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The New Subaru Crosstrek Gets A Power Upgrade - Its Next Big Move Is A Turbo

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek arrives with a new 2.5-liter engine upgrade with more power. Subaru's next big move is to bring a turbocharged engine.


The Subaru Crosstrek is an essential vehicle in Subaru's stable of all-wheel-drive SUVs and the 2021 model change brings improvements. The Crosstrek is the third best-selling model, and the new 2.5-liter engine upgrade will improve its popularity even more as the Sport and Limited trims are already selling beyond expectations. 2021 Crosstrek Sport and Limited sales have already increased 28 percent with the new 2.5-liter engine as 2020 models have sold out.

The new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport and Limited trims get the Japanese automaker's 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder Boxer powerplant, giving the second-generation Crosstrek a much needed 20 percent gain in horsepower and a 21 percent boost in torque.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

The 2.5-liter engine's extra 30 horsepower and 31 lb.-ft. of toque shaves 1.5 seconds off the subcompact SUV's 0-60-mph time, clocking in at 8.2 seconds, according to Subaru. We felt the improvement in our recent test drive you can read about here. But more changes are coming soon.

The Crosstrek subcompact SUV will get more improvements soon. The Crosstrek, in its fourth year of production, brings a significant model change, and when the third-generation model arrives in 2023, it will get a new turbocharged engine, if reports from Japan are accurate.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

The report says both the Crosstrek and Impreza will be powered by a new 1.5-liter direct-injection turbocharged Boxer engine that will replace the current FB20 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine. The new engine will be more fuel-efficient and produce at least the same power (152 horsepower) as the current engine.

The report says Subaru Corporation is upgrading 80 percent of its global models with smaller direct-injection turbocharged Boxer engines by 2021. It's all part of Subaru's Vision 2020 plan, saying they would develop smaller turbocharged engines for its all-wheel-drive lineup. The Outback, Legacy, and Ascent already have a new-generation 2.4-liter direct-injection turbocharged engine.

Subaru will drop the 6-speed manual gearbox

Also, look for Subaru to drop the 6-speed manual transmission in 2023 Crosstrek models and only offer the subcompact SUV with a Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission. Subaru will offer all trims with standard EyeSight driver assist technology.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport and Limited trims are far more responsive with its new 2.5-liter engine, and it gets similar fuel-mileage as the smaller 2.0-liter engine. When base, Premium, and Hybrid trims get a turbocharged engine, they will get improved fuel-efficiency. Stay tuned for the 2021 Crosstrek Hybrid model change announcement coming soon.

You Might Also Like: 3 Reasons Why the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Gets The Best Road Test Scores Of Any Small SUV

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 USA


VS (not verified)    September 30, 2020 - 11:21AM

Not very much improvement, still will not respond when you punch it... CVT acts like a slipping auto transmission and then slowly comes up to speed. CVT still will not coast, drive to 30-35 MPH let go of the throttle, car starts bucking and shuddering like a clutch is still engaged. Slightly better going up hills but I expected better performance (I use to own a 2014). Conclusion the CVT is stall a problem.

Chase (not verified)    March 13, 2021 - 5:55PM

In reply to by VS (not verified)

To the person talking about coasting with the CVT....what? I thoroughly enjoy how the car coasts. Everything about the CVT is so smooth to me, including the coasting dynamics. The ONLY time I feel anything negative about the CVT is the rubbering banding tug feel when you INSTANTLY floor it, which I almost never do anyway.

Anthony (not verified)    September 30, 2020 - 8:30PM

It’s next big move is not a turbo. It’s next move(s) should be offering a regular automatic transmission and manual transmission and also removing the 2.0 liter engine from the lineup. Also adding a/c vents and USB ports in the back along with a bass box for the Harman Kardon Sound system. You know the bass box that’s offered in the foresters harman Kardon System. And standard led headlights, taillights and fog lights across all trims. That would be a start. And limited and sport models should come standard with a moonroof as well. And lower the price too

Mike (not verified)    September 30, 2020 - 10:22PM

Given that the turbocharged engine they're planning to offer is smaller and won't have any more horsepower than the 2.5 liter engine, what's the point? The big gripe everyone has always had with the Crosstrek is that it's underpowered. The 2.5 liter engine helps, but I was hoping they'd offer the 2.4 liter turbo that's in the Ascent, etc. They're THAT close to offering what would be the best small SUV on the market by far, but won't. Why the heck not?

