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2021 Subaru Crosstrek to Get More Muscle, in Form of 2.5L Flat-Four Engine

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The Subaru Crosstrek has been a resounding success on the North American market, nowhere more so than here in Canada, but one recurring complaint has been the inability of its 152-hp 2.0L 4-cylinder engine to properly power the darn thing.

This week, the company confirmed it had heard the complaints and is doing something about it. At a Subaru dealer’s meeting, Tom Doll, CEO of the company’s American division, had this to say when talking about the 2021 edition of the Crosstrek:

"One of the things that our customers were telling us about the Crosstrek was it was maybe a little underpowered with the 2.0-liter engine. Well, the 2.5-liter engine will solve that problem."

- Tom Doll, CEO, Subaru’s American division

The bigger engine will be available in the top-end Limited version of the Crosstrek, as well as in the Sport variant.

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Photo: D.Boshouwers

This news is sure to be greeted with approval by fans of the model, but it raises two questions, neither of which Tom Doll addressed this week. The first is, which engine exactly will be tapped, and what will the output be? The Subaru product line currently includes two 2.5 flat-four engines that could be conscripted. The first is the WRX STI’S 310-hp turbo, though it would be surprising if that were the choice. The other possibility is the 182-hp naturally aspirated flat-four in use in some versions of the Forester, Outback and Legacy.

The other question is whether the Impreza will get the same boost as its near-twin the Crosstrek. Fingers have been pointed at that car for its dearth of power as well, and since it sits on basically the same foundation as the higher-sitting crossover, what’s possible in one should be possible in the other.

Photo: D.Boshouwers