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Subaru is known for its durable vehicles that integrate seamlessly with an active lifestyle. With popular models such as the Outback and Forester, some drivers may assume that all Subarus are excellent. Unfortunately, that assumption could fool some shoppers. Such is the case for the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek.  

The brand-new 2021 Crosstrek is a stellar subcompact SUV that delivers unrivaled off-road performance. And Subaru’s strong resale value makes it an intriguing buy. However, you’ll quickly notice that older Crosstrek models aren’t created equal.

Let’s examine the 2016 Crosstrek to show why you’d be better off skipping this model and buying another used car instead.

The pros and cons of owning a used 2016 Subaru Crosstrek

A blue 2016 Subaru Crosstrek driving down a highway road
The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek in action | Photo via Subaru

It’s no secret why people buy Subaru vehicles. Most of the brand’s models come standard with all-wheel drive. This equates to better off-road capabilities and surefooted performance while driving in the snow.

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek pairs its AWD system with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on the base trim. But most models feature a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT.)

This subcompact SUV delivers incredible fuel efficiency for its class. CVT-equipped models get an EPA-estimated 29 MPG city/highway combined.

Usually, a roomy cabin and fuel efficiency don’t go hand-in-hand. But for the Subaru Crosstrek, they do. It provides a bit more interior space than you’d expect for the class. However, this room comes at a cost, as its insufficient cargo space leaves something to be desired. 

Unfortunately, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek sacrifices performance to achieve its impressive gas mileage numbers. Publications like Kelley Blue Book criticized the Crosstrek for its underpowered engine, which makes just 147 hp.

Is the 2016 Crosstrek just a taller Subaru Impreza Hatchback?

A silver 2016 Subaru Impreza Sedan parked next to a grey 2016 Subaru Impreza Hatchback in a city street
The 2016 Impreza Sedan and Hatchbacks on display | Photo via Subaru

Subaru makes some truly unique vehicles, such as the WRX and BRZ. However, the 2016 Crosstrek isn’t anything special. In reality, it just seems like an Impreza Hatchback on stilts.

The Impreza features a nearly identical powertrain setup as the Crosstrek; plus, it delivers one extra horsepower. Consumer Reports’ review of the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek recommends buying the Impreza Hatchback over its taller sibling, provided you don’t need additional ground clearance for off-road excursions.

The publication noted how the Impreza delivers more agile performance, likely due to its smaller size. Additionally, you can get Subaru’s compact car for a lower price.

However, neither of these models are truly excellent used cars. That’s why we recommend looking at entirely different options.

Explore these pre-owned alternatives

We can’t deny that buying a used 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is tempting, considering the value it offers. The majority of its trim levels are exceptionally well-equipped. And Consumer Reports estimates that its average retail price ranges between $14,625 and $16,725.

However, you can buy a much better used car in this price range. The U.S. News & World Report lists the 2019 Hyundai Kona and 2018 Mazda CX-3 as its top pre-owned subcompact SUVs between $15,000-$20,000.

Both models deliver sportier performance and more standard safety features. Plus, the 2019 Kona and 2018 CX-3 will have less wear-and-tear on them than a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek.

If you’re looking for a vehicle with high-tech amenities, you should look elsewhere. Notably, the 2016 Crosstrek only comes standard with a rearview camera. But Subaru loaded newer Crosstrek models with an array of smart safety systems.


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