2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Motor Trend - - LONG-TERM TEST -

“As mi­nor as they might seem, fea­tures like a push-start ig­ni­tion can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence in daily life.” Michael Cantu

Ser­vice life 8 mo/14,320 mi

Avg CO2 0.72 lb/mi

En­ergy cons 126 kw-hr/100 mi

Un­re­solved prob­lems None

Main­te­nance cost $0

Nor­mal-wear cost $0

Base price $23,510 As tested $26,899 Avg Fuel Econ: 26.8 mpg

It has been eight months since we re­ceived our long-term Crosstrek tester, and although we’re en­joy­ing our time in Subaru’s small­est crossover, it’s time to com­plain. Sorry, lit­tle Subaru, but the honey­moon is over.

Most higher-trim ve­hi­cles have a push­start ig­ni­tion. A prox­im­ity key—a fea­ture that al­lows you to touch or push a but­ton on the door han­dle to lock and un­lock the door—al­most al­ways ac­com­pa­nies a push-start ig­ni­tion. Sadly, our mi­dlevel Crosstrek Pre­mium is equipped with nei­ther a push-start nor a prox­im­ity key, and these aren’t avail­able un­less you opt for the top Lim­ited trim. This is un­for­tu­nate con­sid­er­ing the Pre­mium trim’s price.

Now, this might sound like nit­pick­ing. Af­ter all, key fobs and ig­ni­tion keys have been used for so long, but trust me: Once you get used to the con­ve­nience of just touch­ing a door han­dle to get in and push­ing a but­ton to start a car, you’ll never want to go back. Gone are the days of search­ing for your key fob while you hold items in your hands or hunt­ing for the ig­ni­tion and scratch­ing the area around it from failed at­tempts.

An­other fea­ture I miss that the Crosstrek should have at this price point: door locks that au­to­mat­i­cally un­lock when the ve­hi­cle is put into park and au­to­mat­i­cally lock again when the ve­hi­cle is put into drive or re­verse.

And Subaru, please give the Crosstrek lin­ear ac­cel­er­a­tion. A com­mon com­plaint about many Subarus is their neck­snap­ping ini­tial throt­tle re­sponse. Touch the throt­tle pedal just a lit­tle too ag­gres­sively, and the Crosstrek surges for­ward quickly, sur­pris­ing those not ready with an un­com­fort­able jerk. Dur­ing daily driv­ing with pas­sen­gers, this is al­ways in the back of my head and forces me to apply the throt­tle care­fully so that I don’t an­noy my oc­cu­pants. This shouldn’t be an is­sue. Subaru could re­duce the Crosstrek’s ini­tial throt­tle re­sponse as it’s done in the all-new 2019 As­cent; I’ve driven the As­cent, and my neck says thank you.

De­spite these flaws, we still look for­ward to get­ting the Crosstrek out of the con­crete jun­gle to bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence it in its nat­u­ral habi­tat, com­ing soon.

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