Subaru Crosstrek: An Impreza on stilts

The world is going gaga for SUVs and crossovers and automakers are trying to as much hay as possible while the sun is shining brightly. SUVs and crossovers are profitable and so every automaker is trying to make one of those and throw them into the market and Subaru was no less. Subaru decided that they too will be entering the market and so they drove in the Crosstrek. As the very name suggests, the Crosstrek is a cross-over. Crossovers are basically a breed between a hatchback and an SUV. A crossover is a hatchback that badly wanted to be an SUV but just couldn’t get there. So, how good is Crosstrek? How does it fare against its rivals in an already competitive market? Let’s dig in.

Talking about the looks first, the Crosstrek is a fairly handsome car. It has nice beefy front grill accompanied by the signature Subaru boomerang headlights. You also get those brawny wheel arches on the side which give the Crosstrek an SUV-ish look. Overall, the car isn’t a head turner but at the same time isn’t boring. Some say that the Crosstrek is a stanced-up Impreza but that’s not the case. The Crosstrek does have a funky-cool identity of its own.

Under the bonnet, the Crosstrek gets a 2-litre trademark Subaru 4-cylinder boxer engine. The unit is coupled to a continuously variable transmission and makes about 152 horses. The Crosstrek gets an all-wheel-drive system as standard and there’s no manual box on offer. The CVT does feel sluggish while picking up the pace however it does pretty well while cruising. Overtaking maneuvers at high speeds sometimes can be difficult and you do not get the kind of confidence that you would expect. The CVT does function well while driving in the city and power delivery is pretty linear at the lower rev range.

Driving dynamics are kind of neutral. It doesn’t handle exceptionally well neither does it feel vague. The same is true for the steering. The car is quite nimble and readily takes on tight corners turns however at times it does become a little bit wobbly and makes you hesitate while taking turns at high speeds. Some might enjoy getting thrown around while others would find that scary. Not the sportiest driving experience that you get and it is mediocre, to say the least. The high ground does help the Crosstrek while wandering through the wild but this car will largely be used by its owners for city commute only.

Getting inside now, you get to see properly laid out interiors. The interiors are neither dull nor do they feel upscale and are just what you would expect from a car in this segment. Material quality, especially used on and near the gear lever is top notch while at certain places like the areas around the dashboard, the materials used are flimsy and plasticky. You get two display screens in the centre, one of them is mounted above the dashboard and the other is integrated on the dashboard. The seats are nice and comfy and come with orange stitching on them.

In some trim levels, you also get an option of availing heated and cooled seats. Head, shoulder and leg room is again fairly decent on the front as well as the rear seats and tall passengers can also comfortably accommodate themselves. Cargo space is one aspect where the Crosstrek fails terribly compared to its rivals. It only offers 20.8 cubes of luggage space when the 2nd row of seats is up. Its rivals like the Ford Escape and the Jeep Compass offer 30 and 27 cubic feet of cargo volume respectively. Once the 2nd row of seats is folded down you do open up to 55 cubic feet of space but that isn’t again all that really impressive.

The infotainment system of the Crosstrek is good enough for any car in this segment. For starters, you get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth. You also can avail the premium Harman Kardon audio system which only comes as an option. The centre infotainment touch screen is nice and responsive and is intuitive and you also get voice control. The Crosstrek does get good marks in this area. Driver aids include lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring system and a reverse automatic braking feature.

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek review confirms there are three different trim levels with the base spec priced at $22795. The second trim called the ‘Premium’ is priced at $23595 while the top of the line Limited trim level is priced at $26295. Pricing is very competitive and Subaru have played really well in this area. The Crosstrek is a very good package. It comes with all sorts of features you would expect from an entry-level crossover and does well in most of the areas. You cannot really take it on a hardcore off-roading adventure but the Crosstrek can handle a certain amount of undulations. With all that being said, the Crosstrek does offer very good value for your money. It is handsome, it is rugged, it is spacious and it also drives well. The Crosstrek, kind of is, the jack of all trades and the master of none.

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