2021 Subaru Crosstrek first drive | Automotive Opinions
Morin Heights, QC – This well-known Laurentian alpine ski resort was the setting for a much-anticipated first encounter with the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. The Japanese automaker’s well-liked crossover has obtained a mild-to-medium makeover for the brand new 12 months.
It must be famous that Subaru offered simply over 15,000 items of this modified Impreza on stilts final 12 months in Canada – a pre-COVID-19 12 months, evidently. To provide you an thought of the Crosstrek’s success final 12 months, the crossover was surpassed in its class solely by the Nissan Qashqai and the small Nissan Kicks (sure I do know, that small city car is not fairly a direct competitor to the Crosstrek).
New for 2021
Clearly, the Crosstrek is a reasonably essential mannequin for Subaru, and that explains the collection of enhancements for the 2021 lineup. Along with the same old overhaul (new colors, new customary tools, and so on.), the 2021 Crosstrek comes with a brand new 2.5L flat-four-cylinder engine, the identical bolted beneath the hood of the Legacy, Outback and Forester.
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The opposite vital change is that Subaru additionally provides a brand new trim for 2021 referred to as Out of doors, which stands out from the remaining with unique charcoal-colored wheels and a collection of same-colour accents, as an illustration the side-mirror caps, antenna and even badging. Eagled-eyed observers might have already seen the tiny digicam housed slightly below the Subaru badge on the entrance of the car and these distinctive rocker panels.
Additionally notable is the provision of the pearly plasma yellow color you see right here, additionally unique to this mannequin. As for the inside of the Out of doors model, it will get a particular remedy as nicely. Extra on that in a bit.
For the remaining, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek hews pretty near the mannequin launched available on the market simply 4 years in the past.
Montreal – Morin-Heights
Subaru Canada invited just a few members of the automotive press to return and uncover this new classic… with a process that respects social distancing measures, in fact!
I took the wheel of a 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Out of doors decked in pearl white crystal and pointed it north headed out of Montreal. I had two selections of routes: a brief and direct one, and an extended one with a extra twisty structure. The Crosstrek’s already well-known agility satisfied me to take the longer route, if solely to expertise the reworked suspension on backcountry roads.
The added energy out there from the two.5L engine (182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque) rapidly makes its presence felt throughout acceleration, however much more so when cruising on the freeway. With the SI-Drive system – the button is positioned on the correct aspect of the steering wheel – the engine reacts extra rapidly. The brand new mechanics do not precisely flip the Crosstrek into an influence monster, nevertheless it’s clear the brand new engine provides pep to the equation.
Subaru Canada continues to supply a 6-speed guide transmission with the “small” engine, however hbas declined to supply it with the two.5-litre engine, that means it’s important to settle for the presence of the repeatedly variable transmission (CVT). Relaxation assured, the model’s engineers have mastered this expertise very nicely, and the transmission has even been reworked to be optimally tailored to the two.5!
Sure, extreme strain on the correct pedal does improve the decibel degree on board; the CVT makes the 4-cylinder sing (or screech, or whine; take your decide) at excessive RPM, however as soon as at cruising pace, the Crosstrek quiets down once more.
The increase in energy undeniably does the Crosstrek plenty of good, however the essence of the Crosstrek stays unchanged. Which signifies that steering is heavy at low speeds, however very nicely balanced at larger speeds, whereas the suspension is properly poised to tackle the crevices of these again roads I handled myself to.
A phrase about security
The producer has been scrambling for just a few years to democratize its EyeSight safety system, which by the way in which you possibly can acknowledge by the 2 cameras positioned on both aspect of the rear-view mirror within the centre of the windshield.
The record of options it consists of was already lengthy earlier than, however for 2021, lane centering help has been added; its icon on the steering wheel signifies whether or not the system is on or off. This technique retains the car between the strains on the highway and it does it pretty nicely, though I discovered it wobbled a bit of too usually between the 2 stripes strains. Luckily, this new security perform may be deactivated through that button recognized by a steering wheel… on the steering wheel!
A Crosstrek for off-roading?
A reasonably accidented course had been laid so we may uncover the virtues of the two-level X-MODE system, new in 2021. The digital torque and traction management system is unquestionably higher outfitted to resist extra terrain situations.
The Crosstrek Out of doors has the identical floor clearance as different variants, so actually it is not a extra rugged model, just like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in comparison with the opposite trims of the well-known 4×4. In different phrases, its mission is to not tame excessive trails. However, in a bit of our trek strewn with tall grass and dust, along with many hidden rocks, the pocket-size SUV pulled by means of as if it was cruising on freshly paved asphalt, or virtually. The downhill help system was additionally put to the take a look at. Nothing to report there, besides that it really works very nicely.
Subaru high quality inside
The 2021 Crosstrek Out of doors would not change the formulation behind this mannequin, however that easy-to-wash upholstery on the seats is welcome, as is the yellow stitching on the dashboard. Some would possibly that the ambiance on board is not probably the most “tech-y” within the business, however Subaru is understood for its easy-to-use interiors with well-placed controls. Even the infotainment system, as soon as a Subaru weak point, is straightforward to function. The Subaru Crosstrek seems like a top quality automobile. It is not flamboyant, however we all know the car shall be simply as nicely assembled in ten years!
The final phrase
True to its custom, Subaru continuesto quietly make its fashions evolve. The Crosstrek, although it has been primarily based on the group’s new international platform since 2018, hasn’t modified outrageously since 2013. The Crosstrek borrows its hull from the 5-door Impreza, however raises its floor clearance to the identical degree as the opposite SUVs within the lineup. The engine nonetheless has 4 cylinders laid out flat, and the all-wheel drive system is among the finest within the business.
In the meantime, the brand new engine may be very attention-grabbing and would not have an effect on gasoline financial system (7.9L/100 km for the two.0L mannequin versus 8.0L/100 km for the two.5L mannequin) and, for my part, it sounds a bit of extra convincing when the correct foot needs extra. As for the everlasting query in regards to the availability of a guide transmission with the two.5L, the possibilities of seeing such a model seem are nil.
After a day behind the wheel, I as soon as once more perceive why so many Canadian shoppers resolve to get again behind the wheel of this curious car, a car that’s increasingly ubiquitous on our roads.
The general high quality
The elevated energy
The effectivity of the AWD system
We like much less
The absence of a guide gearbox with the two.5L
Why not the two.4L turbo?
Heavy steering at low pace
The primary competitors
Buick Encore GX
Jeep Renegade / Compass
Mitsubishi RVR / Eclipse Cross
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Out of doors footage