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New Subaru Crosstrek 2.5L Vs The Competition - It's Now Second To Kia Seltos

Is the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek the best and most affordable small SUV? See where it ranks against the top competition.

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How does the newly-refreshed 2021 Subaru Crosstrek with the 2.5-liter engine rank against the top competition in its class? held its annual affordable Small SUV challenge and ranked the Crosstrek against the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2021 Kia Seltos, and 2020 Mazda CX-30 in a week-long test to see which is the best. scored the small SUVs in sixteen different categories to determine the winner. It's been a few years since the Crosstrek scored first place. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited trim ($31,440) achieves second place this year to the Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD ($29,485). The Mazda CX-30 Premium Package AWD ($31,965) came in third, and Chevrolet Trailblazer RS AWD ($32,350) comes in fourth in the scoring.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features
Photo credit: Competition Subaru

The Subaru Crosstrek scored best in visibility, ride quality, safety features, and child safety seats. Crosstrek also scored high for its passenger space, interior quality, powertrain, and driver-assist technology.

According to, Crosstrek scored lower in front-seat comfort, handling, cargo space, backseat features, in-cabin storage, its CVT transmission, and user interface than the other models.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features
Photo credit: Competition Subaru 

Subaru upgraded the 2021 Crosstrek with a new 2.5-liter Boxer engine with 30 more horsepower over the previous 2020 model year. It comes equipped in the all-new Sport trim and top-of-the-lineup Limited trim. says it’s one of the reasons why the small SUV scored high.

How does Crosstrek score in other independent tests?

According to The Car Guide, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is the best buy for shoppers looking for a Subcompact SUV. Consumer Reports (by subscription) ranks all small SUVs, and the Crosstrek scores number one overall of fifteen subcompact SUVs.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport, pricing, specs, features

The 2020 Crosstrek also gets the best overall score of any subcompact SUV with a score of 85 and ranks highest in CR’s road test scores. The consumer website recently rated the vehicles with the best combination of fuel economy and acceleration, and the Subaru Crosstrek scores the best non-hybrid model of any small SUV.

J.D. Power gives the 2021 Crosstrek a high ranking in resale value, and CarMax says the Crosstrek is the fifth best all-wheel-drive model for winter driving. 

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is the hot model in the Japanese automaker’s stable and just had a record sales month. But the competition is catching up.

You Might Also Like: The New Subaru Crosstrek Just Achieved Something It's Never Done Before

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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Photo credit: Subaru

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Gerald Desmond (not verified)    November 11, 2020 - 11:11AM

Just turned in my 2018 cross trek after 3 years. Other than Gas, I replaced a tire to non repairable road damage at $132.00. The return amount was over $23,000 in my favor.
I rolled in to the 2021, 2.5L a couple days ago, I’ll up date you later, but I’ll expect the same again.
Cannot go wrong. Stay Safe All!

DARCI ANTONIO … (not verified)    November 12, 2020 - 12:48PM

I'm still waiting for new Forester XT!
Till there I will keep safe my precious Forester XT 2015.