AR­RIVAL 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Michael Cantu

“Am­ple tech, of­froad ca­pa­bil­ity, and ap­peal­ing styling should make our year with the Subaru Crosstrek en­joy­able.”

Motor Trend (USA) - - Garage - Words Mo­tor Trend Ed­i­tors


I’ve owned seven Subarus over my years of driv­ing. That might sound like a lot, but I used to go through cars fast. Even though it’s been about three years since my last Su­bie, it felt nat­u­ral that my first long-term tester would be one, too. And al­though this is my first Crosstrek, I have owned first-, sec­ond-, and third-gen­er­a­tion Im­prezas—and the Crosstrek is ba­si­cally a raised Im­preza hatch­back. This gives me a first-hand op­por­tu­nity to see how Subaru has ad­vanced its lat­est com­pact of­fer­ing.

Al­ready, the Crosstreks we’ve tested on a short­term ba­sis have been warmly re­garded by our staff. The Crosstrek won a three-way com­par­i­son that in­cluded the Jeep Com­pass Trail­hawk and Nis­san Rogue Sport AWD. Then, in one of the most com­pet­i­tive 2018 Mo­tor Trend SUV of the Year fields to date, it was named a fi­nal­ist, and it even snared one first-place vote among our judges.

In the three-way test, we noted: “In a seg­ment look­ing for the Goldilocks fit, the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Subaru Crosstrek mar­ries the off-road ca­pa­bil­ity of the Jeep with the on-road ride qual­ity of the Nis­san while bring­ing an im­pres­sive level of re­fine­ment and value to this emerg­ing seg­ment.” As our long-ter­mer rolled up to the Mo­tor Trend garage, I knew I had been given a com­pe­tent ve­hi­cle to chap­er­one.

The Crosstrek was de­vel­oped to be a com­fort­able and eco­nom­i­cal ur­ban ve­hi­cle of­fer­ing plenty of tech­nol­ogy and safety while hav­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity to nav­i­gate through the rough­est of weather and take you safely and con­fi­dently to your fa­vorite trail­heads, camp­ing spots, and light-duty dirt trails. If you look at the suc­cess of the out­go­ing model, the 2018 Crosstrek has a good chance of de­liv­er­ing on its prom­ises.

Our Crosstrek is the 2.0i Pre­mium model (the mi­dlevel trim) in a Cool Gray Khaki color, which looks more like a light blue matte. Re­gard­less, it’s an at­trac­tive color. Stan­dard fea­tures in­clude 17-inch alu­minum al­loy wheels, fog­lights, roof rails, a 6.5-inch Star­link mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem with Ap­ple Carplay and An­droid Auto, a USB port with smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity, a six-way man­u­ally ad­justable driver’s seat, and a rearview cam­era. For an ex­tra $800 our pre­mium-grade trim level adds stan­dard heated front seats, cloth up­hol­stery with orange stitch­ing, a leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel with orange stitch­ing, re­mote key­less en­try, au­to­matic head­lights, and the Star­link safety sys­tem (SOS emer­gency as­sis­tance but­ton, au­to­matic col­li­sion no­ti­fi­ca­tion, stolen ve­hi­cle re­cov­ery, etc.). Op­tional fea­tures in­clude a pack­age con­sist­ing of a power moon­roof and blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing with rear cross-traf­fic alert and lane change as­sist for $1,400, the $1,000 con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion (a six-speed man­ual is stan­dard), a $499 Rock­ford Fos­gate au­dio sys­tem up­grade, a cross­bar set, a rear bumper cover, a rub­ber seat-

back pro­tec­tor, and all-weather mats that added an­other $490.

For the next year we’ll see what it’s like liv­ing with the re­designed Crosstrek and how the lit­tle lifted Subaru braves

L.A.’S in­fa­mous traf­fic and dated road and high­way net­works.

With the beach, moun­tains, and desert nearby, we ex­pect to as­sess how the Crosstrek han­dles the snow, sand, and off-road trails, uti­liz­ing its stan­dard Sym­met­ri­cal All Wheel Drive sys­tem, im­pres­sive 8.7 inches of ground clear­ance, and op­tional off-road mode with hill-de­scent con­trol. The Subaru’s slow ac­cel­er­a­tion was the big­gest com­plaint by our ed­i­tors, so I will eval­u­ate how much of an is­sue that might be both on- and off-road.

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i (Pre­mium) will spend a year in our garage.

The Subaru Crosstrek will pull dou­ble duty—ur­ban com­mutes and trail­head trans­port— over the next year with us.

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