Don’t Chuck Gravel at Your 2017 Subaru Crosstrek

The average car owner wouldn’t chuck gravel at their vehicle. But if you own a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek and feel the urge to do just that, you might want to think again. Apparently, this Crosstrek model year is fairly thin-skinned when it comes to getting hit with stuff — even bird poop. Though, in all fairness, if you got hit with bird poop, you’d probably feel a little thin-skinned yourself.

Yep, bird poop is like acid rain to a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek, owners claim

A red 2017 Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition parked at the bottom of a rocky cliff as a climber scales it
2017 Subaru Crosstrek Special Edition | Subaru of America, Inc.

You might have thought the “even bird poop” statement was a bad attempt at humor. You’d be wrong. That would define the other sentence more.

According to one owner’s submission on CarComplaints.com: “The paint is so fragile that bird poop that was in my hood dissolved the clear coat AND paint and got down to the aluminum. It looks terrible. There are dozens of smaller bird poop marks all over my car that have stained the [paint] yellow, even on surfaces that are waxed. I am frightened to see what this car will look like after 10 years or 100,000 miles.”

The owner added that they purchased their 2017 Subaru Crosstrek new and soon found out how easily the interior materials got scuffed and scratched. In addition, the exterior paint and chrome are fragile. After only 9,000 miles and “5 dirt road miles” later, their Crosstrek’s hood and bumpers have chips down to the aluminum and plastic. They even found gravel chips on the rear bumper.

“Additionally, the ‘chrome’ on the grill is bubbling (about an inch) from a small rock hit that I must have gotten,” the owner added. “So much for having a rugged vehicle.”

6-year-olds do the darndest things

Another owner wrote, “Every little flying object or abrasion seems to knock the paint down to the primer.” What better way to find this out than having your 6-year-old chuck “a smallish piece of driveway gravel” at your thin-skinned Subaru Crosstrek? Apparently, it was supposed to be an underhanded toss “over” her head — instead, it only served to remind them how fragile the paint was.

“Every little rock and stone from the roadway exposes primer somewhere. Wasn’t a problem on the Mazda this replaced or on my 2005 Dodge RAM.” Yup, so much for ruggedness.

CarComplaints.com’s “Severity Rating” level for this issue earned the 2017 Subaru Crosstrek a score of only 4.0. This is most likely because there were only two complaints concerning the paint and chrome being easily damaged. Several more complaints would probably double that score.

Can we expect a better paint job on the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

If you follow MotorBiscuit, you know we’re fans of Subaru. After all, we’ve published several articles listing the Crosstrek as an alternative to other popular small SUVs. Don’t take it from us — brand loyalty has remained high for Subaru over the years, resulting in high scores. But no vehicle is 100 percent free of issues. However, no vehicle is free of issues, either. Nevertheless, of all brands, Subaru should be well above cut-rate paint jobs and shoddy chrome trim.

The question is: What should we expect from the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek?

According to Subaru, the 2021 Crosstrek starts at $22,245 before taxes, fees, and extras. Compared to the competition, it’s slightly above the rest in terms of refinement and fuel efficiency. Both the base model and premium trim come standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. The powertrain is paired with a six-speed manual or an automatic continuously variable transmission.

When it comes to the Crosstrek’s interior, U.S. News reported it’s spacious enough to make it seem “not so subcompact.” The reviewer wrote, “This vehicle has 20.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Folding them down opens up 55.3 cubic feet. Both totals are above average for a small SUV.”

As for the 2017 paint-chipping problem: All we can say is that the Crosstrek has been the least-complained-about vehicle thus far. But, of course, it’s always a good idea not to rush to buy any vehicle — be upfront with your dealer about any concerns before signing on the dotted line.

RELATED: Which 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Is the Best?