Most small crossovers are tame as house cats, crafted solely for cruising down highways and navigating city streets. This is fine if your idea of a weekend adventure means a trip to the mall. But if you like dodging rocks on steep trails or barreling down narrow fire roads, the usual suspects won’t suffice. You’ll have to find a crossover that can hold its own once the paved road ends.
That’s where the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek comes in. This subcompact has the goods to get down and dirty in the great outdoors. Happily, it’s also refined enough to provide pleasing companionship on suburban commutes and family road trips.
The Subaru Crosstrek has been overhauled for 2018. As with previous generations, this model is based on the Subaru Impreza hatchback.
The Crosstrek steps up its hustle with this redesign. Utility is enhanced, thanks to the new model’s larger cargo area and wider rear-gate opening. A new platform brings improvements in ride comfort and a reduction in cabin noise. There’s also an expanded array of driver-assistive technology.
Overall, this Subaru offers ample fodder for your gratitude journal. Here are eight great traits of the all-new Crosstrek… along with a shortcoming you should be aware of before making a purchase.
Trail-busting can be a pleasant pastime, but only if you have the right vehicle for the task. The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is purpose-built to tackle rocky mountain lanes with confidence.
The Crosstrek comes with a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is enough to help you minimize the threat of boulders wreaking havoc on your vehicle’s undercarriage. All-wheel drive is standard for improved grip in mud and dirt, and for 2018, models equipped with the available continuously variable transmission (CVT) get an X-Mode that allows you to choose among different settings to optimize traction in various conditions. Hill-descent control is one of the features that comes with X-Mode, and it provides assistance when you’re traveling down steep peaks.
With the Crosstrek, you get a level of off-road agility that’s uncommon in vehicles within this segment.
Many modern vehicles place form above function. They come with high beltlines that lend a chic and stylish look, but the cost is impaired visibility.
You won’t have this problem with the Subaru Crosstrek. This little crossover has a tall greenhouse that gives the cabin an open, airy feel, and it provides excellent sight lines in all directions.
With that kind of impeccable visibility, you’ll have the clear perspectives you need to make the safest driving decisions.
Nobody likes to think about being involved in an accident. But if you’re shopping for a crossover, safety is something you should definitely consider.
Vehicles these days are built to offer more protection than ever before. Still, there are some models that rise above the crowd when it comes to overall crashworthiness.
The previous generation of the Crosstrek was a leader in its ability to protect its occupants during collisions. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2017 model scored a top Good rating in all crashworthiness evaluations, and it was deemed a Top Safety Pick in its segment.
The 2018 model hasn’t yet been crash tested, but all indications suggest it will surpass its predecessor in its ability to shield passengers from harm. Subaru says that the 2018 Crosstrek is built on a new platform providing crash energy absorption that’s 40 percent better than that of the outgoing model.
There are many benefits that come with all-wheel drive. This feature allows your vehicle to enjoy improved traction in rain and snow.
However, one downside to all-wheel drive is the effect it typically has on fuel economy. In many cases, this feature doesn’t do your finances any favors at the gas pump.
The Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive, and the good news is that this crossover still manages to deliver strong fuel economy. When equipped with the available CVT, this Subaru achieves an EPA rating of 27/33 mpg city/highway.
Subcompact vehicles aren’t typically hailed for their generous accommodations. When you’re shopping in this segment, it’s not uncommon to to find vehicles that are hobbled by tight second-row legroom.
The Crosstrek transcends this segment norm. Both front- and second-row passengers enjoy good legroom, and there’s space to comfortably accommodate those with longer limbs.
Cargo isn’t overlooked. The Crosstrek provides a robust 20.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the rear seat, and this figure swells to 55.3 cu.-ft with the rear seat folded.
Automakers know that driver-assistive technology provides huge benefits for consumers, and the race is on to be at the forefront when it comes to offering the latest and the greatest features. Every year, new technologies are rolled out that make it easier for you to enjoy a safe experience on the road.
The Crosstrek is part of this race to provide the most cutting-edge active safety amenities, and it’s in it to win it. Its list of available driver-assistive technology includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.
For 2018, the Crosstrek adds available rear automatic braking to its impressive arsenal. This feature uses sensors to detect if the path is clear when you’re reversing. If an obstacle is detected, the brakes are automatically applied.
The Crosstrek is a star when taken off-road, but how does it fare on pavement? Vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler make it clear that off-road skills sometimes come at the expense of on-road comfort.
Fortunately, this isn’t the case with the Crosstrek. Subaru says that the Crosstrek’s new platform improves on the outgoing model’s rigidity by 70 percent. This brings notable improvements in ride comfort, and it helps the Crosstrek keep harshness and vibration at bay.
The end result is a crossover that’s perfectly agreeable during city and suburban travels.
If you’ve ever groaned and winced as you’ve tried to seat yourself in a low-slung car or SUV, you know how tedious it can be to enter and exit a vehicle that sits close to the ground. If you have a condition like arthritis, this can quickly snowball from a minor hassle to a major annoyance.
One side benefit of the Crosstrek’s high ground clearance is that it facilitates hassle-free ingress and egress. You won’t have to contort yourself like a circus act to access the vehicle, since it stands tall enough to allow you to seat yourself with minimum hunching and bending.
This is easily one of the Crosstrek’s most user-friendly attributes.
A vehicle’s engine is the heart and soul of its physical structure. We rely on the engine to provide the power we need to finesse tricky passing maneuvers and to quickly escape hairy situations.
The Crosstrek’s engine is considerably less impressive than virtually all of its other parts. The previous generation was weakened by a mediocre engine, and this model sees only a 4-horsepower improvement relative to its predecessor. The 2018 Crosstrek provides 152 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque.
Don’t get us wrong–the Crosstrek’s engine is certainly adequate, and there’s enough juice on hand to help you safely navigate most situations. But if exceptionally peppy acceleration is a priority, we’d recommend casting your gaze in another direction.
True versatility is almost unheard of among small crossovers. There are a couple of models that easily handle off-road terrain, but the tradeoff is handling that’s less than refined on pavement.
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek meets the road ahead with poise and grace, whether that road is a gravel path or a paved highway. It also comes with features and amenities designed to make your life easier when you’re behind the wheel.
Subaru’s Crosstrek is a solid choice if you’re looking for a small crossover that’s comfortable in all circumstances.