Test Drive: Subaru Crosstrek Offers Improved Performance Without Sacrificing Affordability

Subaru of America is rolling out a third-generation Crosstrek with improved handling and a slew of standard safety features. But what it is keeping is last year’s pricing. 

The starting MSRP of the 2024 Crosstrek is $24,995 — the same as the 2023 Crosstrek.

The vehicle features an all-new exterior and interior designs with a 10% stiffer chassis to create a fun and comfortable driving experience both on and off-road.  

And when Subaru says this vehicle can go off-road, the automaker means it. The company recently offered a group of journalists the opportunity to drive Crosstreks equipped with the 2.5L engine up and down a ski mountain on muddy trails. The compact SUV handled it without so much as a hiccup. 

The Crosstrek debuted 12 years ago and quickly became the fastest-selling vehicle in history for Subaru of America, with more than a million units sold. In 2022, Crosstrek was the top performer by volume with 155,142 annual sales, achieving its best year ever.

For 2024, the Crosstrek will be available in base, premium, sport and limited trim levels. A Wilderness package is planned for the 2025 model year and will roll out this fall. 

All models include EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which can identify bicycles and pedestrians at intersections sooner and, when necessary, alerts the driver and applies braking to avoid collisions. Standard rear seat reminder is designed to help prevent child and/or pet entrapment by alerting the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle.

Standard across the model line is a revised Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with a faster response time, more agile handling and better control both on- and off-road. Driver-selectable X-Mode with hill descent control maximizes wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines.

The automaker will continue to offer the option of wireless Apple CarPlayand wireless Android Auto.

The 2024 Crosstrek has been designed around the concept of utility and sportiness that lends itself to an active lifestyle -- which, no surprise, is the main attribute of the target customer. 

A recent survey indicates that almost 25% of Crosstrek owners intend to take their vehicles off-road. 

“That is much higher than just about everything else in the segment,” says Garrick Goh, Subaru manager, carline planning for Crosstrek. “Our customers are using these cars to go on adventures, so we wanted to create something that enables their adventure. They can’t just look the part. Getting there is half the fun.”

About half of Crosstrek owners like to bring their pet along for the fun, so the vehicle includes easily cleanable surfaces including a large rubber mat that covers the entire cargo area. The rear seats fold completely flat, making the area perfect for a dog crate and other gear. 

The 8.7-inch ground clearance for all Crosstrek models is greater than that of many SUVs, yet it maintains a comfortably low step-in height for both front and rear passenger entry. 

For the first time, Crosstreks will be made in the U.S. The 2.5-liter Sport and Limited will be produced at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana and will begin arriving in Subaru retailers this summer. Production of the 2.0-liter Base and Premium will continue at the Subaru plant in Gunma, Japan and are already available at Subaru retailers.

While most owners won’t deliberately take the vehicle up and down a muddy mountain, it’s good to know the Crosstrek has the chops to do so and get you to your destination safely. 

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