Don’t think the Subaru Crosstrek is a legitimate off-roader? Well then, maybe this video of a Subaru Crosstrek equipped with a CVT transmission tackling one of the toughest obstacles at the legendary off-road course in Moab, UT will change your mind. As it turns out, you don’t need locking differentials and an air suspension to enjoy off-roading after all.
The Subaru Crosstrek debuted in 2012 as a more rugged version of the Subaru Impreza hatchback. The Subaru Crosstrek treatment includes a lifted suspension, a more rugged exterior, and unique aluminum wheels when compared to the Impreza it is based on. Thanks to Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, the Subaru Crosstrek can send power to wheels with the most traction making it a great off-road ally.
Power isn’t the Subaru Crosstrek’s strong suit, as it has to make do with only 148 horsepower (110 Kilowatts) and 145 lb-ft (196 Newton Meters) of torque from its 2.0-liter FB20B 2.0-liter flat-4. In 2021 Subaru introduced the Crosstrek Sport, which includes a new 2.5-liter flat-4 with 182 horsepower (136 Kilowatts) and 176 lb-ft (239 Newton Meters) of torque. The Crosstrek featured in the video is a gen 1, which means it has a weaker engine and cannot rely on horsepower to solve problems.
The Subaru Crosstrek owner in this video modified their Subaru with a lifted suspension, off-road wheel and tire setup, and a more aggressive front bumper for better approach angles. These small modifications were more than enough to help this little Subaru take on the Devil's Hot Tub, an obstacle that has challenged off-roaders for decades.
Even with full tire pressure and open differentials, this little Subaru Crosstrek pulled itself out of the Devil’s Hot Tub with a little help from momentum management. Since the Crosstrek has open differentials, it has a tough time managing power when a wheel is in the air during difficult obstacles.
Does this video prove that the Subaru Crosstrek is a true off-roader? Or is it still just a slightly improved Impreza hatchback?