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You Will Like New Subaru Crosstrek Sport’s Power But It's Missing Sport Sharp Mode

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport gets more power but it’s missing a sporty feature called Sport Sharp Mode. Forester Sport has it but why not Crosstrek?

Subaru did a great job with the new 2021 Crosstrek Sport trim. They listened to customers and gave it 30 more horsepower with close to the same fuel mileage as the smaller engine, it has sharp new wheels, a new Plasma Yellow Pearl exterior color, and it even gets the new dual-function X-Mode for improved all-wheel-drive performance.

It sounds perfect and it’s close to being the best. But it’s missing a feature found on the Forester Sport that would make it even more fun to drive. All 2021 Subaru Crosstrek trims with a Lineartronic CVT come with SI-DRIVE, a performance feature that allows the driver to adjust the throttle for fuel efficiency (Intelligent mode) or performance (Sport mode). But the new Crosstrek Sport is missing Sport Sharp (S#).

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

The standard SI-DRIVE is a good system that can boost fuel economy by as much as 10 percent overall in Intelligent mode, making it perfect for city commutes and stop-and-go driving. The Sharp mode is ideal for highways, and suburban streets giving quicker response to driver inputs delivering more power for passing.

But the Subaru Forester Sport gets an additional mode called Sport Sharp (S#) which ramps up the performance even more. If Subaru would have given the new Crosstrek Sport this upgrade, drivers could get the best performance from the subcompact SUV.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

When you dial up Sport Sharp in the Forester, it gets the most potential out of the 2.5-liter Boxer’s 183 horsepower combined with the CVT automatic’s eight gear ratios. It provides an even quicker throttle response to driver inputs and holds the gear you want longer for optimal rev control.

You can ramp up the performance of the new Crosstrek Sport even more with its steering wheel paddle shifters. The paddle on the left allows you to downshift the transmission, while the right paddle gives you the ability to upshift. The Crosstrek Sport CVT comes with eight predetermined gears that simulate a more conventional automatic gear box.

If the Crosstrek Sport had the Sport Sharp mode, you would have even greater control using the paddles and it would be especially useful when driving tight, twisty corners, overtaking slower traffic going up a steep mountain pass, or merging back on the highway after stopping for a break.

Subaru did a great job with the new 2021 Crosstrek Sport trim and you will like the extra 30 horsepower from the 2.5-liter Boxer engine. By adding the Forester SI-DRIVE’s Sport Sharp (S#), you could dial up the subcompact SUV’s performance even more. Look for Subaru to add it to future Crosstrek Sport models.

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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 and the founder of 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. Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust. We’ve got you covered!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Tiny Cadon (not verified)    June 16, 2020 - 9:50AM

From everything I've seen/read about the S# mode in the Forester, whoever was test driving all said the same thing: they didn't notice any difference between Sport & Sport Sharp.

Zero (not verified)    June 18, 2020 - 12:13AM

In reply to by Tiny Cadon (not verified)

I have a 2019 Sti and the Si mode is most noticable intelligent to sport. Sport to sport sharp not so much but it is a difference I can feel. For an economy car it does not need sport sharp as you get throttle response that's super twitchy and makes for driving smooth harder. It's great for Spirited / track days but sport is enough on a Crosstrek for sure.

Glenn (not verified)    June 17, 2020 - 2:38PM

Hopefully a stiffer front end suspension as well. Body roll in the current Crosstrek is awefull when entering a turn and the front struts bottom out occasionally.