The 2022 Subaru BRZ was recently revealed and will go on sale in the fall of 2021.
More safety features for most 2021 model-year Subaru models.
New 2.5L upgrade engine for the popular Subaru Crosstrek.
Slowly but surely, Subaru is increasing its market share, nibbling away at its Japanese rivals as its crossover lineup is gaining acceptance across the United States and Canada, and not just in the Snowbelt region.
Along with a bunch of recently redesigned products and improved fuel economy over the past few years, the company is merely dipping a small toe in the electrified vehicle waters with one PHEV model, but that will soon change through collaboration with Toyota. Here’s what to expect from the Subaru brand in 2021.
First and foremost, Subaru has recently announced an all-new, fully electric crossover of compact dimensions, built on a Toyota-sourced platform. For now, it will be exclusive to the European market and would arrive in 2025.
Back in November 2020, the 2022 Subaru BRZ was unveiled online. The second-generation sports car gets new styling, a new interior, rides on a stiffer platform and benefits from a naturally aspirated, 2.4L flat-four engine that develops 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, up from the previous gen’s 205 hp and 156 lb.-ft. Once again, a six-speed manual transmission will be standard, while a six-speed automatic will be available for those who don’t like to row their own gears. The new BRZ will hit dealerships in the fall of 2021.
Meanwhile, the brand’s other sports car, the Subaru WRX and WRX STI soldier on unchanged, and an all-new generation of the performance sedan should be unveiled pretty soon, perhaps during the 2021 calendar year. The new WRX will most likely feature the company’s turbocharged 2.4L engine, which develops 260 horsepower in other products, and a high-output variant could possibly equip the WRX STI as well. The current-gen WRX is equipped with a turbo 2.0L flat-four that develops 268 horsepower, while the WRX STI gets a turbo 2.5L engine good for 310 horsepower. Both variants are essentially carryovers from 2020.
As for the Subaru Impreza, all trim levels that feature the Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission receive the Subaru EyeSight active safety suite. The SI-DRIVE is now available on more trim levels, while in Canada, the heated steering wheel trickles down to the value-minded Touring trim. The Impreza is still available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles, both equipped with standard all-wheel drive and a 2.0L flat-four engine that develops 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, mixed with a five-speed manual or the aforementioned CVT.
The 2021 Subaru Legacy gets some new features, such as a rear-seat reminder system as standard, while steering-responsive LED headlights are included on all trims as well. A new paint colour called Brilliant Bronze is offered on uplevel trims, and in Canada, the heated steering wheel is now included in the Touring variant. The Legacy boasts a naturally aspirated 2.5L flat-four with 182 horsepower, while the Legacy XT gets a 260-horsepower, turbo 2.4L engine.
The Subaru Crosstrek is the company’s smallest crossover vehicle, and the best-selling model in Canada. For 2021, the Crosstrek receives mild styling enhancements, standard EyeSight active safety gear in automatic-equipped variants—like the Impreza—and a more advanced adaptive cruise control. In the U.S., there’s a new Sport trim level that features a dual-function X-MODE terrain management system, unique exterior design cues and durable StarTex seat upholstery, while Sport and Limited trims benefit from a new 2.5L flat-four that produces 182 horsepower. In Canada, there’s a new Outdoor variant that includes the 2.5L engine and is similar to the U.S.-spec Crosstrek Sport, in addition to offering an exclusive Plasma Yellow Pearl paint job. The heated steering wheel is now standard in the Canadian Touring trim level, and the standard engine is shared with the Impreza—being the 2.0L flat-four with 152 horsepower.
As for the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, which is equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain developed in conjunction with Toyota, it gets a refreshed front fascia and a retuned suspension for the 2021 model year. The PHEV system produces a combined 148 horsepower and delivers an EV-only driving range of 17 miles in the U.S. As these lines are being written, the 2021 model-year Crosstrek Hybrid is not available in Canada.
The Subaru Forester is the company’s best-selling model in the United States, and for 2021, it gets steering-responsive LED headlights and high beam assist on all trim levels in addition to a rear-seat belt reminder system. In Canada, the heated steering wheel is now standard in the Touring trim. Every Forester is equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.5L flat-four that develops 182 horsepower, matched to a Lineartronic CVT and full-size AWD—like all other Subaru models except the BRZ.
Next up, the 2021 Subaru Outback gains some features after the crossover-slash-wagon benefitted from a thorough redesign in 2020. As with the Legacy, the Outback gets standard steering-responsive LED headlights and a rear-seat reminder system. The base engine is a 2.5L four with 182 horsepower, while a turbo 2.4L unit with 260 horsepower is found in the Outback XT variants.
The three-row, midsize Subaru Ascent gets a few novelties for the 2021 model year, such as an advanced adaptive cruise control system, traffic jam assist, lane centering and lane keep assist, all bundled into the Subaru EyeSight package. Steering-responsive LED headlights are standard on all trim levels, and a new second- and third-row seat belt reminder has been added so no one forgets to buckle up. The Ascent is equipped with the turbocharged 2.4L flat-four engine that develops 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, matched to full-time AWD and a Lineartronic CVT.