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Why It’s The Right Time For An All-New Subaru Crosstrek Sport

Customers would buy a new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport model. Why it’s the right time for Subaru to bring it.

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek is the brand’s sportiest SUV and customers would buy a new Subaru Crosstrek Sport model. Subaru has historically produced sporty versions of their most popular models and Subaru needs to get back to what makes them unique. The Forester has a Sport trim, and Outback now has the sportier XT 2.4-liter turbocharged model. It’s now the right time for Subaru to bring a Crosstrek Sport for customers.

One year ago at the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru of America President and CEO Tom Doll told Motor Trend, customers wouldn’t see a sportier Crosstrek turbocharged model because demand for the new-generation Crosstrek subcompact SUV was high and selling too well.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek2020 Subaru Crosstrek needs a new Sport trim

Doll said, “You could argue, and some people do, that for the Crosstrek we should have a higher-performance engine in that car, but on the other hand, we're selling as many as we can get. We haven't really hit the top with the Crosstrek yet.”

Demand has now softened for the second-generation Crosstrek as it’s seen a drop in sales for three straight months. The last month the model was up in sales was October 2019. Crosstrek was down in November 2019 (-2.30%), December (-10.2%), and January 2020 (-1.30%). Three months is now a trend, and the subcompact SUV finished last year down -9.2 percent.

2020 Subaru CrosstrekCustomers with active lifestyles would buy the new Sport model

With sales slowing, it’s now the right time for Subaru to bring a Crosstrek Sport trim for customers. Even though fans want one, you probably won’t see a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine under the hood, but Subaru could bring a Sport trim like Forester with a new Orange color scheme on the outside with special exterior treatments, interior upgrades with dark gray sport fabric, push-button start, a heated steering wheel, and the new Dual-function X-Mode.

Like Forester, the Crosstrek Sport could be optioned with equipment like a power rear gate with height memory functions, Harman Kardon 576-watt premium audio sound, and a new 8.0-inch touchscreen.

A new Crosstrek Sport would add new excitement to the subcompact SUV and customers with active lifestyles would buy it. It’s the right time for Subaru to bring a new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport trim.

Reader Poll: Tell us what you think about Subaru bringing a new Crosstrek Sport trim. Thumbs up or thumbs down?

You Might Also Like: Why You Should Choose A New Subaru Crosstrek, Forester Or WRX And Not Buy Used

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: ae.trek, Subaru Bend, Team MazdaSubaru


Glenn (not verified)    February 9, 2020 - 11:30AM

Your photo credit is wrong. The actual photo's of the black crosstrek and orange crosstrek are by ae.trek. This is his Instagram account and can be verified. Please give credit to the original photographer

Don (not verified)    February 9, 2020 - 12:09PM

The Crosstrek doesn't need a new paint color, it needs more power. A heated steering wheel, power rear gate, a better x-mode, etc. could always find their way into a more expensive model, but more power is what the Crosstrek needs, and it has needed that for years.

Tiny Cadon (not verified)    February 9, 2020 - 1:39PM

Watched a youtube vid from a Subaru dealer who claims that they're dropping the 2.0 engine in the Crosstrek & giving it the 2.5 found in the Forester for the 2021 MY. Any truth to this rumor???

Bert johnon (not verified)    February 9, 2020 - 4:19PM

I have a 2018 crosstrek it is great. No turbos. Standard forester engine for me would be the ticket. Turbos are not for people who keep their cars a long time. Replacement cost is to high. All the need for speed. Buy a different car. Maybe all the wreckless car commercials contribute to this thinking and of course You people who write these reviews.

Aten Imago (not verified)    February 9, 2020 - 10:07PM

Sport? get it right please. Rugged pebble resistant lower body panels. More torque, better cabin thermal insulation, 2" lift and a second battery for dedicated electronic device charging! You're welcome.

