Once known as the XV Crosstrek, the 2017 Subaru Crosstrek caters to a specific crowd looking for a little extra utility with their hatchback. However, catering to a niche leads to it falling short in some areas, like comfort and performance.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek starts from $22,570 for its 2.0i trim. Because this base trim is only available with a manual transmission, the midrange 2.0i Premium trim, starting at $23,370, will be the most common choice for buyers. Standard equipment on this higher-end model includes:

  • Seventeen-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Folding mirrors
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob
  • Rearview camera
  • Six-speaker audio system with a 6.2-inch touchscreen

Buyers who aren’t comfortable with a manual transmission can add a continuously variable transmission in the Premium trim for $1,000.

Performance Pros

Subaru Crosstrek

Like every Subaru not named BRZ, the Crosstrek is built with utility first. This is evident in so many aspects of its powertrain, from its rugged all-wheel-drive system to the gearing of its manual transmission.

  • Standard all-wheel drive delivers tank-like traction in all conditions.
  • The optional continuously variable transmission is well matched to the engine and helps deliver decent fuel economy.
  • The light steering and responsive chassis give it good on-road manners.
  • With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, it’s quite the off-road machine.

Performance Cons

  • The 148-horsepower 2.0-liter engine simply lacks the power to get the Crosstrek moving.
  • The standard five-speed transmission is dated and struggles on the highway.
  • Horizontally opposed "boxer" engines aren't known for quiet performance, and the Crosstrek's engine is no different.

Interior Pros

  • Plenty of room for people, things, and animals.
  • The low load floor makes simple work of loading and unloading cargo.
  • The utilitarian cabin welcomes dirt, dust, and all other elements that come with driving off the beaten path.

Interior Cons

  • Some folks may find its interior a little too simple and frill-free.
  • The front seats are not particularly comfortable, leading to multiple rest stops on long road trips.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

As an IIHS Top Safety Pick, the Subaru Crosstrek is one of the safest crossovers for families. And for an extra $1,995 on the Premium trim with the CVT, Subaru will add its EyeSight active safety suite. This package includes blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and other driver-assist technologies, like adaptive cruise, lane-departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

We certainly didn’t expect the Crosstrek to be fast, but it is noticeably slower than most of its competitors. This can lead to uneasy feelings when merging onto the highway or zipping through traffic.

The Bottom Line

For buyers looking for a go-anywhere crossover that still delivers acceptable on-road manners, the Crosstrek is one of the best in the business. However, mainstream buyers may find its sluggishness, plain-Jane interior, and noisiness tough pills to swallow.