Weidel on Wheels: May 2018
Concept cars are typically designed to showcase a new styling or new technology at car shows. Five years ago, the Subaru Crosstrek was viewed as something unique—a crossover that was more of a car than a sport utility vehicle.
When Subaru introduced the Crosstrek to the U.S. market in 2012, it had no major expectations for this concept car.
But to Subaru’s surprise, the Crosstrek quickly enamored many car buyers, thanks to its versatile size, rugged styling, and affordable sticker price. The Crosstrek is part hatchback, part SUV, and fits the need for a certain niche of people who favor a small vehicle with lots of versatility.
Among the Crosstrek’s most ardent competitors are the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke, Jeep Renegade, Toyota C-HR, and Honda HR-V.
- Performance:2.4-liter, four cylinder, 152 horsepower
- Mileage estimate:23-29 mpg (manual transmission), 27-33 mpg (automatic)
- Price estimate:$22,700 to $31,400
- Warranty:3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 3 years/36,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited
The Crosstrek is Subaru’s smallestcrossover and is based on the Impreza hatchback. It can serve as the all-purpose commuter vehicle or take on a more rugged role in an adventurous off-road trip. Subaru equipped the Crosstrek with its off-road system. By merely pushing a button, the Crosstrek can take on the challenge offered in hilly regions with rocky trails. It has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, and like all Subaru models, comes equipped with all-wheel drive.
In its second generation, the Subaru Crosstrek is all new for 2018. It resides on a different chassis, has a slightly upgraded engine, and also features some new cabin refinements. Despite the improvements, the Crosstrek maintains a lower starting price (approximately $22,700) than the Forester and Outback SUVs.
From an exterior standpoint, the 2018 Crosstrek is slightly wider and longer than previous models. It has enhanced taillights and the side creases are more dramatic. Both the headlights and grille have been tweaked.
While there are many upsides to the Crosstrek, one primary criticism is its performance. It has just one engine, a 2.0-liter, four cylinder that generates 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration isn’t one of the strongpoints for the Crosstrek, evidenced by going 0-60 mph in 9.0 seconds. The towing capacity is average—1,500 pounds.
One important aspect to note regarding the 2018 Crosstrek is it comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission in the 2.0i and 2.0i Premium trim models. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is an option in both models for roughly $1,000 and comes standard in the 2.0i Limited. The Crosstrek gets an estimated 23-29 mpg (manual) and 27-33 mpg (automatic).
We liked how the Crosstrek handled, providing a smooth, refined ride with responsive steering. The stiffer chassis is expected to add to the stability and ride comfort. There’s very little noise in the Crosstrek’s smartly-designed cabin.
The new interior design includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen that’s easy to read and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features. The Crosstrek uses a large amount of high-quality materials and the overall layout is pretty easy to grasp. The cargo space is 55 cubic feet.We enjoyed the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek for many reasons. We can overlook the lack of performance due to its nimble handling, smooth ride, quality interior, attractive exterior, and its overall versatility.
By Jeffrey Weidel