg combined, the 2.5-liter unit should post nothing less than 28-29 mpg combined. 

Not as good as the segment leader Mazda CX-3’s 31 mpg, but it should be fairly livable with the Crosstrek’s powerful yet utilitarian character. Since there are no physical changes to be made in the 2021 Crosstrek, the fuel tanks shall also remain the same at 16.6 gallons. You can expect a very similar range on the 2021 Crosstrek as it is on the present model.

What to expect from the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s interior?

The Subaru Crosstrek's interior already enjoys a very clean and spacious arrangement on the inside which is also one of its major USPs. Thankfully though, the interior appointments in the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek shall be the same in the three existing trims. However, we could get to see some subtle differences in the all-new Sport trim. The cabin is obviously highlighted by a simplistic dash that houses a clean central layout with huge tablet-style touchscreen infotainment that now has the climate control integrated into it.

Models

2021 Subaru Crosstrek (Expected)

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Buick Encore

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.8/56.7/43.1

38.0/55.5/41.5

38.4/53.5/41.7

39.6/54.2/40.8

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.0/55.6/36.5

37.8/54.5/34.6

37.2/50.4/35.0

38.8/52.5/35.8

Staying true to its “Sporty” intentions, the Crosstrek Sport might get seats with better adjustability and features along with some more intensive contrast surfaces. No surprises if we even get to see some “Sport” badges around the cabin in the Crosstrek Sport. Since no dimensional alterations will be done to the 2021 model, the 2021 Crosstrek lineup will continue to boast its class-leading interior space. Although Subaru has faced the heat for its conservative dashboard layout and any update in the concerned section is always welcome. 

2020 Subaru Outback Interiors: This is what the updated interior theme of the 2021 Crosstrek Sport might look like

Disappointingly, we do know that more dramatic interior changes are reserved for the complete refresh. However, the new Crosstrek Sport might feature a large and updated infotainment display similar to that on the 2020 Subaru Outback. The updated infotainment could also be made available on the Limited trim as an option.

Any possible changes in the tech and safety package?

It is safe to expect the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek to be well equipped in terms of equipment as the outgoing Crosstrek comes aptly loaded with most of the tech and safety features that one would need on a day-to-day basis. It comes standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity as well as 6-speakers. However, for 2021, we might see a reshuffling of the standard and optional amenities.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek gets minor exterior changes 

While the Crosstrek Sport might come loaded with all the gizmos on board, we expect to see a more generous distribution of goodies across the lower models as well. No surprise if exclusive features like satellite Radio and in-built navigation along with Eyesight Advanced Driver Assistance Safety Package joining the standard feature tray. These features are currently available only with the higher models. We could also expect some new optional features to make their way into the party. 

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

No great expectations on the exterior design flaunt and the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will continue to flaunt its humble yet rugged exterior silhouette. We know that Subaru has an update cycle of five years for its products before they get a complete refresh. The Crosstrek was introduced in 2013, updated for its second generation in 2018 and we might see an all-new Crosstrek in 2023 now.  Part of the Crosstrek's charm is its larger wheel arches, aggressive front, and rear bumpers, and blacked-out body cladding. Most distinctive though is the Crosstrek’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance that can even brawn at some midsize SUVs.

Model

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Hyundai Kona

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Buick Encore

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3117 

3042

2851

3237

Length (in.)

175.8"

164.0"

168.3"

168.4"

Width (in.)

71.0"

70.9"

69.6"

70.1"

Height (in.)

63.6"

61.6"

60.7"

65.3"

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.7"

6.7"

6.1"

6.2"

Wheelbase (in.)

104.9"

102.4"

103.9"

100.6"

 

However, the new for 2021 Crosstrek Sport model might get some visual differentiation to set it apart from the rest of the lineup. We could expect the Sport with a slightly higher ground clearance, extensively blacked-out body claddings and a more aggressive body kit. The clean rear end gets horizontal tail lamps while the side profile is highlighted by the long window line and standard black roof rails. Those massive wheel arches house 17-inch wheels in the lower models and 18’s in the Limited model which most likely will be revised for the 2021 model.

Will the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek be worth my money and time?

The Subaru Crosstrek is already one of the best products in the sub-compact SUV segment. It checks all the boxes that one would ideally look for in the segment. It's spacious, it's safe, is aptly loaded with features, and can handle some occasional off-road duties as well. With the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek getting an upgraded and powerful engine, the mass-favorite compact crossover shall be more responsive to pedal inputs and more energetic off the line. With the new engine, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek offers an almost complete package in the segment, which none of its segment rivals get close to. Though the addition of the new engine will surge up the MSRP as well, we expect the higher premium should even then be under fair reach, when it's finally launched.

Also Read:

How good is the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek?

What are the trims on offer under the Crosstrek badge?

2021 Subaru Crosstrek FAQs

How many trims will the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek have?

The 2021 Crosstrek will have a total of four trims on offer. It will retain the present three trims in-tact, but a new "Sport" trim will also join the lineup, specific to the upgraded engine.

When is the 2021 Crosstrek likely to be released?

No affirmations have been made by Subaru, regarding the launch date and price of the 2021 Crosstrek so far. However, with respect to the on-sale schedule of new and revised Subaru's recently, we expect it to hit the stores somewhere towards the end of 2020.

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