2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Review and Test Drive

Written By: Jerry Reynolds | Oct 20, 2020 1:00:00 AM

I’ve been accused of being a shill for Subaru because I sing their praises so much on the radio show. This is a badge I wear proudly, because I know Subaru SUVs are a great choice for my listeners.

So, this week I spent a very nice week with the new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, a compact SUV. My two favorite features that come as standard equipment on Subi SUVs are the Symmetrical all-wheel drive system, and the EyeSight safety system, two features I think are best-in-class in the auto industry.

EyeSight monitors traffic movement from two cameras mounted high on the windshield. It optimizes cruise control, and if you stray out of your lane it will center the vehicle back in the lane. The pre-collision braking feature can even apply full braking force in emergency situations. It works incredibly well.

Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel drive system continually keeps the power to all four wheels, ensuring outstanding grip in snow, rain, or rough terrain.

The Sport is new for 2021, falling just under the top-of-the-line Limited. It has a new front end, a refreshed rear end, and some very nice 17” wheels.


The big news, however, is under the hood. The engine since the CrossTrek came out has been a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, but now the Sport and Limited come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, that provides 182-horses and 176-pound feet of torque. That’s a noticeable 30 more horses than the 2-liter. It is mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) that is shiftable from paddles on the steering wheel. Without the paddles, the transmission simulates shifts so the CVT is not overly evident.



The interior is nicely done with simulated leather seats that are bolstered and stitched. The gauges are easy to see, and there is a driver info center between the tach and speedometer that operates from the steering wheel.

Stitching runs through the door panels and nicely across the dash. The door panels have simulated carbon fiber and the center console is surrounded by black gloss plastic that actually looks nice. There is a soft center console that your arm rests on. Forward of the gear shifter is a cubbyhole with two USBs and a power outlet. There are two more USBs inside the center glove box.

High on the dash is a hooded area for the clock, the outside temp, your current fuel economy, and a readout for the automatic temperature-controlled air conditioning.

Below that is a terrific 8” touchscreen that houses the Subaru Starlink System. From there, you operate the sound system, Bluetooth, apps, Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation, Apple Carplay or Android Auto, and the vehicle settings. This system works great, it’s easy to figure out.


Backseat leg and head room is really good. I wish there were A/C vents and USB ports back there, but I guess you can’t have everything. Cargo area is also plentiful with 20.8 cubic feet of storage with the backseat up. Those backseats fold down quite easily and they are flat with the cargo area. Everything in the cargo area is plastic, perfect for Fido and Rover.

Standard Equipment and Options

Important standard features include: rearview camera, heated seats, tilt steering wheel, power windows and door locks, automatic headlights, fog lights, and keyless entry system. You also get X-Mode, which kicks the all-wheel system up a notch by choosing snow/dirt or deep snow/mud. When engaged, you also get Hill Descent control.

My tester only has one option for $1600 that includes: the 8” screen (6.5” is standard) blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, and a power moonroof.

Ride and Drive

Fuel economy is really good at 27 in town, and 34 on the highway for a 29 MPG rating combined.

The Crosstrek Sport is a lot of fun to drive, it is relatively quiet inside, the visibility is great, and with the new engine it shares with the Forester, the acceleration is actually quite good.

What You’ll Pay

MSRP is a very reasonable $29,145, which is right in line with other compact SUVs that don’t have EyeSight.

If you are in the market for a compact SUV, I don’t think there is a better choice.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

  • What I liked most: The all-wheel drive system and overall value.
  • What I would change: Air vents for the backseat passengers.
  • MSRP: Base price $26,495 as equipped $29,145.
  • Fuel Economy: Rated at 27 in town/ 34 highway/29 overall.
  • Official Color: Horizon Blue Pearl.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 1400 miles.
  • Weight: 3,298 pounds.
  • Spare Tire: Compact temporary spare.
  • Length-Width-Height: 176.5” long/71.7” wide/63.6” tall.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 16.6 gallons with the filler on the passenger side.
  • Towing Capacity: 1,500 pounds.
  • 2021 Crosstrek in a few words: Capable, fun to drive, exceptional quality, and unequalled safety.
  • Final Assembly Location: Ota, Gunma, Japan.
  • Manufacturers website: Subaru
  • Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain, 5-years, unlimited mileage rust warranty.

Credit: Subaru