Car review: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor

Subaru has made a few tweaks to improve the 2020 Crosstrek Sport compact SUV.

The biggest change is the addition of a Sport trim level, which is the only trim to feature the dual-function X-MODE with Hill Descent Control, SNOW/DIRT and DEEP SNOW/MUD settings to optimize AWD performance for difficult weather or road conditions.

New for all Crosstreks this year are redesigned wheels and front fascia that includes a new bumper and grille. Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control is standard on trims with EyeSight/CVT and the 2.5-liter engine is now available on Sport and Limited models.

My tester was powered by the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, Subaru Boxer engine that generates 192 horsepower. The engine is paired with a Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission with an eight-speed manual shift mode at the ready via paddle shift control switches.

Like every Subaru, Crosstrek includes symmetrical all-wheel drive as standard operating equipment, making it a longtime favorite of Northwesterners with active lifestyles that regularly drive in inclement weather and the mountains.

Crosstrek seats up to five adults, with a generous, rubber-lined cargo area at the ready. The rear seats fold flat, which allowed me to move a changing table from the beach to my garage. A week’s worth of mostly freeway miles produced 32 miles per gallon fuel economy and more than a 400 mile range.

Sport trim offers unique exterior trim elements that include specific wheel arch moldings, Sport-type 17-inch alloy wheels with dark gray finish, and gunmetal finish for the front grille, side mirrors and badges.

The Sport interior adds new water-repellant, durable StarTex upholstery with yellow stitching to the seating, simulated leather door trim panel armrests, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift boot, multifunction display visor, and center console storage box lid. Carpeted floor mats feature the Sport logo and yellow stitching. The new Sport is available in seven exterior colors, including the new Plasma Yellow Pearl and Horizon Blue Pearl.

Creature comforts for plentiful, especially for the price. Highlights include keyless entry and push-push-button start, rear vision camera, two 12-volt power outlets, dual USB charging ports, Bluetooth, six speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, all-weather package and more.

Optional equipment included a power moonroof; blind-spot detection with lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and Starlink eight-inch multimedia plus system.

Crosstrek models equipped also come with Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The EyeSight system has been enhanced for 2021 with advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering. The suite of driver assist technologies also includes automatic pre-collision braking; pre-collision throttle management; lane departure prevention; and lead vehicle start alert.

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek, when equipped with EyeSight, received the highest possible rating of “Superior” for front crash prevention by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

All 2021 Crosstrek trim levels include seven airbags: driver and front passenger frontal airbags, side curtain airbags and side pelvis/torso airbags, as well as a driver’s knee airbag. Crosstrek has been named an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK for nine years running (2012–2020).

A rear seat reminder alert is designed to help prevent child or pet entrapment by alerting the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle.

Base Price: $27,545

Price As Driven: $29,145

Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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