- New larger powertrain is available.
- Satisfying fuel economy.
- Balanced performance on and off the road.
- Reliability needs to improve.
- Infotainment system could be redesigned.
- Interior not as upscale as some rivals.
Would we buy one? Yes.
Vehicle Type: Four-door crossover subcompact SUV with seating for up to five people.
Price Range: Base level pricing is $23,295 MSRP going to $29,045 before options.
A $1,050 destination charge is included in pricing.
Powertrain: Two powertrains make the lineup for the 2021 Crosstrek: a 2.0-liter engine creating 152 horsepower and 145 pound-foot of torque and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 182 horsepower and 172 pound-foot of torque.
A six-speed manual transmission comes standard with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) available.
All models receive all-wheel drive
Competitors: Kia Seltos, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Trax, Honda HR-V, Jeep Compass, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX 30, Hyundai Kona, Subaru Outback.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Safety Features: 8/10
Subaru is known for paying attention to safety and provides convenient standard features in the 2021 Crosstrek. Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard on every model with emergency braking to reduce frontal impacts.
Adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature, automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keep assist are available.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave an overall five out of five stars in crash tests to the 2021 Crosstrek. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has designated a Top Safety Pick+ score for the 2021 Crosstrek.
The Crosstrek is evolving out of its Impreza hatchback origins it was essentially built after. It offers accessible pricing for a sporty SUV with useful all-around features.
There are two trim levels each for the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek and a Crosstrek hybrid variant. The models are the base Crosstrek that starts at $23,295 MSRP, followed by the Premium trim with start pricing at $24,345 MSRP.
The Subaru Crosstrek Sport starts at $27,690 MSRP, and the Crosstrek Limited model starts at $29,045 MSRP.
The Crosstrek Sport is what we like. The pricing is right for the number of features and the new 2.5-liter engine, which amps up the performance of the new Crosstrek giving it more attitude over the previous years' powertrain.
Tech Features: 8/10
For the 2021 Crosstrek, the infotainment system is handled by Starlink with a 6.5-inch touchscreen that is loaded with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity.
We found the larger 8.0-inch touchscreen with the Limited trim was more accessible than the smaller screen. Included in this configuration is SiriusXM satellite radio plus optional navigation.
Utility is a primary function of the Crosstrek, and it delivers adequate cargo space at 20.8 cubic feet behind the second-row seats and 55.3 cubic feet of cargo space with rear seats down. However, rivals like the Nissan Rogue do offer more space as well as more legroom and headroom.
The swooped exterior body style conceals the more upright seating inside. Though it may not be the most comfortable ride in the segment, the Crosstrek does afford good visibility for both drivers and passengers.
The new Sport trim offers StarTex upholstery, which makes the interior easy to clean after off-road adventures.
Styling & Design: 9/10
We have to admit; the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is an attractive compact SUV with its smooth, laid back design and comfortable utilitarian interior. The base model's interior does feel somewhat lower quality, but fortunately, there are higher tier trim levels like the exciting new Crosstrek Sport trim that spruce things up.
The Crosstrek Sport model adds some eye-catching design features we like including gunmetal accents, a new grille design, and rugged looking wheel arch moldings. A sporty Plasma Yellow Pearl exterior paint job is available for more flare.
Driving Experience: 8/10
The new 2.5-liter Direct-Injection so-called "SUBARU BOXER" engine delivers capable performance on and off-road. Being fresh for 2021, it is an enticement for shoppers looking to add some extra sport to this subcompact SUV.
The 2021 Crosstrek has increased clearance now at 8.7 inches of ground clearance. This puts this little SUV on par with rugged rivals like the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. The high clearance provides more capability off-road. We like the dual-function X-MODE available on the Sport trim has settings to improve traction and performance on different road conditions like deep snow and mud.
Fuel Efficiency: 8/10
The Subaru Crosstrek gets decent gas mileage across all of its configurations. A plug-in hybrid variant available with excellent fuel economy should satisfy most new car shoppers.
The 2.0-liter Flat 4 engine with the manual six-speed transmission and AWD gets 22/29/25 MPG city/hwy/combined according to the EPA. With the same 2.0-liter equipped with the variable automatic drivetrain, you can expect 28/33/30 MPG city/hwy/combined by EPA estimates. The 2.5-liter engine gets 27/34/29 MPG city/hwy/combined. The hybrid variant is rated at 90 MPGe combined.