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The Top 3 Small SUVs - Why New Subaru Crosstrek Takes The Trophy

What are the best 2021 small compact SUVs? See how the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek compares with Mazda CX-30 and Kia Seltos.

There are more small SUVs for shoppers than ever before, but which one is the best choice? The compact SUV segment is one of the fastest-growing segments as buyers look for fuel-efficient, urban commuters that also offer utility. In The Car Guide's Best Buys for 2021, they picked the top subcompact SUV for the 2021 model year.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is their number one pick and best buy heading into the new year. Car Guide chose the newly-refreshed Crosstrek over the Mazda CX-30 (number two) and Kia Seltos (number three) as the top choice. They give four reasons why Crosstrek stands out.

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

They say the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek offers a smooth ride, a "great" all-wheel-drive system, superior fit and finish, and a versatile interior. The second-generation Crosstrek also gets a new engine for the 2021 model change. It now offers a larger 2.5-liter engine along with the 2.0-liter Boxer in lower trims.

The biggest complaint buyers had with the Crosstrek was it needed more power. Subaru Corporation gave customers a new 2.5-liter engine with more horsepower and improved fuel mileage over the 2.0-liter engine.

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

The 2.5-liter brings 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, which is considerably more than the 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque from the current Crosstrek's 2.0-liter engine.

What is the Crosstrek’s fuel mileage?

The new 2021 Crosstrek gets an EPA estimated fuel mileage of 27/34 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. The 2020 Crosstrek with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine gets 28/33 mpg and 30 combined mpg.

The 2.5-liter Boxer engine comes with an "enhanced" direct-injection system. It also comes with higher compression and an active valve control system (AVCS) on the exhaust side.

How much cargo space does the Crosstrek have?

Subaru improved Crosstrek's interior quality over the previous generation model. Car Guide praises the small SUV for its "superior" fit and finish and versatile cabin. The Crosstrek does not skimp on cargo space for its size, delivering 55.3 cubic feet. Mazda CX-30 offers 45.2 cubes, and Seltos brings a segment-leading 62.8 cubic feet.

Subaru pulled off a smoother ride with the Crosstrek's new platform. The automaker updated Crosstrek with the new Subaru global architecture in 2018. Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive is standard on all trims while you pay extra for Mazda CX-30 and Kia Seltos with AWD.

The 2021 Crosstrek Sport and Limited trims offer a new dual-function X-Mode with a new deep snow setting for off-pavement adventures for those with active lifestyles. The CX-30 and Seltos do not provide an off-road feature.

What is the price of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

The 2021 Crosstrek comes in five trim levels. The base trim is priced from $23,295, Premium ($24,345), all-new Sport ($27,545), and Limited, also with the 2.5-liter engine ($29,045). Prices include destination and delivery fee ($1,050.)

Car Guide says the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is your Best Buy for 2021 in the subcompact SUV category. Crosstrek takes the trophy beating the Mazda CX-30 and Kia Seltos.

You Might Also Like: The Top 13 Questions You Have For Subaru Heading Into The New Year

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


Mali middleton (not verified)    January 5, 2021 - 12:25AM

Why does my new crosstrek 2021 limited cost 37,000.
I was getting it for 3 yrs lease for 179 a month,
With a 15,000 down payment, my 2015 crosstrek
With 60,000 miles, in excellent condition.
What's up with the cost of vehicle. It supposedly
Will be 24,000 if I decide to buy it.