2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Review: A Great Subcompact All-Rounder


Subaru isn’t exactly leading the charge in bringing EVs to the masses—it only recently unveiled its first EV, the Solterra—but the Crosstrek’s mileage figures aren’t terrible. In fact, they’re on par with the competition, save for one mpg here and there (it does have an all-wheel-drive system, after all). When equipped with the CVT, the 2.0-liter returns 28 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. Those numbers fall to 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined when you get it with the manual. The CVT-equipped 2.5-liter returns 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined.

The Crosstrek does come in a plug-in hybrid flavor, but that starts around $37,000 and only offers 17 miles of electric-only range from an 8.8 kWh battery pack and an overall 5 mpg combined boost over the pure ICE model. At that price, you have to really want a plug-in Subaru over a number of other hybrids in its class that offer more electric range or greater overall fuel economy, not to mention the increasing number of all-electric options. It’s also fair to point out that the PHEV Crosstrek clocks in at 3,717 pounds, about nearly 500 pounds heavier than this one, so if you’re regularly draining the battery and solely using its ICE powertrain, it’s going to be a lot less efficient.

Value and Verdict

As Subaru’s third best-seller behind the Outback (181,178 units sold) and Forester (180,179 units sold) in 2019 (the last year when the auto industry was relatively normal), it’s interesting that the smaller Crosstrek (131,152 units sold) was more appealing to buyers than the larger Ascent (81,958 units sold). Interesting but also encouraging, as it tells me that if you make a subcompact versatile, comfortable, capable, and give it all-wheel drive, people will go for it. There are a bunch of trims to choose from and I particularly like that its pricing starts closer to $20,000 than $30,000.  

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