2018 Subaru Crosstrek
“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.