Subaru's midcycle freshening for the subcompact Crosstrek crossover includes updated styling at the front, a new trim level and — for the first time in the nameplate's history — an available 2.5-liter engine.
The 2021 Crosstrek, the brand's smallest crossover, will now be offered with the same 2.5-liter engine with 182 hp and 176 pound-feet of torque found in the Forester compact crossover, Legacy midsize sedan and Outback midsize crossover.
For the Crosstrek, the larger engine equates to a power increase of 30 hp and 31 pound-feet of torque over the 2.0-liter engine.
Subaru will offer the 2.5-liter in two trims: Sport, which is new for the 2021 model year, and the top-of-the-line Limited. It's only available with a continuously variable transmission. Base and Premium trims will continue to have the 2.0-liter engine and the option of a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission.
Despite the increase in power, the 2.5-liter in the Crosstrek gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined, only 1 mpg less than the 2.0-liter with a CVT.
The Crosstrek, which launched in 2012 as the XV Crosstrek and was redesigned in 2017, has always been powered by a 2.0-liter engine in the U.S. market. Subaru has offered additional Crosstrek powertrains — both the first generation and current generation include a hybrid variant— but those also have a 2.0-liter under the hood.
Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll revealed the automaker's Crosstrek plans in February during the NADA Live event at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas.
"One of the things that our customers were telling us about the Crosstrek was it was maybe a little underpowered with the 2.0-liter engine," Doll said at the time. "Well, the 2.5-liter engine will solve that problem."
The automaker sold 131,152 Crosstreks last year, a decline of 9.2 percent, but it was still the brand's third bestselling nameplate behind the Forester and Outback. Through May, Subaru has sold 35,491 Crosstreks in the U.S., a decline of 25 percent.