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2021 Base CVT Crosstrek
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Every 2021 Crosstrek review I ran into went along the lines of "Crosstrek was underpowered and Subaru finally fixed it with the 2.5L engine."

I got anxious about this: our bugdet did not stretch to the 2.5L engine, so we got the 2.0L but I had misgivings in the back of my mind.

I'm a regular person. I drove a 2002 Corolla for the longest time and might have bought a 2021 Corolla. The Corolla has the same 0-60 in 10s as the Crosstrek. The other vehicle I was looking at was the Rav4 which does have a more peppy 0-60 in 7.4s, but the Crosstrek is typical in its class.

I haven't towed anything but for regular driving on the highway, this is absolutely fine for merging and passing. I merged in and got up to cruise speed (65 mph) with no fuss. Switching to sport mode (S) is gadgety fun but the default (I) mode is good enough too.

Just leaving this here because of all the FUD around the 2.0L engine. In case you are thinking of buying the Crosstrek and are hesitant because of the reviews that say "underpowered": if you are thinking of the Crosstrek, you won't find it underpowered. People who would find 0-60 in 10 underpowered will not be looking at this class of vehicle to begin with.
 

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I completely disagree, but it is a subjective opinion that will vary from person to person.

I found the 2L to be quite lacking (did extensive driving), and thus held off buying until I tried the 2.5L, and then bought myself an Outdoors model.
 

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'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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And I totally agree!

I've had some pretty powerful cars in my time including V12 Jaguars and an XJR with a supercharged V8 but the Crosstrek serves a different purpose and the 2.0L is perfectly fine. I'm from the UK and there, the 1.6L is the standard and 2.0L is an upgrade. Here in North America, however, there seems to be an obsession with big engines.

Over 10,000 ft in the Sierras it gets sluggish but we don't live there, we're practically at sea level.

And @R P tows a 3,500lb boat with his, so no worries about that, either.
 

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The 2.0 is sufficient if you "drive" your vehicle. If you just want push the pedal and get ahead of everyone else the 2.0 is not going to suffice.
 

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Subaru XV 2021 2.0i-S (Australian Model)
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I agree with the OP. I also have a 2.5 2020 Outback and drive both the 2021 XV and Outback regularly. Not a huge difference in general city driving. If you want to push it or drive aggressively or have a big load in the car like many people then the 2.5 is better. But for city and highway driving for 1-2 people the 2.0 is great. I wonder if people with manuals find it lacks power more because the CVT has the ability to shift around in the ratios more to get the best power out of the engine.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Prem Manual
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The only time I find it really lacking is at highway speeds (65+) when you need some pulling power nobody is home and I mean nobody. Otherwise, I am fine with the power. Everything is a trade off. I came from a very quick 2.0T Accord and we have a 2020 Honda Odyssey that is deceptively fast. The Crosstrek drives so nice and the "little" 2.0L revs nicely that I am willing to forgive its power deficit. I will only drive a manual so the 2.5L was not even an option for me.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Pure Red
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I strongly felt that way, too ... until I spent a few quality hours with the 2.5. 😉

And I'm not at all talking about the notion of raw power or 0-60 times -- if that were super-important for any of us, we wouldn't be driving a Crosstrek to begin with. The 2.5 does give me some added confidence when passing, but the big change for me is that the 2.5 brings the car a smoothness and fluidity of driving that the 2.0 just didn't quite have. I'm usually not a super-hardcore driver, and I haven't really changed my driving behavior with the new car, but the same driving with the 2.5 is just more effortless, and therefore more pleasant. More than worth it.

That said, the 2.0 is still plenty adequate for the car ... don't get me wrong there.
 

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2021 Sport 2.5 cvt
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2.5 all the way for me.
I am all about keeping rpms low to boost my mpg as much as I can. However, when I want or need to get going, the 2.0 just had nothing to offer me. The 2.5 is no speed demon but it suits my needs far better than the 2.0.
I guess it depends how you drive. I often “need” to pass slower traffic or farm equipment and want to get the pass over with quickly. Plenty of people will sit behind slower traffic or farm equipment and never think to pull into an coming traffic lane to pass them. Plenty of people merge onto the freeway going 40mph and take a mile to get up to 65mph also.
 

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2019 Canadian Sport trim (6MT // 2.0 )
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Agreed. It's not because we favour / prefer more horsepower than the baseline is insufficient or unsafe. The acceleration of the 2.0 allows you to merge, pass, climb a hill, and get a speeding ticket. Not as fast as we would like to - but it does remain adequate.

