|A ground-up redesigned adds sophistication to the 2018 Crosstrek’s styling. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The Crosstrek found nearly 10,000 buyers across the country last year, or 9,723 to be exact, which means that it’s starting to nudge up against the alternative Japanese brand’s popular Outback that sold 11,255 units during the same 12 months, as well as the next bestselling Impreza with 11,673 examples down the road in 2016, plus the all-important Forester that found a grand total of 13,798 buyers last year. The rest of the line includes the WRX/STI compact performance sedan with a total of 4,217 sales, the Legacy mid-size sedan with 3,001 deliveries, and the BRZ sports coupe with a total of 740 buyers.
|The new Crosstrek gets a slightly chunkier look all-round. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The Impreza was totally redesigned for the 2017 model year and has grown in popularity since debuting the year before, its total sales over the first six months of 2017 already at 7,401 units, which could result in nearly
|A new grille and front fascia adds plenty of visual presence. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Everything that made the 2017 Impreza an altogether better car than its predecessor is now part of the 2018 Crosstrek package, so it would make sense if the new Crosstrek achieved a similar sales growth trajectory. Of course, being a compact SUV it’s priced higher than its lower-slung sibling, despite the Impreza coming standard with Subaru’s highly regarded full-time Symmetrical all-wheel drive. In fact, you can get into an Impreza sedan for only $19,995, or $20,895 for the hatchback, whereas the Crosstrek will set you back $23,695, which is still great value for a compact crossover SUV, but a bit further from the entry-level consumer’s reach.
|Available LED headlights give the Crosstrek an upscale premium look and better nighttime safety. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Of course, a larger Crosstrek will be seen as a better value than most subcompact SUV competitors that are priced similarly yet don’t deliver the same bang for the buck,
|New 18-inch wheels are exclusive to the Crosstrek Limited. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
In the 2018 Crosstrek’s corner is the same new Subaru Global Platform that helped transform the Impreza from a competent compact car into one of the Honda Civic’s more convincing competitors, its stiffer more capable underpinnings resulting in the normally juxtaposed qualities of better handling and a smoother ride, plus greater refinement and an all-round quieter interior.
|The roof rails are standard, but the powered moonroof comes with Sport and Limited trims. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Along with the nicer soft and hard points, the new Crosstrek gets a more appealing interior design with nicer materials choices, some of which are downright rich looking, raising Subaru further into the near-luxury class that its exclusive brand characteristics warrant, some of which include the class-leading all-wheel drive system mentioned a moment ago, now with Active Torque Vectoring that was first introduced for the WRX and WRX STI, plus its unique lineup
|The new Crosstrek looks good from all angles. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Enhancing the value equation, the new 2018 Crosstrek comes in a new entry-level trim dubbed Convenience, with the model’s three additional trims including Touring, Sport and Limited, the latter two also available with the brand’s EyeSight advanced driver-assistance systems.
If you’re not familiar with EyeSight, the package includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, lead vehicle start alert, lane departure warning, lane sway warning, and new for 2018, lane keep assist, which is another way of saying autonomous corrective steering.
|A new LED taillight design is the most noticeable change from the rear. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
If you think that’s impressive, consider that Sport and Limited trims also feature steering-responsive full low- and high-beam LED headlights, while all 2018 Crosstrek trims come standard with helpful dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera. I certainly can’t think of a safer compact crossover in either the mainstream or premium sector, and we’ve only touched on the benefits of Symmetrical all-wheel drive that add another element of active safety to this impressive little five-door.
|Subaru has upped the Crosstrek’s refinement dramatically. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
As noted, the new Crosstrek starts at $23,995 plus freight and fees, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to the CX-3 and Trax that start at $19,995 apiece, the RVR and new Qashqai that hit the market at $19,998 each, or bestselling HR-V
|The 2018 Crosstrek delivers a near premium experience inside. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The fully loaded 2018 Crosstrek Limited with EyeSight seen on these pages was priced quite a bit higher yet at $33,195 before freight and fees, but this is still a superb deal when compared to some of the SUVs on the above list. The Compass Limited, for instance, will set you back a premium-like $42,095 when outfitted with similar features.
