Largely because it’s a Subaru, the Crosstrek almost qualifies as a special breed of compact crossover. Adventurous design imparts a more edgy aura than is customary in this family-focused category. Though it’s hardly ready for harsh terrain, a Crosstrek does promise light off-road capability, helped by 8.7 inches of ground clearance. Unlike many crossovers, the Crosstrek comes standard with a manual transmission.
What's New for 2017
Following last year’s exterior updates and newly available active-safety technology, little has changed for 2017 apart from introduction of a new Premium Special Edition model. The Hybrid Crosstrek has been dropped.
Choosing Your Subaru Crosstrek
In each Crosstrek, a 2-liter four-cylinder engine develops 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Either a five-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) may be installed. Despite lack of actual gears, the CVT incorporates six “virtual” ratios.
Like nearly all Subarus, every Crosstrek has all-wheel drive. Under normal conditions on CVT-equipped models, the AWD system sends most of the engine power to the front wheels. With manual shift, AWD distributes power equally, unless slippage is detected.
Fuel economy with the manual gearbox is estimated at 23 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway. The CVT version is thriftier: 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. Subaru has discontinued the hybrid version, but intends to introduce a completely different electric/gasoline model in the “near future.”
If you haven't driven a Subaru lately, interior quality might surprise you. Despite Crosstrek's no-nonsense demeanor, interior materials are a clear cut above those used in earlier Subaru crossovers.
Five passengers fit without fuss, and you get up to 52 cubic feet of cargo space by folding the rear seats. Yes, that’s on the small side, but a flat load floor makes the area seen bigger. Cargo volume is 22.3 cubic feet with all seats up.
The Crosstrek now comes in four trim levels:
Even though the base model is nicely equipped, the Crosstrek is the type of vehicle that seems more acceptable in fully loaded form. Despite all of its additional features, the Limited still costs just over $26,000, or $1,700 more than the Premium edition. We consider that a hands-down bargain.
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