20% more horsepower sounds good to us

One of Our Favorite Subarus Is About to Get More Powerful

February 27, 2020 Cars By
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We’re big fans of Subaru here at Gear Patrol — which, to be fair, is a characteristic we share with many people here in the United States and around the globe. But if there’s one complaint we’d levy at the seven-star brand, it’s that, apart from the tightly-wound WRX and STI, their vehicles lack a certain amount of…oomph.

It seems Subaru may be listening, however. According to Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll, the Subaru Crosstrek is poised to pick up a new, more powerful engine very soon.

“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,” Doll said last week at a dealer event in Las Vegas, according to Automotive News. “The 2.5-liter engine will solve that problem.”

The 2.5-liter boxer-four to which he refers is, presumably, the same engine found in the Forester and base versions of the Outback and Legacy. In those models, it cranks out 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque; hardly the sort of figures to write home about, sure, but still a notable bump over the current Crosstrek’s 152 ponies and 148 lb-ft.

(Yes, we also briefly wondered if Doll was referring to the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer-four found in the WRX STI, but given the fact that 1. that engine isn’t used elsewhere in the lineup, whereas the other 2.5 is quite common and 2. that engine gets god-awful fuel economy, the odds don’t seem very good.)

Doll reportedly said the engine will find its way into a new Crosstrek Sport model that will become available later in 2020, as well as replace the current engine in the top-shelf Limited. He didn’t specify whether it would be offered with the six-speed manual gearbox found on lower Crosstreks, but the fact that the 2.5-liter is only paired with a CVT automatic in other use cases has us less than hopeful about that. Still, Subie’s CVT is among the better examples in production, so it’s not the worst trade-off in auto-dom.

The Crosstrek — effectively the Outback version of the Impreza hatchback — is one of our favorite cars on sale today, due to its combination of all-wheel-drive grip, SUV-worthy ground clearance, utilitarian body style and affordable price (it starts at just $22,145, and the nicely-equipped Premium with the stick shift is only $1,000 more). Adding more power effectively wipes out our sole complaint about the car.

Now, Mr. Doll: Can we revisit the idea of a Crosstrek WRX?

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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