New Crosstrek gets big updates, adds new Sport trim for adventurers

More power, more off-road prowess, more advanced safety

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will get a major update when it arrives late Summer 2020 that includes a larger engine, a more capable AWD system, and a more sophisticated EyeSight advanced safety suite. Subaru last redesigned the Crosstrek in 2018 as a second-generation offering.

Bigger engine (thanks Forester)

The Crosstrek’s new motor is a 2.5L boxer-style four-cylinder borrowed from the Forester. Its 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque is now standard in the Crosstrek’s Sport/Outdoor and Limited trims, leaving the 152-hp 2.0L carried over from last year to power the rest of the range.

All 2.5L Crosstrek models are standard with the brand’s Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while 2.0L cars still come with a six-speed manual in certain trims.

“Sport” / “Outdoor” trim enters Crosstrek lineup for more off-the-grid adventure

Crosstrek’s Sport trim (dubbed the Outdoor in Canada) also gains a dual-function X-Mode function (only model to offer this) that promises enhanced off-road performance with hill descent control and drive modes for snow and dirt and deep snow and mud.

2021 subaru crosstrek sport
The Sport trim is completely new as well for 2021, receiving a dual-function X-MODE (the only Crosstrek trim to offer this), distinct exterior and interior accents, exclusive StarTex upholstery, different wheel arch moldings, and Sport-type 17-inch alloy wheels with dark gray finish. Photo: Subaru

Crosstrek Sport also gets its own exterior styling cues, including wheel arch moldings, a unique wheel design and new Plasma Yellow and Horizon Blue paint colours. Inside, it gets yellow stitching and StarTex seat upholstery, which Subaru says is made without PVC.

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Subaru has also fitted a new front bumper and grille to the Crosstrek, following last year’s updated taillights.

Safety and tech for 2021

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s EyeSight safety suite adds advance adaptive cruise control with lane centering. EyeSight is standard on all models with the CVT and also comprises forward collision avoidance, lane departure prevention, lead vehicle start alert and engine auto start/stop.

Features carried over include the Starlink infotainment system, with its 6.5-inch and 8.0-inch screens (depending on trim), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, and remote/connected services. Trim levels are base, Premium, Sport, and Limited.

Subaru says the updated, more-potent Crosstrek will arrive at the brand’s dealers later this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to that time.

If you’re shopping for a 2021 or 2022 SUV, check out our guide here.

2021 Crosstrek photos:

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Chris Chase
Chris has been writing professionally about cars since 2004, in print and online. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two feline tyrants. In rare quiet moments, he can be found travelling or playing one of his way-too-many guitars. Chris is also a journalist member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).