This was supposed to be a big week for the auto industry, the North American International Auto Show making its move from its classic winter schedule to spring. The coronavirus pandemic may have forced organizers to postpone the debut event until 2021, but some manufacturers are going ahead and holding virtual alternatives to the NAIAS.
The latest to do that is Subaru, the Japanese automaker rolling out not only an updated version of its popular Crosstrek crossover but introducing the all-new 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport.
The Sport adds the sort of performance boost many of the CUV’s fans were looking for, with a 182-horsepower boxer engine delivering a full 30 hp more than the more familiar Crosstreak powertrain, a 152 hp 2.0-linline four. The peppier engine has been borrowed from the Subaru Forester and Outback models.
All versions of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, including base, Premium and Limited trims, as well as the new Sport, get some visual updates, including new grilles, a revised front bump and new fog light covers – the base model having new fog light inserts.
They also boast updates to the familiar Subaru Eyesight advanced driver assistance technology package – which comes standard on Crosstrek models equipped with a CVT transmission. That now includes adaptive cruise control, as well as lane centering. Those models now also have a reminder to check the back seat to ensure no children, pets or property are left behind.
Those are on top of prior functions offered with Eyesight, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist and cross-traffic alert, and high-beam assist.
The most significant visual changes, both inside and out, are found on the 2021 Crosstrek Sport. These include more pronounced wheel arch moldings, dark grey 17-inch wheels and a gunmetal finish on accent pieces, including side mirrors and the grille.
The interior features yellow-stitched fabric and accents, as well as accent pieces finished in both gunmetal and faux carbon fiber.
But the big news with the Crosstrek Sport is the addition of the 2.5-liter boxer-four engine which makes 182 hp and 176 pound-feet of torque. Power is directed through a CVT transmission and then to all four wheels with the new model the only version of the Crosstrek with the dual-mode Subaru X-Mode AWD system. It allows the driver to instantly switch a variety of vehicle functions, including throttle and transmission response, as well as AWD functions, with a single switch.
All other versions of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek will continue to be powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer four making 152 hp and 145 lb-ft.
As for fuel economy, the Sport gets an EPA-rated 27 mpg City, 34 Highway and 29 Combined. The other models get 28/33/30 with that CVT, and 22/29/25 with the optional six-speed manual.
Pricing has not been announced, though the 2020 line starts at $22,145 plus $1,010 for delivery fees.
Look for the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek models, including the new Sport edition, to reach U.S. showrooms during the summer.