2018 Subaru Crosstrek Review: Go Off The Beaten Path

– Los Angeles, California

There’s a sweet spot in the crowded crossover class reserved for the Subaru Crosstrek. It’s a charming, butch little thing, with standard all-wheel drive, lots of room inside, and a “who cares if it gets dirty?” attitude. Rather than rethink the Crosstrek’s existence, Subaru has instead embraced its niche status for its 2018 model year refresh. It’s got the same attitude, but has improvements in key areas that make it more pleasant to drive and nicer to use day to day.

 

Pros

Better to live with. Because the 2018 Crosstrek is essentially a lifted version of the redesigned Impreza, it benefits from all the same improvements in overall refinement. That means it’s quieter inside, with better materials used throughout the cabin. It’s no superstar of comfort or luxury – maybe class-average at best. But if you’ve spent a lot of time in the old Crosstrek, you’ll definitely notice – and appreciate – the big interior upgrade.

Better to drive (mostly). The Crosstrek rides on a completely new architecture, which pays dividends in the ride-and-handling department. Even on the smaller 17-inch wheels, the Crosstrek is composed in the corners, with responsive steering that’s quick to respond and light in overall action. On the highway, the Crosstrek rides with planted confidence, and even on rough pavement – or dirt roads, where the Subie loves to play – the high-riding Impreza is solid and stable. And fun to slide around a gravely corner. The powertrain itself, ho...