Keep in mind the base model elsewhere is a 1.6...
 

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Vancouver, BC, CGK 2018 Ltd EyeSight
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Time to repeat a well known axiom "Power is just a crutch for low skill drivers".

I have seen enough near accidents when a high powered car scoots ahead at a ramp merge and squeezes in front of another car, causing a domino effect behind with everyone hitting the brakes.Obviously a low skilled driver, not to mention downright dangerous with his high power car.

I have never had a problem passing or merging. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience and planning (when to start accelerating) to make a quick pass, but never a problem doing it safely. And with merges, as long as you are not an a**hole, people will let you in.
 

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2021 ISM Crosstrek Ltd
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Not for me it isn't.

I had a 2019 Impreza Ltd with the 2.0 for two years. I loved the car, but Its engine was, barely, adequate... except for a couple notable times early on during short merges onto the interstate when the space I'd thought safe allowed a speeding semi to get far too close to my rear bumper as the Imp's little engine screamed. Our state has all too many twisted Interstate ramps with very short merges. After that I became much more cautious.

In other words, I had to drive around the limitations of the car. Not fun after a lifetime of far more powerful cars where I had the ability to command my road space. Without that ability, a driver is always at the mercy of other vehicles to some extent.

When the 2.5 Crosstrek came out I thought about it for some time... I found the Impreza to have almost everything I wanted in a car, great handling, looks, utility, mileage, and a form factor that fit me. But the motor, as nice as it was, was pathetically small for the car it was in. Also, having had two FXTs and two NA Foresters I'd come to appreciate the ground clearance where we live, and the options it gave. I just never got comfortable with the Foresters' size. The Impreza was almost as low as a WRX, which was a part of the great handling but limited where and when some places were available.

So I found what I wanted in a '21 Crosstrek Ltd at my dealer, and got it that day. Six months later I could not be happier. I get as good or better gas mileage, the handling is surprisingly almost as good as the Impreza despite its ride height, its highway manners are better and its ride over all surfaces is much better, and while subjective its looks and behavior overall makes the 2.0 Impreza seem like a girl's car in retrospect.

The 2.5 Crosstrek has the power to provide the safety margins on the road that makes driving safer. And in everyday driving the only thoughts about the motor has been accompanied by a smile. It's not like my turbo cars, but it has more than just "enough" power and compared to the 2.0, it rips. It's also the quickest off the line CVT I've owned, including the turboed ones. They did something different with this one.
 

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I totally agree with OP. The 2-liter power has honestly never been an issue for me, and that’s coming from a manual driver as well.

if you want slow, try driving my other vehicle, a 2000 2-wheel drive Chevy S10 with a 2.2 pushrod 4 banger and a 5-speed. Or perhaps the 1980 Datsun 720 4X4 pickup I had before that.
 

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I laugh at folks for complaining about 150hp. The early gen Soobs I started out in had 70hp or so. Then I got one with an ea82, and it had the better part of 80! lol All of my old Legacys and Imprezas had the 2.2. 135 whopping horse power.

I chose these cars because of the gas mileage and the leg room. If you want a fast awd car, go buy a BMW. Good luck finding it for under 30 grand.

The 2.0 is plenty. But like Montanan said, the 2.5 is just a little better.
 

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If you want a fast awd car, go buy a BMW. Good luck finding it for under 30 grand.
Or a Range Rover for over 100K! Been there, done that... 😸
 
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In other words, I had to drive around the limitations of the car. Not fun after a lifetime of far more powerful cars where I had the ability to command my road space. Without that ability, a driver is always at the mercy of other vehicles to some extent.
Time to repeat a well known axiom "Power is just a crutch for low skill drivers".
Not to be a d*ck, but these seem kinda funny being so close together. I don't like being around drivers who use their car's ability to accelerate to "command their road space." I set the adaptive cruise and try to be predictable.

For the record, I agree with OP that the 2.0 is adequate, but I've contributed to plenty of these threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Or a Range Rover for over 100K! Been there, done that... 😸
Wow! I did not know that was the price of a Range Rover! I always associated them with go anywhere, repair with sticks and stones, sheet metal boxes with wheels that you drove in the bush.

If I had a 100K sitting around, I'd buy a plane and lessons.
 
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