The Subaru Crosstrek has always been a good subcompact SUV – nicely styled, well equipped, and enjoyable to drive. Slapping a Sport (or Limited or Wilderness) badge onto its backside gives it a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine with 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, which marks an improvement of 30 hp and 33 lb-ft over the base 2.0-liter model.
But is that enough to make this Subaru more engaging? I'm driving the newest 2024 Crosstrek Sport to see if that's the case. Beyond the more powerful engine, the Sport model also gets a light redesign with neon yellow accents inside and out, bigger 18-inch wheels, and a standard 11.6-inch vertical touchscreen in the center console. The lone gearbox is a CVT, and as with all Subarus save the BRZ, all-wheel drive comes standard.
The 2024 Crosstrek starts at $26,540 with the $1,345 destination fee included, and the Sport starts at $30,935 before options. This particular tester has one package equipped; the $1,920 Optional package adds blind-spot detection, a rear cross-traffic alert, a power driver’s seat, and a power moonroof. The as-tested price comes out to a still-reasonable $32,210.
I’ve been driving this 2024 Crosstrek Sport for a few days, and it’s solid so far. I’ll have a full review of the Subaru in the coming week.
What’s Good So Far?
- Power is noticeably improved. One of my gripes with the base Crosstrek is that the 2.0-liter is lethargic off the line, but the upgraded 2.5-liter engine on the Sport model gives this SUV some much-needed low-end shove.
- It’s still comfortable. Even with bigger wheels, more power, and a Sport badge, this Crosstrek doesn’t sacrifice ride comfort or cabin quietness for the sake of performance.
- It’s well-priced; $32,000 won’t get you much for most SUVs these days, but the Crosstrek Sport feels like a relative bargain. It has a nice powertrain, a comfortable interior, and good enough safety and technology for most people without breaking the bank.
What’s Bad So Far?
- The touchscreen is laggy. Yes, the 11.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen looks cool when you open the door, but its functionality is pretty poor. The graphics look outdated, the layout is messy, and the touch-responsiveness is lethargic. At least it has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- The CVT is just okay. Subaru tunes its CVTs well compared to some other manufacturers, but it will never be as sharp as a traditional geared transmission. An auto paired with this engine would do the Crosstrek good.
- The styling is hit-and-miss. I like the look of the Crosstrek line as a whole, but the yellow accents and the 18-inch wheels on the Sport model look a bit like AutoZone add-ons. But that’s just me – we all know styling is highly subjective.