2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
Denis Flierl's picture

3 Reasons Why You Want The New Subaru Crosstrek With A CVT And Not A 6-Speed Manual

Can you get a manual transmission in the new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek? Yes, but there are three reasons why you don’t want one.
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The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is one of the rare models that still comes with a 6-speed manual transmission, but you don’t want one. Most 2021 Crosstrek trims will come with a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic, but the Base and Premium trims still come standard with the 6-speed manual gearbox.

Subaru of America told Torque News only 6 percent of buyers want a Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual gearbox and for good reason. Base and Premium are the only trims offering a manual and it’s not available in the other three models. There are three reasons why you want the CVT automatic and you won’t even consider the 6-speed manual gearbox.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

Fuel mileage improves with the CVT

It’s not surprising Subaru is pushing the CVT because the automatic get such superior fuel mileage. The new 2021 Crosstrek Sport and Limited trims with the 2.5-liter engine come with the upgraded Lineartronic CVT with 8-speed manual mode and steering wheel paddle shifters and gets excellent fuel mileage performance (27/34/29 city/highway/combined).

The 2021 Crosstrek 2.0-liter CVT models achieve EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28/33 city/highway and 30 combined mpg. The 6-speed manual models are rated at 22/29 city/highway and only 25 combined mpg. Subaru improved the CVT’s mpg as the 2021 Crosstrek 2.0-liter engine improved one mpg city to 28 when 2020 models had an estimated 27 mpg city.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

CVT with X-Mode and SI-DRIVE

Another reason why you want the CVT is the models come equipped with X-Mode for severe driving conditions and CVT models come with SI-DRIVE that allows the driver to dial-up engine efficiency or performance with Intelligent and Sport modes. You don’t get X-Mode or SI-DRIVE with the manual transmission.

You can’t get EyeSight with the manual transmission

Subaru dropped the 6-speed manual in the Outback, and Legacy in 2015 models and Forester in 2019 because they now offer EyeSight driver assist technology as standard equipment on the three all-wheel-drive cars. EyeSight is not compatible with the safety system. All 2021 Crosstrek CVT models come standard with EyeSight.

We know we’ll get a negative response from purists who still like a 6-speed manual gearbox. I understand because I own one. But the large majority of subcompact SUV buyers will opt for the CVT.

The CVT offers improved fuel mileage, it comes with X-Mode, SI-DRIVE, and EyeSight. For now, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is one of the few models that are still available with a 6-speed manual gearbox, but why would you want one?

You Might Also Like: The New Subaru Crosstrek Is Here - Pricing And A Detailed Look At Every Trim Level

