A recent test drive of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek was my first invitation to a live automotive event since COVID-19 shuttered auto plans and forced automakers to cancel live vehicle launches. However, now that new sales are back up, auto companies are eager to get realtime reviews from auto journalists. Some automakers and hotels have adopted safer practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at live events.
During the event, face masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizing were reinforced, which is now the new normal.
Subaru, which has sold all of its 2020 vehicles, was eager to introduce the upgraded Crosstrek, its best selling vehicle. Launched in 2012, the Subaru Crosstrek also has the best resale value in the subcompact SUV class, according to Kelly Blue Book. The Crosstrek has a 50.4 percent resale value after five years of ownership and has been upgraded every year based on customer feedback.
A group of unaccompanied journalists, like myself, drove the paved and gravel backcountry roads around Middleburg, Virginia, in the new Sports versions of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, powered by Subaru’s new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 182 horsepower. It is paired with a six-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) with incline start assist.
The sumptuous feel inside the 2021 Crosstrek and its powerful on and off-road performance are characteristics that cannot be described by attending a virtual Zoom press launch.
It was fun and meticulous in navigating the narrow winding roads around Middleburg thanks to the CVT All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) with an electronically controlled variable hydraulic transfer clutch, AWD stability traction control, and four-wheel independent suspension.
Subaru labels the Crosstrek subcompact crossover a Sport Utility Vehicle; however, the Sport model is new for 2021 and includes a dual function X mode, advanced adaptive cruise control with lane centering, new wheels, and upgraded coil springs and dampers for improved ride comfort
Most of the content inside included environmentally and pet-friendly materials. Except for the leather-wrapped steering wheel, there is no PVC or chlorine in the material. Yellow stitching alines the dashboard and smooth and comfortable seats made from recycled material that is softer than leather and doesn’t include any animal content.
The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport starts around $26,495 MSRP and averages a best-in-class 27 mpg city and 34 highway.