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Why Hasn’t Subaru Made a Crosstrek Turbo?

It’s time for that monthly moment we seem to have around here where I rant about how some automaker isn’t producing a vehicle I think they should produce. I believe, at one point or another, I’ve advocated for off-road minivans and Ford Raptor competitors, and I once said Lexus should build a rival to the Mercedes-Benz G-Class — but now, finally, I have an idea that’ll truly be a hit: a Subaru Crosstrek Turbo.

Allow me to explain. The Subaru Crosstrek is a small hatchback that’s lifted to become a small crossover, which, when you really think about it, is sort of the life story of every single small crossover. But the Crosstrek is still sort of pitched as a "car" alternative to an SUV for people who don’t need or want an SUV, even though it’s only about 2.5 inches shorter in height than a Honda CR-V.

Anyway, this has all been very successful for Subaru, just as the Outback was very successful in the midsize segment, but Subaru seems to be leaving one important option on the table: a more powerful version. Right now, the most powerful Crosstrek you can buy makes a whopping 152 horsepower, which is truly laughable by the standards of the class; there’s a version of the Kia Sportage with 240 horsepower; the top-level Ford Escape has 245; the best Jeep Cherokee has 271, etc. etc. I could go on. In fact, even the notoriously low-on-power Honda CR-V has 190 horses, which is a pretty substantial jump from the Crosstrek’s figure when you think about it in terms of a percentage increase.

And so, my idea is obvious: Subaru should make a turbocharged version of the Crosstrek.

Now, I’m not talking about this from some crazy enthusiast perspective, where I want Subaru to throw in a V8 and a stick shift and make a Crosstrek that runs a 9-second quarter mile out of the box. Simply take the engine from the Subaru WRX, which has 270 horsepower, detune it to make like 230 horses, throw it in the Crosstrek, and boom! You have a desirable vehicle for anyone who complains that the Crosstrek is low on power. Which, by the way, is the primary complaint of virtually everyone who reviews it.

Subaru should do this — not in a few years, not with the next redesign, but today. And they should name it the Crosstrek DD, after the brilliant automotive writer who came up with it. You’re welcome, Subaru. Find a Subaru Crosstrek for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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27 COMMENTS

  1. With Subaru dropping the turbo in the Forester, I don’t see a turbo Crosstrek anywhere in the future. Perhaps they can shoe horn the new Foresters NA engine into the Crosstrek. 182hp Crosstrek wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be better.

  2. The crosstrek is about people pretending to live on the Australian outback or African plains. A turbo is not a necessary condition to live in those places.

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