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Why You Should Choose The New Subaru Crosstrek Sport Over A Redesigned Outback

Subaru launched the redesigned 2020 Outback but there’s the new 2021 Crosstrek Sport coming. See why it could be a better option.

There is a new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport coming soon and it could be a better option for you over the redesigned 2020 Outback wagon. The Crosstrek Sport will now be offered with the same engine (2.5-liter Boxer) as Outback. This was the Crosstrek’s biggest drawback, a lack of power, but that will change with the new Sport trim coming next year.

Subaru has not announced power ratings for the new Crosstrek Sport, but it will likely get the same 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque the 2020 Outback produces. The current Crosstrek 2.0-liter engine produces 152 horsepower and 145-lb-ft of torque. This will now make the Crosstrek Sport a viable alternative to the bigger Outback wagon. Outback gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city and 33 highway mpg and fuel economy should improve in the smaller Crosstrek.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport vs 2020 Subaru Outback2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport will have the same power as Outback

Car shoppers are flocking to the subcompact segment and according to Edmunds data, the class surpassed the 1 million mark in the number of vehicles sold for the first time in 2019. The most popular in the Edmunds’ ratings is the 2020 Hyundai Kona, Honda HR-V, Kia Soul, Subaru Crosstrek, and Mazda CX-3. The Crosstrek should move to the top of the class now with the Sport trim arriving next year.

Why should I choose the Crosstrek over an Outback?

The new Crosstrek Sport subcompact SUV offers the same rugged “go-anywhere” attitude as the Outback wagon. It comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive capability, athletic styling with the same 8.7-inches of ground clearance, and will likely feature new Dual-function X-Mode with Hill Descent Control for off-pavement adventures for those with active lifestyles.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport vs 2020 Subaru OutbackNew Crosstrek Sport will appeal to those with active lifestyles

Most buyers are choosing the Outback Premium trim which starts at $28,895. The well-outfitted 2020 Crosstrek Premium trim begins at $23,195. Subaru has not released pricing on the Sport, but the Forester Sport trim gives an idea of pricing. The new Forester Sport has a $1,600 price difference over the well-equipped Forester Premium trim. This would make the Crosstrek Sport price $24,795, making it $4,100 less than a similarly equipped Outback 2.5 wagon, and $10,100 less than the sporty Outback 2.4-liter turbocharged XT trim.

How does Crosstrek match up with Outback’s cargo space?

The Outback offers up 75.7 cubic feet of potential cargo-carrying ability, while the Crosstrek does not skimp on space for its size, however, delivering 55.3 cubes of potential storage space. If you do need to haul more gear, all you need to do to increase Crosstrek’s cargo room is to add a rooftop cargo carrier and you can haul all your outdoor equipment.

Subaru doesn’t offer Outback in Sport trim and the Crosstrek Sport will appeal to a younger demographic. It will feature similar upgrades like the new Forester Sport with SI-DRIVE with Sport Sharp mode, black 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, roof rails with integrated tie-downs, front, rear and side under guards with colored accents, along with gloss black and additional colored exterior accents to set it apart from the standard model.

With the increase in power coming to the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport model, and added upgrades, it could be a better choice over the redesigned 2020 Outback wagon for many compact SUV shoppers. If you can wait until early next year, it might be a better fit for many buyers with active lifestyles.

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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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That Guy (not verified)    March 17, 2020 - 10:33AM

Not so fast. The manual won't be available with the new motor so you need to factor the CVT upcharge in over the base premium price.