2018 Crosstrek 2.0i Limited subcompact SUV sets the standard for
value and safety features in a small SUV that’s likely to be many
parents’ vehicle of choice for kids with new driver’s licenses.
Most teens will probably endorse that choice, because unlike
conservative clothes, early curfews, getting plenty of rest and
eating balanced meals, the Crosstrek isn’t just sensible, it’s
which is all-new for 2018 despite looking a lot like last year’s
model, offers a wide range of safety features and good fuel economy
in chic SUV wrapping.
Need I mention
it works with your iPhone and has a good sound system, or do you
want me to shut up before your kids hear us talking about this?
Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
five-passenger subcompact SUV
tested: $29,745 (excluding destination charge)
out of four stars
buy: Safety features; value; practicality; fuel economy
Power; road noise; looks like previous model
is among the largest vehicles in the growing and popular class of
subcompact SUVs. At 175.8 inches, it’s 14.5 inches longer than a
Ford Ecosport, 8.2 inches longer than a Chevy Trax and 6.1 inches
longer than a Honda HR-V. Other direct competitors include the Fiat
500X, Jeep Renegade and Mazda CX-3. They’re all smaller than the
to compact SUVs, the Chevrolet Equinox is 183.1 inches long and
Subaru’s Forester measures 181.5 inches.
prices start at $21,795 for one with a six-speed manual
transmission. Prices for Crosstreks with Subaru’s continuously
variable automatic transmission start at $22,795.
152-horsepower, 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine
and all-wheel-drive are standard on all Crosstreks.
I tested a
well-equipped Crosstrek 2.0I Limited with the continuously variable
transmission. Features included adaptive cruise control; front
collision alert; front and rear autonomous braking; lane departure
alert and assist; backup camera; blind spot and cross traffic
alerts; automatic high beams; Harman Kardon audio; Apple CarPlay;
Android Auto; power sunroof; 8.0-inch touch screen; navigation;
Bluetooth compatibility; push button start; power locks, mirrors and
windows. Oddly, the optional eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio
included a built-in CD player, a feature that’s increasingly rare
as USB and Bluetooth audio connections become ubiquitous.
Limited stickers at $26,295, while the safety and connectivity
options raised the price of my test car to $29,745. All prices
exclude destination charges.
prices are competitive with other subcompact SUVs. Few, if any, can
match the Subaru’s safety and driver-assistance systems.
destination charges; automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive models)
Crosstrek 2.0i Limited AWD: $26,295
Premier AWD: $28,800
Lounge AWD: $27,415
Titanium AWD: $27,330
EX-L w/navi AWD: $26,540
Ultimate 1.6L DCT AWD: $26,000
Limted AWD: $25,645
Grand Touring AWD: $26,415
passenger compartment is larger than all the competitors except the
Jeep Renegade. The front seat has plenty of leg and head room, and a
small but useful storage bin in the center armrest. Rear legroom is
as good as anything in the class. At 20.8 cubic feet behind the rear
seat and 55.3 cubic feet with the back seat folded flat, cargo space
is among the best in the class. Only the HR-V and Renegade offer
more in both configurations.
In addition to
its many safety features, the Crosstrek comes with Apple CarPlay and
Android Auto for easy, hands-free access to smartphone features,
including music and navigation.
years when Subaru relied on balky touch-panel controls for audio and
other features, the company has returned to conventional dials and
buttons. Combined with good voice recognition and a large touch
screen, the result is controls that are as simple and intuitive as
anything on wheels.
is responsive and the ride is smooth. The Crosstrek’s small size
makes it exceptionally easy to park in tight spaces.
cruise control, in addition to being rare on vehicles in this class,
works well, smoothly maintaining space between vehicles in traffic.
2.0L horizontally opposed engine is smooth, but doesn’t generate a
lot of power. Its 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque are
among the lowest in the segment. Acceleration is adequate, but
Road and wind
noise are very noticeable on rough surfaces and at highway speeds.
It’s hard to carry on a conversation with the hands-free phone
system at highway speeds.
is an all-new vehicle, based on a modern new vehicle architecture,
but it looks so much like the old model that owners will be excused
if they walk up to the wrong car in parking lots. The styling is not
unattractive, but calling it derivative of its predecessor is an
16-valve horizontally opposed 4-cylinder
Power: 152 hp
@ 6,000 rpm; 145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
Continuously variable automatic
assembled: Gunma, Japan
horizontally opposed engine and continuously variable transmission
are about as smooth a combination as you’ll find. While the engine
could use more power — particularly to compete with the torquey
little turbos becoming common in the segment — the transmission
fuel economy is as good as any vehicle in its class. That’s
particularly impressive because of the Subaru’s roomy passenger
and cargo compartments.
The EPA rates
the Crosstrek at 27 m.p.g. in the city, 33 on the highway and 29
combined. The key combined figure matches the HR-V and CX-3 for best
EPA fuel economy ratings
transmission, all-wheel-drive models)
Crosstrek 2.0i Limited AWD: 27/33/29. Regular
Premier AWD: 24/30/27. Regular
Lounge AWD: 21/29/24. Regular
1.0L AWD: 23/29/25. Regular gasoline
EX-L w/navi AWD: 27/31/29. Regular
Ultimate 1.6L DCT AWD: 26/29/27. Regular
Limited AWD: 21/29/24. Regular
Grand Touring AWD: 27/32/29. Regular
moved into the niche Volvo happily occupied for a couple of
generations: Its vehicles are safe, durable and affordable. Add good
fuel economy and the most comprehensive set of driver assistance
features on any vehicle in its class, and the Crosstrek becomes the
compact SUV to beat for drivers young and old.
on vehicle tested
equipment: Antilock brakes; stability control; brake assist; 60/40
split folding rear seat; hill start assist; power windows, locks and
mirrors; rear vision camera; automatic LED headlights; blind spot
and cross traffic alerts; 8.0-in. touch screen; Apple CarPlay;
Android Auto; Starlink navigation app; Bluetooth compatible; CD
player; SiriusXM satellite radio; push-button start; leather-trimmed
seats; automatic climate control; fog lights; 18-in. alloy wheels;
six-way power driver seat
Adaptive cruise control; automatic precollision braking; lane
departure warning and assist; reverse automatic braking; high-beam
assist; power sunroof; eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio.