Beneath that no-frills styling is a largely likable crossover.
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is a stable all-rounder. This small SUV is nice sufficient to pilot, even when it is not the best-driving crossover round. Its inside is spacious and premium sufficient to not elicit emotions of regret. Plus, the Crosstrek’s obtainable know-how is intuitive and largely useful. It’s extra balanced than a nutritionist’s weight-reduction plan.
LikeImpressive real-world efficiencyStandard all-wheel driveAttractive cabin
Don’t LikeInconstant lane-centering systemSomewhat tepid performanceUnrefined transmission
To preserve tempo with the Joneses, or fairly, the Hondas, Toyotas and Fords of this world, Subaru enhanced the Crosstrek for 2021, including extra know-how, a brand new engine and even a touch of up to date styling. None of those enhancements are earth-shattering, however they additional burnish an already respectable product.Arguably the most important change is underneath the hood. A brand new 2.5-liter boxer-four is obtainable in Sport and range-topping Limited fashions. Smooth and fairly responsive, this engine delivers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque — 30 and 31 extra, respectively, than the bottom 2.0-liter H4. Matched to an ordinary constantly variable transmission (a six-speed handbook is obtainable with that base engine), my top-shelf Crosstrek has sufficient acceleration. Yet In a world the place so many automobiles characteristic turbocharged engines, which generally present ample low and midrange torque, this Subaru’s efficiency is a bit disappointing. Even with this slight enhance in energy, just a little extra oomph will surely be appreciated.
The CVT’s conduct can also be lower than supreme. In basic, I’ve made my peace with these transmissions, even when different gearheads despise them. Automakers like Honda and Nissan have, for essentially the most half, figured them out, however the Crosstrek’s CVT feels a bit odd. Not solely does it appear much less responsive than competing items, when it mimics gearchanges — a trick these transmissions typically make use of to cut back engine droning throughout acceleration — the simulated shifts really feel coarse. My tester additionally options paddle shifters, which let you rifle by way of eight simulated ‘gears’ for a bit extra driving enjoyment.Gripes apart, this Subaru’s powertrain is at the very least economical. The EPA says it ought to return 27 miles per gallon metropolis, a determine that is goosed by a easy and swift stop-start system. Expect 34 mpg freeway and 29 mpg mixed. Driving the Crosstrek with a heavy proper foot, I’ve averaged 30.1 mpg in line with the journey laptop, a formidable rating, particularly for one thing with normal all-wheel drive. Aside from four-corner traction, the Crosstrek additionally has 8.7 inches of floor clearance, greater than a Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue, that means it ought to be a fairly succesful off-roader. All variants fitted with the CVT additionally characteristic X-Mode, a driver-selectable setting that enhances traction and supplies hill-descent management.
Quality supplies, good consolation and a wise format are hallmarks of this Subaru’s cabin.
The Crosstrek’s steering is unremarkable. That’s to not say it is dangerous, in no way; it simply looks like virtually another car-based utility car on the market. The ratio is not too sluggish and it has first rate heft, however do not count on scalpel-like precision or any street really feel.
Supporting the motive force and entrance passenger are a pair of fine bucket seats. They’re snug and accommodating, however like many different elements of this Subaru, fall in need of greatness. Even in Limited trim, my tester lacks any adjustable lumbar help, which is a bit annoying. The backseat is kind of ethereal for adults, providing loads of house for legs, although a whisker extra headroom could be good. All of the Crosstrek’s seats characteristic barely elevated decrease cushions, that are roughly chair-height off the ground. This makes moving into and out of the car really feel very pure.As for the remainder of this Subaru’s inside, it is truly fairly good. The leather-based used on the seats and steering wheel feels first rate, the tender plastics are low in gloss and utilized liberally, and the general design is simple. Most of the switches and knobs really feel sturdy and I respect the tasteful use of a contrasting coloration. Orange stitching livens issues up, and a little bit of this energetic hue even shines by way of the perforations in my tester’s leather-covered seats, a pleasant contact.Interior space for storing might be improved, nonetheless. The door pockets and bin underneath the middle armrest are all fairly small. Of course, cargo house is much extra beneficiant. With its rear backrests up, this Subaru supplies 20.8 cubic ft of house. Drop ’em like they’re sizzling and that quantity grows to 55.3 cu. ft.A 2.5-liter four-cylinder is now supplied for 2021. Trust me, it is the engine you are going to need.
Crosstreks fitted with a CVT come Subaru’s EyeSight suite of superior driver aids. This consists of goodies like computerized emergency braking, lane-departure prevention and extra. A noteworthy addition for 2021, adaptive cruise management with lane-centering can also be included, although, regrettably, it is one thing of a blended bag. The cruise-control portion of this works properly, easily accelerating or decelerating based mostly on visitors situations, bringing the car to a whole cease as essential, even when it solely stands nonetheless for a few seconds earlier than forcing the motive force to intervene. The lane-centering system, nonetheless, has confirmed to be fairly annoying. On a number of events throughout my testing, it is jerked the wheel randomly, inflicting the car to swerve abruptly. Yeah, not good. It additionally appears to permit the Crosstrek to wander a good quantity in its lane, and while you go to right this it fights you. Ultimately, I had sufficient and simply turned the lane-centering characteristic off.This Subaru’s infotainment system continues the theme of being good however not nice. My Limited tester has a generously sized 8-inch touchscreen that is colourful and straightforward to succeed in (lesser fashions characteristic a 6.5-inch show). The Starlink software program working on it’s decently responsive, and pinch-to-zoom on the navigation map is OK, nonetheless, rearranging icons on the house screens is a bit irritating and there are some bizarre enter delays whereas utilizing Apple CarPlay, which, together with Android Auto, is normal tools on each Crosstrek. Likewise, this car’s obtainable eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system is nothing spectacular, although it’s miles, much better than what’s in our Subaru Outback long-term tester. I’ve heard wax-cylinder phonographs that present higher sound high quality than that.Further sweetening the pie, Limited fashions additionally include a great deal of different goodies, from computerized excessive beams and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert to adaptive headlamps and keyless entry with push-button begin. There’s loads of tools to get enthusiastic about right here, particularly on the worth.Icing on the Crosstrek cake is worth pricing. This one checks out for lower than 32 grand.
An entry-level Crosstrek with a handbook gearbox and no frills begins at just a little greater than 23 grand, together with the requisite supply charges, which on this case are $1,050. The range-topping Limited mannequin examined right here is, naturally, a bit richer than that, although it is nonetheless eminently reasonably priced. With the $2,395 energy bundle, which incorporates that 8-inch infotainment display, a moonroof and the uplevel sound system, it checks out for an extremely cheap $31,440.The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is an effective middle-of-the-road utility car. It’s OK to drive, has an agreeable inside, provides a good quantity of tech and is a lot refined. Is it my favourite SUV on the street right this moment? No, in no way. But it’s an undeniably smart possibility, one which’s additionally a superb worth.