With a starting MSRP of $23,295 including destination, the Crosstrek is one of Subaru’s most affordable cars. It’s got nearly 9” of ground clearance, standard all-wheel drive, of course, and returns about 30mpg while delivering a nearly 500 mile driving range. And it’s the only small sport utility with 4-wheel traction to still offer a manual transmission though it comes with a major mileage penalty. No manual here, however; this is the new Sport trim, introducing Subaru’s largest engine to one of their smallest vehicles. Subaru offers nothing but 4-cylinder engines and this 2.5-liter Boxer makes its debut on the Sport and Limited grades. It takes horsepower from 152 in the base 2.0-liter engine to 182 here combined with an equally sizable jump in torque to 176 pound-feet. So this is not the equivalent of Dodge offering a Hellcat option but for Subaru this is big news. And beyond being known for all-wheel drive, Boxers and dogs, Subaru is also a CVT brand. They call theirs Lineartronic and indeed it’s pretty darn linear leaving little to complain about and this one even has paddle shifters which work surprisingly well to mimic an 8-speed dual-clutch. It’s quick to react and fun to play with. Now, you might think all of this talk is nonsense in what amounts to a jacked-up wagon but the Crosstrek’s best kept secret is how fun it is to drive. If it didn’t have these Geolander tires it would really carve up a backroad. But this Sport model is for the weekend warrior; bikes, dogs, kayaks and as such needs to be able to get to out of the way places.