Subaru’s affordable new compact crossover adds “new measures of sportiness and versatility” to the automaker’s lineup. It exhibits “perfectly nice manners” on normal roads, but with its raised ride height and proven all-wheel-drive system, it’s almost “omnivorous” on tougher terrain. Designed to compete with the Mini Countryman and the Nissan Juke, this cute ute “offers more overall capability,” plus a distinctive sense of style.
It’s “rather surprising” how much different the Crosstrek looks from the street-going Subaru it’s based on. Inside, the newbie is a ringer for an Impreza “but for the seat fabric.” From the outside, the mere addition of “cool” wheels, buff-looking body cladding, and “kicky” paint colors gives the Crosstrek a “fun, youthful” vibe. So what if the engine, transmission, and suspension were lifted from the Impreza? The “added dose of off-road-ability” seems well worth an extra $2,700.
The Crosstrek isn’t a “hard-core” off-roader, but its class-leading 8.7 inches of ground clearance help it play as capably as it commutes. Subaru’s target buyers want a vehicle “that can handle all-around adventure.” We’d say they’ve got it, and in a car that also delivers surprising roominess and best-in-class fuel economy.