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New Subaru Crosstrek 2.5L Vs. 2.0L - The Best Pick Is Not Always More Power

Should you buy the 2.0-liter 2022 Subaru Crosstrek or 2.5-liter Crosstrek Sport? Check out the differences and why more power may not be your best choice.


What are the differences between the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0-liter Boxer engine and the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Sport with the 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder Boxer engine? Of course, the Sport with the 2.5-liter engine is bigger with more horsepower, but do you need the extra power?

The 2022 Crosstrek Sport or Limited with the 2.5-liter engine comes with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. It has 30 more horsepower than the 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque from the 2022 Crosstrek’s 2.0-liter engine. Check out the 2022 Crosstrek model guide here.

2022 Subaru Crosstrek features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage
photo credit: Competition Subaru

Do you need the 2.5-liter Boxer engine?

The extra power will make the most significant difference if you live at altitude, and you are hauling extra gear up the mountain, carrying mountain bikes on the roof, or hailing four people with snowboards to the ski resort. If you live where it’s flat, the 2.0-liter engine has more than enough power for commuting and taking road trips.

What about fuel mileage?

The 2.5-liter is fuel-efficient. The EPA estimated fuel mileage for the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Sport is 27/34 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. The 2022 Crosstrek with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine gets an EPA estimated 28/33 mpg and 30 combined mpg. The 2.5-liter engine gets a one mpg improvement highway over the 2.0-liter engine.

2022 Subaru Crosstrek features, specs, pricing, fuel mileage

Can you get a 2.5-liter Sport trim with a 6-speed manual transmission?

The Crosstrek Sport with the 2.5-liter engine is only available with Lineartronic CVT automatic (Continuously Variable Transmission). The CVT features a manual mode simulating an eight-speed manual transmission and also features steering wheel paddle shifters. The 6-speed manual transmission is only available on the base and Premium trim levels.

What is the 6-speed manual fuel mileage compared with the 2.5-liter engine with the CVT?

There is a substantial difference in fuel mileage with the 6-speed manual. The 2022 Crosstrek with the 6-speed manual gearbox gets an EPA estimated 22/29 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg. That’s 4.0 gallons per 100 miles with the 6-speed manual versus 3.4 gallons per 100 miles with the 2.5-liter CVT automatic.

Which model is best for off-road excursions?

Both the 2.0-liter engine and 2.5-liter engine trims offer standard Symmetrical all-wheel-drive. The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek with the 2.0-liter engine comes with X-Mode, which optimizes engine output and transmission ratio increases all-wheel-drive system engagement. It uses enhanced control of the VDC system to reduce individual wheel spin, providing improved traction on low friction surfaces.

The 2022 Crosstrek 2.5-liter Sport and Limited trim levels offer additional off-road and all-weather performance. The 2.5-liter engine includes a dual-function X-Mode with deep snow and deep mud settings and will be advantageous for those who live in northern climates.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek?

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek comes in five trim levels for customers. The base trim 2.0L is priced from $23,570, Premium 2.0L ($24,720), Sport 2.5L ($27,920), Limited 2.5L ($29,420) and Crosstrek Hybrid ($37,895). Prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,125).

The bottom line

If you live where it's flat or hilly, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek Premium trim level with the 2.0-liter engine has more than enough power for commuting, taking road trips, or weekend excursions to the beach, and it's $3,200 less than the Sport trim. If you live at altitude, and you'll be hauling extra gear or people, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek 2.5-liter engine in the Sport or Limited trim levels is the best choice, and you won't pay significantly more at the pump.

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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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