Reader Question: To Crosstrek . . . or Not?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply! 

Elizabeth asks: How do you feel about the Subaru Crosstrek?  I’m quite happy with mine – right size, etc. – but should I buy another one? I bought mine in 2013, the first year they came to the market. Has it improved since then or would you recommend another SUV around the same size with another company?

My reply: I personally like the Crosstrek; it’s priced very affordably – especially when you factor in that AWD is not extra-cost, as it is in other compact crossovers – and it has more ground clearance than others in the segment, which is almost as important as the AWD when the weather turns poor or if you live in a rural area, as I do – and have to deal with rutted/washed-out gravel and mud roads.

It also has a lot of interior/cargo space for its size and I like some of the available tech, including the headlights that turn with you in the curves.

The 2019 is basically the same as your 2013, with the exception of a bit more power (2.0 liters, 152 hp now) updates to the Starlink system and the availability of a plug-in hybrid model – which as it happens I am test driving this week!

Subaru has also addressed the one thing that the original Crosstrek (and Subarus generally) was criticized for – being too thirsty. Equipped with the CVT automatic transmission, the ’19 Crosstrek rates 27 city, 33 highway, which is good mileage for an AWD-equipped crossover SUV and certainly competitive with other models in the class.

I think, to answer your question, you need to ask yourself some questions.

The main one being: How important is poor weather (and poor road) capability to you? If it is very important, the Crosstrek is objectively superior to others in the class; it has more ground clearance and not only is AWD standard – as already discussed – it is a more sophisticated AWD system than competitors offer. It can route power side to side as well as front to back.

The second one being: Do you want more pep? The Crosstrek is not particularly peppy, as you probably already know. Part of the reason being it comes standard with AWD – which adds weight. The 2.0 liter engine is certainly adequate – but some find it weak. Not me, though.

But if you are happy with the peppiness of your ’13, I doubt you’ll be disappointed by the slightly increased peppiness – and higher fuel economy – of the new one!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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1 COMMENT

  1. I know a guy who lives in rural PA who got a Crosstrek for the reasons you mentioned, Eric. He has to deal with rutted roads, snow, etc.; no other vehicle met his needs as well as the Crosstrek. He likes the combination of ground clearance, practicality, and economy that it has.

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