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Is the Subaru Crosstrek Worth Buying?

The Subaru Crosstrek competes in the subcompact crossover segment against some worthy competitors like the Honda HR-V and Kia Seltos. And while others in its class have proven to be great values, they conform to typical SUV look while the Crosstrek brings unique styling, a host of safety features, and standard all-wheel drive to the table. But even with everything it has to offer, is the Crosstrek worth buying?

A unique proposition

The Subaru Crosstrek first debuted in 2012 at the New York Auto Show for the 2013 model year. Back then, it was called the “XV Crosstrek” and was based on the Impreza platform.

Over the past few years, it gained features and lost the “XV” part of its moniker, but it’s purpose always remained the same: to be a capable all-terrain, compact SUV.

Now in its second generation, the Crosstrek soldiers on and is offered with the Eyesight suite of safety features as standard equipment (on the higher Limited trim) and is even available with a manual transmission (on the lower Premium trim).

As always, the Crosstrek brings a unique proposition to consumers in that It’s essentially a lifted Impreza hatchback with rugged exterior cladding and well-sorted, no-nonsense interior.

A new Subaru Crosstrek on display at an auto show
A 2020 Subaru Crosstrek on display | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

All the right stuff

The Subaru Crosstrek is built on Subaru’s Global Platform and utilizes high-strength steel for maximum durability when it comes to crash safety. And it works, as the Crosstrek obtained 5 out of 5 stars on NHTSA’s overall crash rating and earned a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.

Additionally, the Crosstrek has everything you would need when it comes to trekking the outdoors; 8.7 inches of ground clearance, raised roof rails for mounting cargo and accessories, and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.

But what if you’re not planning on traversing any slightly off-road trails? Then the Crosstrek also has you covered there as it’s feature set offers an array of creature comforts and it has plenty of passenger and cargo volume.

Well equipped

The Crosstrek is available in three different trim levels: Base, Premium, and Limited. On the base trim, you’ll get auto climate control, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a back-up camera.

While stepping up to the Premium and Limited trim levels will get you a leather-wrapped steering wheel and seating surfaces, heated mirrors and front seats, blind-spot detection, an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch screen, as well as bigger wheels and tires.

Similar features can be found on competitors like the Honda HR-V, Kia Seltos, and Mazda CX-30, however, those subcompact SUVs don’t have the same ruggedness and versatility as the Crosstrek.

One major drawback

In both of the Crosstrek reviews from Consumer Reports and Kelley Blue Book, they noted that it had a quiet interior and a comfortable ride, however, the engine power was severely lacking.

As it turns out, the Crosstrek’s Achilles heel is it’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. According to Kelley Blue Book, it’s good enough for day-to-day driving, but when pushed hard, the engine power is “barely adequate” and that “planning an overtaking taking move requires a foot to the floor and a prayer for following wind.”

There’s much truth to this as the Crosstrek consistently has clocked 0-60 runs in the 10-second range, which is slower than the competition.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek is on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show
2019 Subaru Crosstrek is on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Is it worth buying?

The Subaru Crosstrek has a starting price of about $22,000 and goes up to $27,000 for the Limited trim, which is on par with rivals in its segment. However, is the lack of engine power a good reason to skip on the Crosstrek altogether?

We don’t think so, as its handy off-road capability and compact, yet spacious packaging supersedes its inability to get up to speed quickly. After, it’s not like the other subcompact SUVs are racecar-like.

So if you’re looking for something versatile, safe, and well put-together, then we would say that the Subaru Crosstrek is worth a look.