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2021 Subaru Crosstrek Slated to Get More Powerful Engine

One of the most popular small crossover SUVs in America, the Subaru Crosstrek offers a compelling blend of utility and capability in an affordable and safe package. What the Crosstrek lacks is power. A recent report in Automotive News says that’s about to change.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Limited in snow

At the 2020 National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) Live event in Las Vegas, Tom Doll, Subaru of America Chief Executive Officer, announced that the 2021 Crosstrek will offer more power thanks to a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine option. Doll said the new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport and the carryover Crosstrek Limited will offer the engine.

Subaru equips the 2020 Crosstrek with a standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque, delivered to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Based on Motor Trend testing, the Crosstrek can take nearly ten seconds to accelerate to 60 mph.

A plug-in hybrid powertrain is available for the Crosstrek, offering 17 miles of pure electric driving before switching into gas-electric hybrid mode. Thanks to its electric motor, it adds significant low-end torque which is available as soon as the driver steps on the accelerator pedal, shaving a second off of the Crosstrek’s 0-to-60-mph acceleration time, according to Subaru. But the Crosstrek Hybrid is pricey at more than $36,000 before taking federal, state, and local incentives into consideration.

This is where the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek’s new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder will make a difference, offering improved performance for a smaller premium than the Crosstrek Hybrid commands.

Doll didn’t divulge details, but the 2.5-liter destined for the Crosstrek is likely the latest iteration of the automaker’s venerable horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine installed in the larger Forester, Legacy, and Outback models. In these vehicles, it makes 182 hp and 176 lb.-ft. of torque.

Should those ratings carry over into the 2021 Crosstrek, Subaru’s smallest crossover SUV will enjoy gains of 30 hp and 31 lb.-ft. of torque. Plus, the Crosstrek weighs 446 pounds less than the Outback, though the larger and heavier engine will negate some of that benefit.

J.D. Power data shows that 85% of Subaru Crosstrek owners agree that they like a vehicle with responsive handling and powerful acceleration. And yet, they buy this Subaru anyway. No doubt, the Crosstrek faithful will find this new, more powerful version of the crossover mighty appealing.

But nothing short of turbocharging will make a Crosstrek significantly more responsive at altitude.