by Aiden Eksteen
Adding electrical components to the motors in regular internal combustion-engine cars usually comes at a price, whether it be compromised performance because of the added weight, reduced cabin and/or cargo room because of the extra gear, or just a significant increase in overall cost. Unfortunately, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid incurs all of these drawbacks as the most expensive and subdued Crosstrek with the least amount of cargo room. The 148-horsepower powertrain under its hood does give it a little more power than the entry-spec versions of the Crosstrek, but it's no brisker. It doesn't offer much of an all-electric range and it isn't very fuel-efficient, either. It is one of the very few compact crossovers that offer permanent all-wheel drive, though, and it even has an official tow rating, which is very rare. Even with those unique qualities, the 2021Crosstrek Hybrid has too many faults when compared to esteemed competitors such as the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Hyundai Tucson Hybrid. Nevertheless, the Subaru boasts leading safety standards and reliability expectations, which may still be enough to draw in some shoppers.
Nothing is new on the hybrid powertrain side this year, but the Crosstrek Hybrid SUV's exterior does receive a light refresh. There are updates to the front bumper and grille. Underneath, Subaru upgraded the suspension for an improved ride, handling, and steering response. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is also only $200 more expensive than the 2020 MY.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.0L Flat 4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Beneath the hood of the Crosstrek Hybrid SUV is the same 2.0-liter BOXER 4-cylinder engine found in the lower-tier versions of the regular Crosstrek but one that's been hybridized with a single electric motor. This powertrain imbues the Crosstrek Hybrid SUV with up to 148 hp and 149 lb-ft of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission takes command of power and cedes it through to Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drivetrain. With the right apparatus opted-in, the Crosstrek Hybrid is accorded a towing capacity of a mere 1,000pounds.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There are plenty of positive attributes to be found in the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, from its urbane drive character and pragmatic overall design to its leading levels of safety and promising reliability expectations. It's fairly pleasant to drive on-road and its lifted chassis and permanent AWD avail it with some poised off-roading capability, too. While augmenting the Subaru's engine with a hybrid system did add some appeal, the Crosstrek Hybrid isn't nearly the most efficient HEV in the classification. Even so, it's one of the only hybrids in the compact crossover segment with plug-in capability and the ability to tow, albeit only 1,000 pounds. Its 17 miles of electric-only range is really nifty for those who regularly travel short distances. But we're still not sure the price of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid SUV is worth paying. In the USA, the regular Crosstrek is significantly more affordable and almost as efficient; the higher-tier models are more powerful, too. There are as many features to enjoy in regular variants as well, and they share the superb safety rating review of the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. The second-generation Crosstrek Hybrid is a good 5-door crossover, but not really worth considering over the regular version.
As the plug-in hybrid version of an existing Subaru line, the 2021 Crosstrek Hybrid is presented as a standalone model. It does come with plenty standard comforts, conveniences, and technology, including keyless access with push-button start, a 4.2-inch color LCD display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a six-way power-adjustable driver seat, front-seat heating, and leather-trimmed upholstery with blue contrast stitching. The infotainment system is great, too, and includes an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a six-speaker audio layout, and full smartphone connectivity and 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability. Steering wheel-heating, a Harmon Kardon sound system, and a power moonroof are all optional. The standard driver-assist suite is otherwise quite comprehensive, too, so you won't need to add anything more in that regard.
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