A. Baker (not verified)    October 1, 2020 - 5:45PM

In reply to by Mike (not verified)

I own a 2016 Forester XT. I was loaned a new Ascent for recall work; the tranny in it didn’t know what gear it wanted to be in; my XT has no such problem. I would never consider an Ascent as a second car now. The CVT works GREAT in the XT; terribly in the Ascent.

Mike (not verified)    September 30, 2020 - 10:28PM

Given that the turbocharged engine they're planning to offer is smaller and won't have any more horsepower than the 2.5 liter engine, what's the point? The big gripe everyone has always had with the Crosstrek is that it's underpowered. The 2.5 liter engine helps, but I was hoping they'd offer the 2.4 liter turbo that's in the Ascent, etc. They're THAT close to offering what would be the best small SUV on the market by far, but won't. Why the heck not?

Fredriv (not verified)    October 1, 2020 - 9:48AM

GIVE THE IMPREZA SPORT A TURBO! I'm not saying make it the WRX, but clearly it needs something to stand out from the rest of the Impreza apart for nice rims and bigger brakes.

DANIEL RAYMOND… (not verified)    October 1, 2020 - 10:16AM

I would get the turbo but right now I have my eye on the Legacy and Outback XT as my next cars. The lease is almost up on my Impreza and I have my BRZ almost paid off so those 2 are at the top of my list. If the new STI is really cool i might get that instead of the legacy but between the Outback and the Crosstrek I would want something bigger so the Outback wins out.

Brad (not verified)    October 1, 2020 - 12:44PM

CVT suck give him some gas and you will break them Honda and Toyota are better than Jaco your fucking computer Jaco fucking computer won't even spell shit right voice recognition sucks sometimes that's so don't cvts they suck they suck they suck don't trust any of them even Toyota and Honda the better of them break so easily give it some gas do little burnout by a transmission it's nothing they should make it where the belt is easily replaced but they don't they make it where it's a total disassemble after removing it from the vehicle Never by a CVT buy a manual transmission if you're going to buy any of the Jack Brands because they make really poor automatic transmissions really and set it on some of the Americans like Chevrolet at some automatic transmission sitting just beyond belief bad and Chrysler don't even touching the Foreigner owned by Fiat don't want them know about the Hemi motor right what you didn't know is they only last 52 70,000 need serious upper end repairs on the engine cam lifters followers timing chain accessories they just jumped the nothing like the old Magnum motor was then I go out more power but expensive not lasting and get me started on Ford with their Triton Motors this three of them and each one gets worse and worse and worse why the replace the 302 and 351 I'll never understand what something is unreliable as a Triton motor never buy a Ford never buy a Chrysler General Motors even though the cars really suck for the most part have some good transmission to Allison you know Allison's owned by BMW she wouldn't think I'd be any good if it's owned by BMW but this still pretty good Transmissions from Allison the mode of the vortex Austin motor based on the 1970 ES350 with different heads and intake manifold yes they've got some problems with the intake manifold everybody pitches about him but for the most part they can be resolved with better quality gaskets and don't get me started about all the rest of Europe whether it's French cars like Renault pujo whether it's German cars like Audi Mercedes Mercedes used to be a great vehicle I need somebody with a 300D they lasted forever go buy a new Mercedes you can't work on it yourself because it voids the warranty if you haven't run out of warranty already and you can't really work on it because the parts fall apart the all plastic nap intake manifold everything just plastic they shred from they split they crack there no good don't buy anything German and then look at VW what they did they cheated on the emission control on their diesel the cars won't pass emissions inspections in many states so don't buy a Volkswagen unless you're going to go live in Mexico well that's all I got to say right now you better off with a lot of older vehicles from the 90s then you are with newer things although I will tell you one diesel that's very good the Cummings Diesel they're really good and they've kept up Dodge Cummins diesels Ford diesels Purity junk and General Motors diesels as they called the Duramax suck beyond belief their Mitsubishi design that's so inferior and I don't want to start with all the problems cuz you can never stop you start on the top and then you go to the bottom and and everything in between is a problem on a Duramax just like on a Ford diesel motor you don't want any of them so stick with the Chrysler Diesel with Cummings motor in it

Phil (not verified)    November 8, 2020 - 6:49PM

Brad, please cut the foul language.
Also, your litany of one run-on sentence after another of your rantings are not very helpful. You must be hard to please, get some counseling.
Chill Brad,