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Subaru is a Japanese automaker that has a lot of fans, and they’re fans of Subaru cars not just because of how they perform, but because of something else. In fact, while the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek scored well in most areas, its best-scoring area was also the area where it’s the most unique in. Here’s a look at the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek and the one area where it truly shines.

A safe, small 2023 Subaru Crosstrek shows off liftback car proportions with bright blue paintwork.
2023 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

This is what Edmunds had to say about the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is a subcompact crossover SUV that starts at about $24,000, and according to Edmunds, it’s a good vehicle that the car critic recommends. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets 152 hp, and it’s not a great option as it’s “painfully slow”, especially at highway speeds. That said, Subaru fixed this problem a few years ago when it introduced an optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that gets 182 hp.

That 182-hp engine trims almost 2 seconds off of the Crosstrek’s 0 to 60 mph time, and it allows it to hit 60 mph in just 8.4 seconds. Despite that improved performance, drivers shouldn’t expect a car that drives well as the Crosstrek’s handling is also underwhelming. The subcompact SUV also has an underwhelming amount of cargo capacity, as it only maxes out at 55 cu-ft. 

But while the cargo space is less than ideal, the Japanese automaker gave the Subie plenty of space with its seats. The cabin is comfortable and quiet to be in, and Subaru designed it well. The infotainment system features a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and the car critic described the screen as “crisp” and “appealing.” 

The one area where the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek shines

Overall, Edmunds gave the Subie a score of 7.9 out of 10, and that reflects the fact that it received a score of 7.5 or 8 out of 10 in most categories. One category that it really shined in, however, was the “wildcard” category, and the Crosstrek received an 8.5 out of 10 there. This category, like its name may imply, varies from car to car. 

In the case of the Crosstrek, the car critic evaluated its off-roading capabilities for its price, and this was why it scored so well. Like with every other Subaru model, the Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive, and that can dramatically improve its off-roading capabilities. On top of that, the Crosstrek comes with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is a good amount for a small SUV.

The Japanese automaker also offers several options that can improve the off-roading capability of the Crosstrek. For instance, drivers can add the company’s X-Mode feature, which is a drive setting that’s designed for off-roading. Hill descent control is also an option, as are bigger wheels. Those options will increase the SUV’s price tag, but that’s where the Crosstrek’s low starting price tag comes in handy.

There aren’t many other SUVs that can compete with the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek there

Since the Subie starts at about $24,000, even if car shoppers choose the Limited trim, that will only bump its price tag to about $31,000. That’s an affordable price tag for all the off-roading features that the car offers. Like Edmunds wrote, that combination of affordability and off-road capability makes the Crosstrek, “a gateway into the outdoors with a bit of its own flash, style and finally enough horsepower.”

There are few cars in the segment that can compete with the Crosstrek there. The car critic said that there may only be one or two other options that can “go as far off the beaten path.” 


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