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Comments

MPG yes cvt better. Who cares about xmode and si drive just learn to drive. Eyesight for people who don't like to drive. I only see one reason to go auto over manual.
3 reasons you want a 6spd over a CVT ,cost reliability, and peace of mind that when you drive 20 miles into the forest and camp for the night, your 6 spd. will get you out not leave you stranded like a CVT can.
Reliability is surely debatable, the completely incorrect statement is that the 6 speed is lower cost. Well no, 6 speed is not better. The superior MPG of the CVT will quickly make back that minor additional investment. Not to mention, good luck trying to sell your car used with the 6 speed. Change can be difficult for us all, but all things considered, computer controlled transmissions have come amazingly far and now are generally superior.
Wow, who buys a Subaru and thinks of resale value? A quarter million miles without having to car shop again or have engine or transmission issues is the only reason I'll be buying a Crosstrek.
Not so about resale. I sold my 5 speed Tacoma within 24 hours. First thing the guy said was “ I didn’t think I’d ever find one with a stick”.
I dont like my car trying to tell me what to do therefore manual gearbox. All that fancy ass crap make for lazy drivers that spend even more time on the phone rather than paying attention. Remember, if you aint bustin a buck pullin g’s...you aint driving
if the Crosstrek CVTis like the one ine the Gen 4 outback, then the AWD split is 90% front, 10% rear. On my 2010 Outback with the 6 speed, Iget a 50/50 split. I drive a stick because I enjoy it. I chose a Subaru for the AWD system. The CVT's, while impressive as far as fuel economy is concerned, are BORING.
I can name 10 reasons why a manual is better than a CVT, but 2 of your points are personal preference and not a valid reason. Drive modes in the CVT would make it act more like a 6 speed with revving higher before shifts, but at the end of the day..its still a CVT that is known to be a hunk of junk. The Subaru 6 speed manual is light years ahead of the CVT as far as performance and strength. Eyesight is a waste of money. It's a add on feature so the overall price of the car cost more and with all the issues with randomly breaking windshields and the cost to recalibrate the eyesight, a person may spend enough to buy a 6 speed straight out . Fuel economy possibly could be better with the 6 speed. If shifted properly and keeping the RPM's low there is no reason other than the CVT having a lower drive gear that it would be better on fuel economy, but with that gearing makes it worse when it comes to towing which a lot of people may do with that vehicle.
Except, cvts suck to drive, aren't reliable and can't take extra power. I would prefer a conventional torque converter automatic to crappy soul sucking cvt Subaru equips with their cars. How, Subaru does not have a dual clutch for their enthusiat models (WRX, STI, and what the fuck happened to the Legacy? It used to be a sporty car but now the short bus family car for fat Americans),
The manual would have been great with the 2.5L that the Sport and Limited are getting. The reason the manual sucks is it's paired with the torqueless 2.0L. With that motor, you definitely want the CVT to make the most of the power and torque bands. They probably know that at SoA but just want to keep pushing the CVTs, they're not a company that likes to have a ridiculous amount of options and configurations, so I think they're slowly killing the manual on this car on purpose.
What! Stick only comes with the anemic 2.0 that I've been waiting all this time for them to offer an upgrade to? A reasonable motor which doesn't need a turbo for power? What a nonsense decision stab in the back. Screw it all, we're just buying a V6 Camry, unless they're dumping a CVT trash transmission in that too.
Unfortunately that is also the case. I hate the fact that all companies are switching over to that lazy ass transmission. I have a Lexus with it and its so slow and it don't matter that its a Hybrid, when i step on it? it uses a lot of gas bc of that stupid transmission. I wanted a stick but don't want to have the2.0. I am going with the sport because Ive been waiting a minute to get this car. On the other hand I can tell you that we have a Forester and is quiet impressive to see how well that cvt works. Do a test drive at least so you can see the difference.
Will this vehicle be available tin India?
Why even offer the manual on a Crosstrek? Almost no Crosstrek drivers are trying to drive like people with a manual these days do. Don't get me wrong. A real STI Crosstrek or just finally giving us a new WRX hatch would be epic.
Nice. Another car journalist helping to kill the manual. I wish car manufacturers would start improving manuals to make them more fuel efficient instead of dumping the option for something completely unenjoyable to drive. This article appeared in my news feed, but I have no interest in a site that has torque in the name but appears to cater to the elderly. Maybe someday computers will write articles for us too, but y'all probably won't mind since you want them to drive your car for you. Lame
So... literally one reason...mpg...which can be controlled by the thing attached to your leg. Eyesight isn't a reason, neither are the rest of the "safety" features that "help" people actually drive less. Make people actually pay attention and drive again. Stop giving them gadgets to use as an excuse to not pay attention while driving.
I work at a junk yard and I could tell you from first hand experience cvt is garbage is basically a giant rubber band inside the transmission once it break or rips you are going to get fucked on the ass with no lube by a mechanic$$$$$. On the other hand a 5 or 6 speed manual I see them at work with well over 250 thousand miles on Kia's nissans and even Ford's chevys and subarus because they are so reliable and easy to work on that any grease monkey like myself could work on them for 12 pack of beer and some Meth. The point that I'm trying to make here is simple.. You want a CVT for 5 years or a manual transmission for the next 15 years??? Again if you enjoy getting$$$$ butt raped by mechanics $$$and losing cash$$ go ahead get a CVT..
Are you kidding me? CVT is for people that just want to get from point A to point B I just turned 57. I love my 6 speeds manual, keeps me alert and is fun to drive. PLEASE STOP TRYING TO KILL MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS. If is a luxury car, I understand your point, but Let us keep having fun or else we will stop buying new cars all together. I refuse to be forced to buy a product that I am not happy with.
The Crosstrek is marketed to outdoorsy people who will be driving it off-road, but CVTs are terrible for that purpose and have been shown to kill power to the tires in more "extreme" off-road situations. I have a 17 year-old Subaru Forester with a 5-speed manual and it will trash a CVT Crosstrek off-road all day long! Not to mention CVTs have been failing early on and are expensive to fix.
Durability! Durability! Durability! Those 3 reasons are irrelevant. Keep the go-kart transmission for the mainstream pablum masses. Sorry, I'd NEVER consider a CVT vehicle.
Funny how there's only 3 reasons to want a CVT. But there's more than 3 reasons in more than 3 reputable sources for more than 3 decades NOT to want a CVT. Stay away from those things!
Lame article. There's nothing wrong with manuals. I don't want a boring driving experience with technology that drives for me. I would never purchase a CVT. Never.
3 reasons to prefer manuals • Manuals would keep cell phones out of people's hands and pay attention to the road. • Manuals are more dependable, easy to repair. CVT often break or malfunction even before the warranty expires and are costly to repair. • Learning a manual is a skill that can be carried over to motorcycles, trucking and other various vehicles.
You have got to be kidding me with this waste of an article. Several of those "differences" simply come down to how you drive the car. But, you're actually supporting Subaru's withholding of safety features if you purchase a manual? That is a terrible side to take, and not one that sides with the consumer.