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Subaru Crosstrek Engine Upgrade

Chris Kaiser

Sounds like the next Crosstrek will be getting a more powerful engine option starting in 2021. 

A Familiar Face in a New Place

The Subaru Crosstrek occupies its own unique niche, a space somewhere between a hatchback and a crossover. With Subaru’s AWD and tons of personality, the Crosstrek has been able to make up for its one glaring deficiency, a lack of power. But that ends in 2021 with the addition of a new Sport trim and a new 2.5-liter engine (targeted for the new Sport and top Limited trims).

2020 Subaru Crosstrek - subaru.com

2020 Subaru Crosstrek – subaru.com  |  Shop 2020 Subaru Crosstrek on Carsforsale.com

Though Subaru has yet to officially confirm it, in all likelihood the Crosstrek’s 2.5-liter will be the same 4-cylinder boxer engine that powers the Outback, Forester, and Legacy. Subaru hasn’t commented on the official numbers for the 2021 Crosstrek, but their current 2.5-liter makes 182hp and 176 lbs.-ft. of torque. That would be a decent jump up from the Crosstrek’s current 2.0-liter 4-cylinder which produces 152hp and 145 lbs.-ft. of torque. Given the Crosstrek weighs nearly 500lbs. less than the Outback, the uptick in horsepower should take you one step closer to living out your rally car dreams on your local backroads.

More Power, But at What Cost?

You might reasonably wonder what you’d be giving up in fuel economy for such a substantial boost in power. Turns out, not a lot. The new 2.5-liter’s mpg rating is listed on the EPA website as 27 city, 34 highway, and 29 combined. Compare that to the current 2.0-liter’s 28/33/30 when paired with the CVT. That means in real world driving you’re not likely to ever notice a difference in fuel economy, nice. These numbers are even better when compared to the manual option, where economy drops to 22/29/25 mpg. But it’s likely, though unfortunate, that the manual will remain the exclusive domain of the base trim level and its 2.0-liter engine.

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2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid - subaru.com
2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid - subaru.com

The addition of the 2.5-liter will make three powertrain options for the Crosstrek. Currently an outlier in the Subaru line-up, the Crosstrek does have a plug-in hybrid option that grants 17 miles of emission-free driving before the gas engine kicks in. Ticking the plug-in hybrid box will balloon the price of your Crosstrek by over $7,000. No word yet on how much of a price premium the new 2.5-liter will command, but it’ll probably be considerably less than the hybrid.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek - subaru.com
2020 Subaru Crosstrek - subaru.com

With the addition of the new 2.5-liter and the new Sport trim, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek just might be the most exciting vehicle in Subaru’s line-up. You’re on notice WRX.

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Chris Kaiser
Chris Kaiser

Chris’ greatest passions include topiary, spelunking, and pushing aging compact cars well past 200,000 miles on cross-country road trips. His taste in cars runs from the classic and esoteric to the deeply practical with an abiding affection for VW Things, old Studebakers, and all things hybrid-crossover.

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