Jammie johnson (not verified)    February 10, 2020 - 12:38AM

I like my 2020 (and 2018) Crosstrek because
I can get a smaller screen
It doesn't have more body lines than it needs
I like the dark interior with orange stitching
It has the right size engine WITHOUT turbo
The gas mileage is great
The AWD does not fail me
Eyesite and cruise are superior

Kevin Boyle (not verified)    February 10, 2020 - 6:50AM

Have been waiting since 2013 for a sportier model of the crosstrek. Have worked with a custom tuner to get more out of my 2013 model year, which was dangerously mistuned and underpowered in some critical acceleration scenarios. Would buy a new sport model of the crosstrek I’d made available.

Bruce Jones (not verified)    February 10, 2020 - 10:10AM

Subaru needs a new electronics supplier! My biggest complaint in my 2018 crosstrek and 2019 outback premium models has been the awful Harman k head units. Multiple updates and multiple units changed out in the outback Has tainted my strong confidence in the brand and strained my 30 year dealer relationship! Why a reliable Japanese brand taint their quality with questionable electronics from Germany? (From a former unhappy Audi owner)

Jim (not verified)    February 10, 2020 - 9:09PM

Everyone I know wants to know when Subaru is coming out with a 3.6 Outback Sport and a new 3.6 Baja based on the Ascent.
After seeing Subaru retire the current 3.6 in favor of the 2.5 Turbo many wonder how long it will take.
Perhaps the new Toyota Subaru partnership can help Toyota’s failing Tundras/Tacoma Trucks and revive Subaru’s Truck Line.

JERZEYBOY (not verified)    February 11, 2020 - 5:00AM

I'm on my third Crosstrek; had a '14, then a '16 and now an '18, each with the CVT tranny. Have not felt a need for more power in any of them. They have each gotten me into traffic quickly and safely, with no complaints. Now, that doesn't mean I wouldn't LIKE a little more power... The 2.5L sounds like just the ticket. Minimal weight added, probably only a little loss of economy, and the other "Sport" features sound appetizing!

Ron Bowen (not verified)    February 11, 2020 - 10:41PM

The only thing holding me back from purchasing the Crosstrek is its weak performance. I've been following the rumors of a sport option to include a larger engine or a turbo (or both) and even saw past concept models so Subaru has to be working on something for the near future. I hope that their sales are really falling off to give their management enough incentive to make a Sport version......Please!

Mike (not verified)    February 12, 2020 - 11:52AM

I've been wanting to buy a Crosstrek for over three years now but haven't pulled the trigger.

Demands (not requirements):
- Leather interior with Sunroof and most importantly.. manual transmission.

I was seriously contemplating trying to find a junker and pull the leather out but once I realize I couldn't even get a sunroof with manual.. didn't bother.

Serious would want i to have something like the WRX engine coupled with 6 speed manual transmission.

Like that guy in Vermont built. Can't find the link but he's a custom builder and did it himself..

Frank (not verified)    February 16, 2020 - 12:29PM

My lease is up in 2021. Currently driving the 2018 Impreza. Was looking at the Crosstrek. I want to keep driving Subarus, so please give us the 2.5 forester engine on the Crosstrek. Only 30 more HP! Please! Otherwise, I may have to switch over to the Mazda CX-30.

Ken (not verified)    February 26, 2020 - 2:09AM

Focus on the power; everything else about the car is great just as is. My biggest fear is that they put in a better engine to address the lack of power, but elliminate the manual transmission option in the process. Not everyone wants the CVT. Love my 2019 Premium 6MT, until I have to go up a steep highway grade in the slow lane.

Ron Bowen (not verified)    March 18, 2020 - 2:54PM

I just talked to a Subaru dealer who looked up the 2021 Crosstrek arrival date which is currently in August. We both would like to know if this 2.5L powertrain will make the Impreza Sport as well. Anyone have anything on this?

JERZEYBOY (not verified)    March 19, 2020 - 4:31PM

I've at least had off-the-record confirmation that the upgrade will be the 2.5l, available in the new Sport and Limited versions only, and no confirmations on what other features will accessorize those models, though speculations run rampant! While I feel safe to predict this roll-out will be in model year '21, I have no confidence it will be this fall, but rather suspect a spring '21 availability. This upgrade is the right solution to the power issue for me, and may open the door to more goodies to come!