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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

This week we are reviewing the Subaru Crosstrek Outdoors. Our vehicle was assembled at the Yajima plant in Japan and had an MSRP of 32,108.00 CAD.

Fun Factor: 7

Can it Family: 7

Fuel-Friendly: 7

HWY-warrior: 7

Karaoke Friendly: 5

Baby-friendly: 7

City Cruising: 6

The Subaru Crosstrek Outdoors is not just another trim in the Crosstrek lineup. It comes with a punchier 2.5L Boxer engine that you can also find in the Forester; you can read its review here. The only fault we can give the base 2.0L engine found in the Crosstrek is that it is not very engaging. The power increase is substantial, giving it an additional 30hp to bring it to 182hp and giving it 31 lb-ft more for a maximum torque of 176 lb-ft. We felt the extra power when driving over deep snow using the X-Mode; it almost feels effortless. We could barely believe a vehicle so low to the ground could eat up driving through snow or mud without any challenge.

Additionally, the Outdoors offers plastic cladding that better covers the wheel arches compared to other Crosstrek. So this way, if you get yours in Plasma yellow pearl, you will avoid getting that beautiful colour scratched when driving off-road. Steering is a little vague; while it's not engaging, it makes this little crossover easy to maneuver in the city.

The Crosstrek offers seating for 5; the rear middle seat is slightly harder and makes it less comfortable to sit in on longer journeys. The Outdoors plays the rugged card when it comes to its interior styling. The interior also gets matching colour accents from the exterior paint, such as on the steering wheel and stitching on the dashboard. The steering wheel is fully adjustable, and seating is thought of in such a way that even taller adults can find a naturally comfortable place. A Subaru would not be a Subaru if it didn't have a heated steering wheel and heated seats for those cold winter days. They work fantastically and get quite warm. The trunk offers space for a medium stroller, and once you fold down those seats, they almost give a flat floor when needing space for larger items.

The average fuel economy we observed was 10.3L/100km. We saw an average of 11.3L/100km in the city, and on the Highway, our average was 7.5L/100km. We achieved these results while exterior temperatures oscillated between -8c and +1c, with some heavy snowfalls. Subaru announces 8.0L/100km combined fuel economy, 8.8L/100km in the city and 7.0L/100km on the Hwy.

On the Hwy, the additional power gives the Outdoors more confidence for overtaking. In certain instances, we even saw lower fuel economy than its 2.0L cousin as the engine was not working as hard. Another good item is Eyesight being available on this Crosstrek; it can efficiently serve as the first vehicle for small families and give them that additional layer of security. The only complaint we have is the amount of road noise entering the cabin at Hwy speeds.

The infotainment comes in 2 flavours, one 6.5-inch in the Convenience and Touring models. In our Outdoors variant, we got an 8-inch screen complemented by a second screen giving us additional information Such as fuel economy and how the AWD system performs. You can even set up a calendar so that you will not forget the birthday of your loved one. The system offers Android Auto and Apple Car Play using a USB cable only.

Car seat installation is as simple as in the Subaru Impreza, with which the Crosstrek shares its platform. Ports are hidden underneath a Velcro leather strap, giving you easy access while making the latching process hassle-free and quick. The rear anchor is located in the back of the seat. There is no need to open the trunk as you can access it easily from the back row. Before exiting the vehicle, you'll also see a reminder to check the rear seats so that you do not forget your little ones. While the door opens quite wide, the higher wheel arch makes it harder for kids to get in and out of the vehicle without the help of an adult.

In the city, the Crosstrek had no problems getting around; even during a snowstorm, we felt confident with the system. Subaru also offers a plug-in hybrid with a range of 27km, ideal for those city dwellers where most of their commutes can be done without any fuel consumption. And when the need arises to travel to the cabin, you will not feel range anxiety. Parallel parking is simple enough, and steering is light making it easy to back up in tight spots. The quality of the rear camera is somewhat of a letdown in 2021.

Why would we buy the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, or what we liked about it? You can still buy it as a manual and get AWD; it is competitively priced, Eyesight available on all models equipped with a CVT.

Why would we not buy the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek or what we did not like about it? Insulation could be better; the base engine 2.0L engine feels just adequate; the Plug-in Hybrid variant can get really expensive and is only offered in the highest trim.

Subaru has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Subaru Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.

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