2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid: 17-mile, 35-mpg plug-in gets ride-and-handling retune

Following updates to the gasoline version, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is scheduled to arrive at dealerships this winter with minor changes. Pricing starts at $36,395—a $200 increase over the 2020 model, according to Subaru.

The plug-in hybrid gets a restyled front fascia with a new grille, front bumper, and fog-light trim, plus retuned suspension aimed at better ride quality, handling, and steering response, according to Subaru.

No changes to the powertrain were mentioned. The Crosstrek Hybrid marries a Subaru 2.0-liter boxer-4 engine with a Toyota-derived plug-in hybrid system. The system has a total output of 148 horsepower and offers all-wheel drive—via a mechanical system versus a separate "over the road" motor for the rear wheels.

An EPA fuel-economy rating of 35 mpg combined in hybrid mode, efficiency rating of 90 MPGe in electric mode, and 17-mile electric range carry over from the 2020 model year.

Subaru says the Crosstrek Hybrid may qualify for a $4,501 federal tax credit, and up to $1,500 in state-level incentives. The plug-in hybrid also qualifies for solo HOV-lane access in California, Maryland, New York, and other states, according to Subaru.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Standard equipment on the 2021 model includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multiple driving modes, and Subaru's EyeSight driver-assist tech.

As before, the Crosstrek Hybrid is offered in a single trim level. A $2,500 option package adds a power moonroof, heated steering wheel, navigation, and a Harman Kardon eight-speaker audio system.

On our first drive two years ago, we found the Crosstrek Hybrid to offer great drivability, and viewed it as a big improvement over the previous Crosstrek Hybrid—which lacked a plug.

While the Crosstrek Hybrid is the only plug-in vehicle in Subaru's current lineup, the automaker plans to shift entirely to hybrids and electric cars by the mid-2030s.

Subaru's first all-electric model for the United States will likely be a crossover being co-developed with Toyota. It could be revealed later in 2021, but likely wouldn't enter production until sometime after that.

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