Subaru has a long history of turning out sturdy crossovers: its iconic compact crossover, the Forester, has been impressing buyers since its debut in 1997. With the introduction of the XV Crosstrek in 2013, Subaru provided a fresh take on a classic design. Both the Forester and the Crosstrek are based on the Subaru Impreza sedan's style, which means a touch of luxury, steady handling, and reliable performance, but in a taller, roomier, and more rugged body.
The Crosstrek has a bold and slightly quirky appearance, standard all-wheel drive, plenty of passenger room, and for the eco-minded, a fuel-sipping hybrid version, introduced in 2014. It gets favorable marks for its off-road capabilities, and considering its low price tag, it is surprisingly comfortable, adding soft materials and subtracting hard plastics where possible. It is a little puzzling that Subaru decided to put out another model that competes directly with the Forester, and it remains to be seen whether both can remain successful in the popular crossover segment.