For the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, the focus of the subcompact's update is not a revised front bumper or grille, though it does have both — it's power. There's finally more oomph available. By utilizing the same 2.5-liter engine found in the Legacy, Forester and Outback, Subaru addresses the biggest knock on the Crosstrek: It needed more zip. The 2.5-liter engine provides 182 hp and 176 pound-feet of torque, a jump from the 2.0-liter engine's 152 hp and 145 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful engine is available on two trims: Sport and Limited. Here's a roundup of snippets of Crosstrek reviews from the automotive media.
"With 3,265 pounds to haul about (272 less than an equivalent Forester Sport and 399 less than an Outback Premium), this engine is a natural fit for the small Crosstrek. From a standstill, the lifted wagon now pulls with significantly more confidence, its larger engine making good use of the extra half-liter of displacement. Stand on the gas at 30 or 40 miles per hour and the revs shoot up as the torque pushes the weight rearward on the soft suspension — a sensation previous Crosstreks could only dream of — and the numbers in the digital speedometer start to climb.
"But it's at freeway speeds where this engine makes the biggest difference, granting more grunt for passing and merging. It will happily hold steady at 70 miles per hour and still serve up some speed when called for — sudden passes, for example, no longer require a committee hearing and a supermajority among the hamsters. This is not a fast car by any stretch, but the 2.5-liter gives the Crosstrek exactly what it needs to make life easier on the driver."
— Brandon Turkus, Motor1.com