The decision: Refreshed for 2021, the Subaru Crosstrek stays a sensible selection. Although it lacks a number of must-have applied sciences, it provides comparatively beneficiant journey consolation and seating house.
Versus the competitors: The Crosstrek is a bigger various to the entry-level SUVs it’s priced in opposition to — a place that pays on a regular basis dividends. The present era first appeared again in early 2017, nonetheless; as such, sure options have change into outdated.
Headlining the updates for 2021 is Subaru’s newly accessible 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, borrowed from the Legacy sedan and the Forester and Outback SUVs. It comes on the Crosstrek’s Sport and Restricted trim ranges, that are the very best of 4 accessible trims. The opposite trims, Base and Premium, nonetheless have final 12 months’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Examine all 4 trim ranges right here.
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The Sport trim is new for 2021. Different modifications embrace newly accessible lane-centering steering, revised suspension tuning and styling tweaks (largely amounting to extra entrance bumper cladding; it’s exhausting to consider the Crosstrek as soon as had a lot much less). We evaluated a well-equipped Crosstrek Restricted as a part of a comparability between 4 entry-level SUVs. Go to the associated hyperlink above for the total comparability take a look at and right here to evaluate the 2021 and 2020 Crosstrek.
New Engine, Previous Transmission
Paired with a constantly variable computerized transmission that raises engine revs at a tepid tempo, the Crosstrek’s bigger four-cylinder engine feels curiously unremarkable from a standing begin. Extra energy comes abruptly, nonetheless, in the event you keep on the gasoline, a transparent indication that the larger engine makes some 20% extra energy than its raspy counterpart. Subaru charges the two.5-liter at 182 horsepower and 176 pounds-feet of torque versus 152 hp and 145 pounds-feet for the two.0-liter; evaluate EPA mileage scores right here.
Given sufficient gasoline, the two.5-liter Crosstrek will get out of its personal means — however even then, it’s not precisely fast, reaching 60 mph in a leisurely 8.7 seconds by our testing. The transmission’s relaxed wind-up stays a weak hyperlink. CVTs a decade in the past universally behaved this manner, however right now’s finest examples are Johnny-on-the-spot with engine revs. It appears Johnny Subaru hit the snooze button once more.
Journey and Dealing with
Our different driving impressions run the gamut. Dynamics are improbably good: Subaru’s all-wheel drive sends sufficient energy to the rear to slip the tail a smidge in the event you stand on the accelerator mid-corner. I predict zero drivers will expertise that, nonetheless, because the Crosstrek’s reasonable physique roll and middling steering ratio don’t invite aggressive maneuvers. It bears mentioning that Subaru provides a strut-tower brace as a Crosstrek accent, which ought to shore up dealing with and may even assist with physique roll (our take a look at automobile didn’t have it).
Journey high quality has lengthy demonstrated the benefit of a bigger platform than you sometimes get from an entry-level SUV. Subaru altered spring and shock absorber tuning for 2021 to enhance drivability, however the components stays comfort-oriented. That’s a welcome attribute in a category not identified for it; rivals just like the Ford EcoSport and Chevrolet Trailblazer are veritable bounce homes in contrast with the Crosstrek, which has a level of shock absorption and high-speed isolation that’s nearer to the bigger class of compact SUVs. Certainly, the current-generation Crosstrek ranked at or close to the highest of the sphere for journey high quality compared checks in opposition to three rivals in 2018, then once more versus three totally different rivals in our newest testing.
In case its profile didn’t tip you off, the Crosstrek isn’t a very excessive-riding SUV. Although Subaru’s claimed 8.7 inches of floor clearance ranks within the SUV huge leagues, the Crosstrek tied for the bottom driving place among the many 4 SUVs in Automobiles.com’s comparability by our measuring tape. Modest top apart, occupant room is nice. The entrance seats are moderately giant, if a bit unsupportive, and the backseat affords acceptable knee and head clearance for adults — by no means a given amongst entry-level SUVs. Ditto for visibility, the place the Crosstrek’s slender roof pillars and enormous home windows help sight strains in all instructions.
Cargo house is much less beneficiant. We measured 13.Zero cubic toes behind the Crosstrek’s backseat, touchdown it final in measured quantity among the many 4 SUVs in our comparability. That’s nicely in need of the Kia Seltos’ group-leading 16.2 cubic toes. (Be aware that these cargo quantity figures stem from Automobiles.com’s impartial measurements, as we’ve discovered manufacturer-published cargo specs to be unreliable.)
Inside styling is just too scattershot for my style, however cabin high quality charges nicely. Low-budget plastics are largely hidden at eye degree, and areas the place your arms and elbows contact are dutifully padded. The dashboard and armrests have double-stitched accents, and the headliner sports activities a real woven materials. Subaru dropped the ball with a number of rickety controls, but it surely’s good to see the Crosstrek keep away from many of the rampant cost-cutting we discover inside most entry-level SUVs.
Regardless of some updates for 2021, the Crosstrek’s roster of obtainable applied sciences underscores that the present era is getting into its fourth mannequin 12 months whereas going up in opposition to a number of newer rivals on the scene. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are customary, however each require wired connections, not the wi-fi setup that’s spreading on this class. Wi-fi smartphone charging is unavailable, and the Crosstrek’s touchscreen lacks the instantaneous response, high-def decision and plus-sized dimensions you’ll get from a number of rivals’ shows. (A 6.5-inch show is customary, whereas greater trim ranges like our take a look at automobile get an 8-inch unit.)
Arms-on lane centering joins the Crosstrek’s accessible EyeSight bundle of security and driver-assist options for 2021. It really works along side adaptive cruise management, and each techniques can perform from freeway speeds right down to a halt in stop-and-go site visitors. That’s a uncommon pairing for an reasonably priced car, however the adaptive cruise management received’t routinely maintain you at a cease for quite a lot of seconds earlier than it’s a must to step on the brake. Most adaptive cruise management techniques try this now courtesy of an electrical parking brake, however the Crosstrek retains an old-school mechanical handbrake.
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