The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is all-new with enhancements throughout to make it a more appealing crossover. It’s already a standout among all the other crossovers simply for its more rugged styling and attention-getting colors like Sunshine Orange. There’s a lot of competition in this segment. Here’s how the new Crosstrek holds up.
There’s this idea that crossovers are made for people with active lifestyles. You know, that guy who does a Spartan race one weekend, goes mountain biking the next, and finishes up with some kayaking at the end of the month. He needs a vehicle that can hold all his gear, stand up to a little dirt, and still be comfortable enough to drive to work on Monday morning.
Most crossovers pretend to be the vehicle for that guy. The Subaru Crosstrek delivers. This year it has a larger cabin so there’s more elbow room for passengers and more cargo room. There’s 20.8 cubic feet with the 60/40 split-folding rear seats up or 55.3 cubic feet when you fold them down. The wide rear opening makes loading bulky cargo easy, and the hatchback is noticeably light. You don’t need to be a body-builder to pull it shut with one hand.
Seating is comfortable, but not plush. This is a car that guy we mentioned won’t have to worry about destroying when he takes a seat soaking wet and covered in mud. Subaru strikes a happy medium that is durable, comfortable, and attractive.
Adding to its utility is 8.7 inches of ground clearance so you really can drive off-road. The new Crosstrek now has active torque vectoring across the lineup and X-Mode for even better handling during off-road or poor conditions. There’s also all-wheel drive standard across the lineup so whether you’re adventuring up a mountain or through the snow on the way to work, the Crosstrek is up to the task.
Driving the Crosstrek feels more like driving a sedan than an SUV. This is a good thing. It makes handling more agile especially during high-speed highway driving. Steering is controlled and never sloppy and the CVT is, surprise, actually quiet. There’s very little whine intruding into the cabin, which is a nice change from what the average CVT delivers.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine that now has direct fuel injection that gives the Crosstrek 152 horsepower with 145 lb-ft of torque. This is a slight increase in horsepower over the outgoing model. It’s a responsive engine that does well under hard acceleration. It’s no sports car, but it delivers enough power to confidently merge into traffic and even does well accelerating at speed for passing other vehicles.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now standard across the lineup and there are a slew of available safety technologies. This includes the Eyesight system with adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist. Blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, and high-beam assist are also available.
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek takes what was already a solid, off-road capable crossover and makes it better with improved engine performance and updated infotainment features. Pricing runs from $21,795 on the base 2.0i up to $26,295 for the 2.0i Limited.