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2018 Subaru Crosstrek review

18MY_Crosstrek_Prem-field

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is all-new for 2018 and that’s a very good thing. Subaru has taken the feedback of a not-so-quiet cabin, outdated technology, and a muted front end into consideration and delivered a redesigned compact SUV that keeps the things their loyal customers liked and improved the previous generation’s low points.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek exterior

There’s nothing sexy about the 2018 Crosstrek. Its purposeful design was created with safety in mind, yielding a unique but not unattractive exterior. The look flows from front to rear with a grille as well as head- and tail lamps that fall in line with the rest of the Subaru lineup. Tinted privacy glass is standard. Like its big brother the Subaru Forester, the Crosstrek looks smaller from the outside than it feels inside.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek performance

The midgrade 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium that I tested has a starting price of $22,595. It comes with the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that all Crosstrek models have but was equipped with the optional continuously variable transmission ($1,000), which was a tad noisy when the accelerator was pushed close to the floor. The powertrain achieves 152-horsepower and 145-lb.ft. of torque, which won’t knock anyone’s socks off but is perfectly acceptable for the vehicle’s segment.

Put to the test, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is, like Vermont, exactly as advertised. Last year I drove the redesigned 2018 model off-road in Tonto National Forest during Active Lifestyle Awards judging and was impressed with now nimble and composed it was as it made its way up rock covered hills and through half a foot or more of sand. In snow and and ice, the car behaves similarly, with its symmetrical all-wheel drive and vehicle dynamics control yielding a composed ride with the car never struggling. Parking and maneuvering around tight turns is easy.

The SUV got right around the EPA-estimated 33 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city, even while traversing mountains. The car’s large 16.6-gallon fuel tank meant that the its range was around 530 miles per tank- impressive.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek interior

On the inside, the Crosstrek is utilitarian but not unattractive. Its cabin is filled with durable materials and appears well-constructed. Buttons and dials are placed in a logical way though some aren’t as attractively faced as what you’ll find in other brand’s SUVs.

The car’s 6.5-inch touch screen infotainment system came standard, as it does in the base model. It works as advertised, just like the rest of the Crosstrek. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come standard, as does Bluetooth connectivity.

Four adults sat comfortably in the car, even when those over six feet tall spent the day in the back seat. Its seats are a little hard but are supportive. Their positioning makes sitting more comfortable than it is in the Outback.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek cargo

Thanks to the Crosstrek’s 64/40-split folding rear seat, I had no trouble fitting two pairs of skis, poles, ski boots, and a week’s worth of luggage for a couple in the car. Cargo tie down and grocery bag hooks were especially helpful in the spacious rear cargo area.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek safety

I’ve never been a big fan of EyeSight and thankfully it’s just an option on the Crosstrek. As someone who uses cruise control in multilane traffic frequently, the seemingly incessant beeping every time a vehicle enters or exits the current lane you’re traveling in gets old quickly. That isn’t to say that the system doesn’t work. The technology is effective and does everything as advertised. I do like the way it beeps to alert the driver that the vehicle in front has moved more than just a creep when stopped at a traffic light.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek pricing

For this review, Subaru added a number of extras to the Crosstrek 2.0i Premium including EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and the Optional Package, which includes a moonroof, blind spot detection, and rear traffic alert, bringing the grand total up to $26,905. That figure is in line with what similarly equipped vehicles, including the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Rogue Sport, and Honda HR-V cost. It’s worth noting that many vehicles in the class do not come with all-wheel drive standard, or even offered.

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is all-new for 2018 and that’s a very good thing. Subaru has taken the feedback of a not-so-quiet cabin, outdated technology, and a muted front end into consideration and delivered a redesigned compact SUV that keeps the things their loyal customers liked and improved the previous generation’s low points. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek exterior There’s nothing sexy about the 2018 Crosstrek. Its purposeful design was created with safety in mind, yielding a unique but not unattractive exterior. The look flows from front to rear with a grille as well as head- and tail lamps that fall in…
However, it’s hard to find many other situations where I’d require much for from a vehicle than what the Crosstrek offers.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Exterior
Interior
Infotainment
Performance
Fuel Economy
Safety

$26,905

However, it’s hard to find many other situations where I’d require much for from a vehicle than what the Crosstrek offers.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek final thoughts

For a long car trip with family, I’d want a larger SUV like the Subaru Forester or forthcoming Subaru Ascent. However, it’s hard to find many other situations where I’d require much for from a vehicle than what the Crosstrek offers. I wouldn’t buy the car with EyeSight, however. I’d get the top of the line 2.0i Limited model, which comes with blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert standard. Among other upgrades, that model has leather upholstery. All told, it comes in at around the same overall price as the model I tested.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek gallery

The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of this review. All of our opinions are our own.

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Written by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen is the writer of the nationally syndicated column Automotive Minute in The Business Journals, which explores the automotive industry focusing on news, reviews, and interviews. She loves finding out about the business strategy, design, and drivability of vehicles. Eileen is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report Best Cars.

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