I realize the rocky road a complete comparison between all of these subcompact SUVs could lead us down, so without further differentiation I bestow the mantle of good value upon the new 2018 Crosstrek no
|A large colour multi-info display provides quick, useful info. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
To that end, base Crosstrek Convenience trim includes AWD, sharp looking 17-inch machine-finish alloys, a rooftop spoiler, roof rails, power-adjustable heated side mirrors, remote access, tilt and telescopic steering, a trip computer, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, filtered air conditioning, the previously mentioned high-resolution colour 6.5-inch Starlink infotainment touchscreen with a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming (with Near Field Communication that really improves pairing), aux and USB ports, four-wheel discs with ABS, electronic brake-force
|The Limited model’s centre stack is filled with impressive features. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Move up to $25,295 Touring trim and the equipment list grows to include auto on/off headlamps, fog lights, a windshield wiper de-icer, a shark’s fin roof antenna, welcome lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter with orange stitching, single-zone auto climate control, a 4.2-inch colour multi-information display in the gauge cluster, a 6.3-inch colour LCD multifunction display over the centre stack on the dash top, six-speaker audio (instead of four), heatable front seats, chromed inner door handles, premium cloth upholstery with orange stitching, a folding rear centre armrest with integrated cupholders, a retractable cargo cover, and more.
|This large colour multi-info display sits on the centre dash top. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Lastly, $31,695 Limited trim adds a standard Lineartronic CVT with X-Mode and hill descent control, stylish 18-inch machine-finished alloys, some additional chrome exterior trim, turn signals on the side mirror housings, some nice satin-silver interior detailing, charcoal grey perforated leather upholstery with orange stitching
|Large colourful digital buttons make the new 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen easier to navigate. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Of note, Sport and Limited models with EyeSight also get proximity-sensing access with pushbutton ignition, the latter starting up Subaru’s well-proven DOHC, 16-valve 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine tuned to produce 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque thanks to new direct fuel injection. It’s joined up to a hill-holder assisted six-speed manual gearbox in Convenience, Touring and Sport trims, with the CVT optional in each if desired, and standard with the Limited as already noted. The autobox includes seven pseudo gears that can be modulated
|The CVT gets seven stepped gears and X-Mode, standard in Limited trim. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
I’m not saying the Crosstrek feels slow, but it’s not exactly exhilarating off the line either. Fortunately it’s quite efficient with a claimed five-cycle fuel economy rating of 10.5 L/100km in the city and 8.1 on the highway with the manual or an even more agreeable 8.8 city and 7.2 highway with the CVT, while all variables qualify for ultra-clean Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) status.
Where the Crosstrek outshines many of those competitors mentioned earlier is in driving dynamics, both when it comes to performance handling and ride quality. While
|Perforated leather seats with orange stitching look fabulous and feel even better. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
That new platform is responsible for more interior room too, the new 2,665-mm (104.9-inch) wheelbase increased by 30 mm (1.2 inches) over the previous version,
|The powered moonroof gets a sliding sunshade. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
The rear seatbacks once again fold 60/40 into a very functional flat load floor. Subaru claims there’s a wider rear gate too, which means that its overall passenger/cargo capability has improved. By the numbers the new Crosstrek can haul 588 litres (20.7 cubic feet) of gear in the very back and 1,631 litres (57.6 cubic feet)
|Rear roominess and comfort is improved over the outgoing model. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
Ground clearance is 221 mm (8.7 inches), by the way, which together with its better-than-average AWD system makes the Crosstrek a lot more useful for trudging through snowy ski hill parking lots than most challengers, or for that matter tackling light- and even some medium-duty off-road trails.
On that note, Subaru’s full-time Symmetrical AWD is ideally lined up down the centre of the vehicle for the best possible weight distribution and power delivery. What’s more, it’s built into a platform architecture that was designed from the outset to work solely with AWD. On top of this is the X-Mode
|The Crosstrek has always been a good family hauler. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
I’ve yet to say much about the new Crosstrek’s styling, and rather than delve into all the details you can clearly see for yourself, I’m just going to give it two thumbs up for not deviating from the original model’s design too much. I really liked the previous generation and continue to like this one a lot too, the new one adding a touch of sophistication to the funky five-door shape, especially when the LED headlights are added.
The new model wowed me more inside as mentioned previously, with a level of materials quality, fit, finish, and refinement that puts some premium-branded models
|The Crosstrek gets more maximum load space for 2018. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)|
This, together with ergonomics that fit my body to a T (not the case with many Toyota models), the 2018 Crosstrek is a car that I could get very used to having in my personal long-term fleet. I certainly have no qualms recommending you check one out for yourself.
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