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The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Gets A Price Increase To Go With More Power

Illustration for article titled The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Gets A Price Increase To Go With More Power
Photo: Subaru

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is finally getting some more power in one trim, after years of complaints about the car being underpowered. A whole 30 horsepower more will come in the Sport trim, though you’re gonna have to pay for it.

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Subaru announced how much on Friday, when it announced pricing for the 2021 Crosstrek.

With a starting price of just $22,245, an increase of only $100 from the 2020 model year, all Crosstrek trim levels are equipped with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring as standard, an advantage over other compact SUVs that make all-wheel drive an extra-cost option.

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The distinctive and more powerful new Crosstrek Sport starts at $26,495 and is the only Crosstrek trim level to feature the dual-function X-MODE® with Hill Descent Control, with SNOW/DIRT and DEEP SNOW/MUD settings to optimize AWD performance for difficult weather or road conditions. All other Crosstrek trim levels equipped with CVT feature standard X-MODE with Hill Descent Control.

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The base model is $140 more than the 2020, while the extra power comes in at around $142 more per horsepower. Here’s the entire chart:

Illustration for article titled The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Gets A Price Increase To Go With More Power
Screenshot: Subaru

There is (very much by design) a trim of the Crosstrek for pretty much anyone, though the 182 horses offered by the 2.5 liter, four-cylinder engine in the Sport trim will only be in the Sport trim. The rest will have the 2.0 liter, 152 horsepower four-cylinder that is already offered in the Crosstrek. This means that the Sport trim is the one to get, even though, paradoxically, it only comes with a CVT, which I’m sure Subaru will tell you is in fact pretty sporty.

The CVT in the Sport car is perfectly on brand for Crosstrek, given its status as one of the most sensible cars you can buy in the year 2020 in America. That’s precisely because of what it doesn’t do. It’s (still!) underpowered, it doesn’t take up a ton of space, it’s interesting but not that interesting, and it’s gas mileage isn’t too good, but it’s good enough. It’s not supposed to be fun, exactly, because it’s merely trying to be an effective tool.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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DISCUSSION

Not every car is targeted to driving enthusiasts and has to have 500+ hp. The Crosstrek is one of them. Most buyers are happy with a car that is reliable, serviceable, and meets their transportation needs without asking too much in return.

My wife is probably a typical Crosstrek buyer. We’ve had hers for almost two years, and she couldn’t be happier with it. It’s been her favorite car of all the ones she’s had in her life. In standard form the power is realistically ‘adequate’ for most non-enthusiast drivers. I’ve driven it many times, including on long (pre-COVID-19) trips, and while it’s certainly not going to get your adrenaline flowing, it has enough power to keep up with highway traffic and not feel lacking in any real-world way.

What the Crosstrek does have going for it is a dose of fun (albeit cosmetic, color and style) and superior ergonomics (for my wife) compared to other small CUVs. I made her look at every comparable small CUV on the market. Most would have been acceptable to her, but as soon as she drove the Crosstrek, she exclaimed ‘this is it!’. The EyeSight system provides a level of reassurance and feeling of greater ‘safety’ that non-enthusiast drivers appreciate.

In our neck of the woods (New England) it seems that at least 1/4 of the cars in town are Crosstreks. The local dealers sell them pretty quickly, even during the pandemic. Two of our friends have bought Crosstreks after riding in ours (plus my sister, who specifically bought one because she could get it with a manual).

The bigger engine combined with a manual transmission would make the Crosstrek appealing to people like me. If it was available with a stick, it might even tempt me out of my WRX (the ride is a little too stiff on long trips for my 60-something body). But Subaru knows their market. The number of enthusiasts who would actually fork over the cheese to buy a more powerful Crosstrek with a stick is likely not enough to justify the engineering and emissions certification required.