Subaru's sturdy compact crossover looks more like a lifestyle vehicle than a family hauler, but is fully capable of filling both roles. With its strong brand identity and urban ruggedness, the Crosstrek stands out from the crowd without straying too far from the mainstream.

Pricing and Equipment

Like most Subaru models, the Crosstrek is offered in three trim levels:

  • The base 2.0i ($21,595) provides all the basics, plus a rearview camera, roof rails, and a 6.2-inch infotainment touchscreen.
  • Starting at $22,395, 2.0i Premium carries nicer interior trim, heated mirrors, heated front seats, and an upgraded sound system.
  • The $25,095 2.0i Limited comes with leather seats, automatic climate control, a larger infotainment touchscreen, satellite radio, and advanced safety technology like blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

For an additional $2,896, you can outfit the Limited with a comprehensive option package consisting of a sunroof, navigation, keyless ignition, and Subaru's EyeSight safety suite (adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, collision mitigation, adaptive foglamps). Most of these features are also available on the Premium in a series of smaller packages.

Performance Pros

Subaru Crosstrek Blue

Every Crosstrek is powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine the produces 148 horsepower. Base models come with a six-speed manual transmission only, while the Premium can also get a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which is standard on the Limited.

Performance highlights include:

  • All-Wheel Drive: It's standard acros the board, a rarity for this price class.
  • Steering/Handling: The Crosstrek never fails to feel confident on slippery roads, and can even be entertaining on dry surfaces.
  • Fuel Efficiency: With the CVT, you can expect 26 mpg around town and 34 mpg on the highway, well above average for an all-wheel drive vehicle. Those figures slip by about 3 mpg with the standard manual transmission.

Performance Cons

  • The 2-liter engine is on the weak side of this class, and power is barely adequate at times.
  • Response is snappier with the manual transmission, but its mileage penalty outweighs any benefit.

Interior Pros

  • Passengers are surrounded by nicely textured, soft-touch materials that feel quite durable.
  • The rear seat is pleasantly firm and slightly elevated, comfortable even for adults.

Interior Cons

  • At 51.9 cubic feet, cargo space trails the segment's top sellers by a significant margin.
  • The straightforward interior design may come off as unwelcoming to buyers accustomed to other brands.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

Subaru Crosstrek Interior

The all-wheel drive system works wonderfully under a variety of less-than-ideal conditions. While the Crosstrek isn't a true off-road vehicle, it can easily handle campsites and blizzards.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

While the CVT certainly enhances efficiency, it doesn't always play nicely with the engine. Power delivery can be abrupt and noisy, even under moderate acceleration.

The Bottom Line

Affordable and highly competent, the Crosstrek appeals to the masses while keeping its off-beat personality intact.