Like most Subaru cars, the Crosstrek is known for its versatility and good build quality. The subcompact SUV is the Japanese automaker’s answer to the world in creating a well-designed package that caters to the different needs of the buyers. It was designed on the basis of the Impreza hatchback and comes with all the good characteristics of a Subaru. A higher ground clearance, all-wheel drive as standard, four-cylinder boxer engine, and a practical cabin attracts buyers in this segment.
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Pricing and Features
Engine and Performance
Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide
The new Subaru Crosstrek is available in four trims namely the Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited. The prices for the base trim starts at $ 22,245 and go up to $ 27,995 for the top-of-the-line Limited trim. Subaru also offers a hybrid version for the Crosstrek and it costs $ 35,435 excluding additional charges. The Subaru Crosstrek faces some stiff competition from the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX- 30, and Buick Encore.
7.2/10 Engine and Performance
8.9/10 Fuel Economy
7.5/10 Final Verdict
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Features
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is now offered with a more powerful engine for the Sport and Limited trims only. All trims come with AWD as standard which is a good thing in this segment. Subaru claims that all four trims are well equipped and will cater to different buyers. The four trims are the Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited in ascending order of their hierarchy.
Gray StarTex water-repellent upholstery with yellow contrast stitching
SUBARU STARLINK 8.0-inch Multimedia Plus
6.5-inch Multimedia Display
Keyless Access with Push-Button Start
6.3-inch color multifunction display
Automatic climate control system
STARLINK Safety and Security enabled
Sport instrument cluster with color LCD display
Leather-trimmed upholstery with orange stitching
Electronic cruise control
Cargo-area tray and cover
LED rear gate light
Reverse Automatic Braking
Which trim should you buy?
We suggest the Sport trim as it is a most balanced option between price and features. It gets a powerful 2.5 L Boxer engine and many creatures comfort like Gray StarTex water-repellent upholstery with yellow contrast stitching, keyless access and push-button start, Sport instrument cluster with color LCD display, LED rear gate light, etc. Also, the standard all-wheel drive is unheard of in the compact SUV segment.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Engine and Performance
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek gets a bigger and more powerful boxer engine that is reserved for the Sport and Limited trim. The newer 2.5 L engine produces 182 HP and 176 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a CVT transmission. The performance is peppy and with a standard AWD on board, the fun just gets multiplied. The Base and Premium trims get a smaller 2.0 L boxer engine producing 152 HP and 145 lb-ft of torque. It gets mated to a manual transmission as standard and there is an option for CVT as well.
2.0 L Boxer-4
1.4L Turbocharged Inline-4
6-speed shiftable automatic
152 hp @ 6,000 rpm
147 hp @ 6,200 rpm
148 hp @ 6000 rpm
138 hp @ 4,900 rpm
145 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
132 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
146 lb. ft. @ 2800 rpm
148 lb. ft. @ 1850 rpm
0-60 MPH (seconds)
The Crosstrek is the most powerful SUV here but the same does not translate in actual 0-60 mph tests. It is slower than the Mazda CX-30 by about 0.8 seconds. However, it enjoys a higher top speed and comes with AWD as standard which can help it in some off-road scenarios. The Buick Encore offers a smaller turbocharged engine and yet its performance is similar to the competition in the segment.
How well does the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek handle?
The 2021 Crosstrek model also gets AWD as standard. The AWD configuration helps in providing better traction on different surfaces. The suspension finds a sweet spot between sportiness and comfort. The handling in this SUV is fairly easy, thanks to its well-weighted steering. The lack of power found in older Crosstrek models has been rectified by Subaru by offering a bigger 2.5 L engine and it provides 30 HP more to play around with.
When you push it too hard around the corners, you’ll notice a slight body roll for sure. But it’s not worrisome and you can enjoy the twisties carefreely. The interiors are also fairly comfortable so you can also enjoy the ride when you are in the passenger seat as well. The highlight is when you venture off-roads as the tires maintain a glue-like grip to the surface and perform an excellent job of keeping you grounded.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Braking Performance
The 2021 Crosstrek comes with quite large brake rotors when compared with its competition. It’s on the heavier side and hence lesser stopping distance becomes even more imperative. It gets larger 11.6-inch rotors at the front and smaller 10.8-inch rotors at the rear. All the rotors work together to stop the Crosstrek from 60 mph to 0 mph within 120 feet of stopping distance, which is not great but considering its weight, is quite acceptable.
Brake Rotors: Front (inches)
Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)
Curb Weight (lbs.)
60-0 MPH (feet)
The 2021 Crosstrek is the second heaviest of the lot and hence comes with large rotors. The Buick Encore is the heaviest of all and comes with larger front rotors and smaller rear rotors as compared to the Crosstrek. However, its stopping distance is more than the Crosstrek which is unimpressive. The Hyundai Kona wins the stopping game even with the smallest rotors at both ends which is outright commendable. The CX-30 needs the most distance to stop and loses out in the braking game.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Fuel Economy
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek offers a combined fuel economy of 25 mpg. With a fuel tank capacity of 16.6 gallons, you can easily enjoy a range of around 415 miles per full tank of gas. The efficiency figures from its 2.0 L engine and MT are certainly not great but owing to the larger fuel tank, you don't need to worry about range.
Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)
Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles)
In comparison, the Mazda CX-30 is found to be the most fuel-efficient with a combined fuel economy of 31 mpg which is commendable. But it also has the smallest fuel tank with just 12.7 gallons capacity which reduces its range to some extent in comparison to other rivals. Even with the least fuel efficiency of the lot, Crosstrek gives the maximum range at 415 miles. The Hyundai Kona is very fuel-efficient and even a smaller fuel tank provides a decent range.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Interior
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek has a well-laid-out and ergonomic cabin. The Crosstrek is noticeably roomy inside with 100.9 cu-ft of passenger volume. Enter the cabin via its wide door openings and you’ll like its supportive seats available in cloth, soft-leather, or adventure-friendly StarTex upholstery, depending upon the trim you choose. The lower trims can be dull, but the higher trims try to spice up things with its faux carbon-fiber trim and orange stitching on the seats which are trimmed in dark upholstery.
The Crosstrek offers 20.8 cu-ft of cargo capacity which is good for its size and it can further be extended to 55.3 cu-ft by folding the rear 60/40 seat. However, the folded seats don't lay flat on the cargo floor. The higher trims get better creature comforts like leather-trimmed seats, paddle shifters, power-adjustable driver seats, keyless access with push-button start, heated front seats, etc. which are bound to make you feel pampered
Front (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)
Rear (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)
Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)
The Crosstrek offers maximum cargo capacity amongst the lot. It also provides better headroom and legroom across both rows. The Hyundai Kona offers the least amount of leg space in the second row, resulting in lesser comfort for taller passengers. The Buick Encore comes with the least amount of cargo space and the Mazda CX-30 just manages to surpass it by 0.4 inches. Some of the standout interior features of the 2021 Crosstrek are:
The 2021 Crosstrek’s infotainment system is powered by Subaru’s StarLink Interface. It is well organized and easy to use in daily life. The lower trims get a 6.5” touchscreen display with features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The Limited trim and Hybrid one gets a larger 8” touchscreen that offers SiriusXM satellite radio with some additional apps. The Navigation feature is optional and available only for the one with an 8” touchscreen display. The base trim gets four speakers standard while the remaining trims get 6-speaker support for better output. Some of the standout infotainment features of the 2021 Crosstrek are:
The 2021 Crosstrek model gets redesigned front fascia, better usage of chrome elements, and changed fog lamp cut-outs in favor of better aesthetics. The small Subaru chrome-lined grille with a black background and sleeker, aggressive headlamps lends it a distinctive look. The sides are also interesting to look at with black cladding over the wheel arches and two-character lines intersecting at an angle. The sloping roofline and roof rails make it look sporty and rugged at the same time.
The rear is devoid of any visual drama and the only element to look for are the tail lamps which blend well with the overall design language
Curb Weight (lbs)
Ground Clearance (inches)
The 2021 Crosstrek offers higher ground clearance and a longer wheelbase as compared to the rivals. Along with a standard AWD configuration, the Crosstrek becomes off-road ready and the competitors can’t beat it. It is also longer and wider than the competition which gives it a distinctive SUV stance. Some of the standout exterior features of the 2021 Crosstrek are:
LED Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH) (Limited)
High Beam Assist (HBA)
Heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer (Higher trim)
Subaru cars are well known for their built quality and rugged nature. The 2021 Crosstrek really shines in the safety department. The NHTSA has given it a five-star safety rating and the IIHS has awarded it the “Top Safety Pick +” award. As a result, you can rest assured that the Crosstrek is one of the safest cars out there. The standard safety features present in the Crosstrek are good enough and the optional ones are available for a reasonable cost. Some of the standout safety features of the 2021 Crosstrek are:
Blindspot warning system
Lane Departure Warning system
Emergency Braking Assist
STARLINK Safety and Security features
Brake Override System
Rear Vision Camera
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Competition
2021 Subaru Crosstrek V/S 2021 Hyundai Kona
The Hyundai Kona is a new breed and looks unlike any other SUV in the market. It costs less than the Crosstrek but the performance is not enthusiastic from the base engine. The Crosstrek on the other side offers slightly better performance and AWD as standard, which helps it perform better over a wide range of surfaces and driving conditions.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek V/S 2021 Mazda CX-30
The Mazda CX-30 costs are considerably higher than the Crosstrek. It comes with FWD as standard. The performance is also just a bit better than the Crosstrek. However, the interior cabin quality feels far more refined and imbibes a touch of luxury. The CX-30 is no match for Crosstreks’s off-road versatility and it comes with lesser ground clearance and wheelbase.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek V/S 2021 Buick Encore
The Buick Encore costs a bit more and provides better fuel economy from its smaller turbocharged engine than the Crosstrek. However, the performance is far from being enthusiastic and comes with FWD as standard. The ground clearance is also less and it's good for perfectly paved surfaces only. The braking performance offered by the Encore is lackluster and needs more polishing. The Subaru offers better braking and AWD performance at a lesser price.
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Final Verdict
The new Subaru Crosstrek is not the perfect one but ticks many right boxes for its price. It skips on more refined interiors like that of the rivals and the efficiency is also less. However, it shines with its standard AWD configuration and rugged built quality. The safety features are top-notch and it scores well in the styling department too. At this price point, it's an SUV to be considered without second thoughts.