What are the best small SUVs under $25,000? The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is the leader in many areas over the competition but has fallen behind four new Subcompact models. A recent study from Consumer Reports (by subscription) shows the SUVs under $25,000 with safety features that come standard does not include the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek.
The Hyundai Kona, Nissan Rogue Sport, Chevrolet Equinox, and Kia Sportage all have standard advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) features available for a starting price of less than $25,000. Does Subaru Crosstrek offer standard ADAS systems?
Yes, but it’s an option on lower trims because of its standard manual transmission. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek has a starting price of less than $25,000 ($23,295 base trim) and offers forward collision warning, city- and highway-speed automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and blind-spot warning as an option. Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist requires the optional Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and is not standard on Crosstrek base and Premium trims.
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek would make the top five best Subcompact SUVs under $25,000 list, if not for its 6-speed manual transmission. Subaru’s EyeSight safety technology is not compatible with a manual gearbox, so Subaru can’t offer it on lower trims as standard equipment. It is an optional feature on Base and Premium.
Safety is why Subaru will discontinue the manual shifter on all its core models soon. Subaru still offers the manual shifter in two of its non-performance cars, the 2021 Crosstrek and 2021 Impreza compact sedan and hatchback models. Subaru will likely drop all manual shifters in Crosstrek and Impreza to bring EyeSight driver assist technology as standard equipment to their entire non-performance car lineup.
Dropping the manual is also about improved fuel mileage. The Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic gets improved fuel efficiency compared with the manual gearbox. The 2021 Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual gets an EPA estimated 22/29/25 city/highway/combined mpg. The automatic gets considerably better fuel mileage at 28/33/30 city/highway/combined mpg.
It’s a trend many automakers are making, and the end of the manual transmission is coming soon. As Subaru Corporation makes its EyeSight technology standard in all new models and looks to improve fuel mileage in its lineup, look for the Japanese automaker to phase out the manual shifter in the 2022 Subaru Impreza and 2023 Subaru Crosstrek.
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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. Check out 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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