Thank goodness for online ratings and reviews. They make life so much easier when, before you sign away a significant chunk of your future earnings, you can read that everyone agrees that Vehicle X is either the greatest or the worst investment ever.
That is until you see the opinions of two highly respected sources diverge. Not just a slight disagreement, either, but a difference so significant it makes you do a cartoon double-take to see if the reviews are really for the same item. Case in point: the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek.
Consumer Reports rates the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek #1
For 2020, Consumer Reports has proclaimed that the Subaru Crosstrek is the valedictorian of the subcompact SUV class. Even though it is basically a taller Impreza hatchback, it seems that there is a lot to like about the Crosstrek.
The ride is smooth even on a dirt road, not a given for an SUV, and the fuel-efficiency is rated a 4 out of 5. It is also notable that they found the rear seat to be roomy, also unusual for a subcompact.
The Subaru Crosstrek also has a plug-in hybrid version, which is a plus, but some issues with it kept Consumer Reports from touting its virtues like the standard version.
First, on electric power, you could only get to your corner convenience store before you had to power back up or switch to gas. They also noted that any time more engine power was needed, the car kicked back into gas power, making the gains you would expect to see in fuel efficiency negligible.
U.S. News rates the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek #7
That’s right, U.S. News and World Reports just gave the equivalent of a glove slap in the face to Consumer Reports, rating the Subaru Crosstrek as #7 among subcompact SUVs.
Even worse, the Crosstrek only garnered a measly #47 spot in crossover SUVs in their rankings. However the two sites do still agree on a few things, such as generous rear legroom and superior driver visibility. U.S. News also contends that the off-road capabilities are better than many of its peers.
If you look closely, you can see the eye roll and shrugged shoulders when U.S. News discussed the overall performance. Where Consumer Reports rated the reliability a 5 out of 5, U.S. News gave it a 2.5.
In an odd twist, U.S. News actually liked the cargo room, listing it in the pro column, while Consumer Reports rated it only a 2 out of 5. However, in the end, the Crosstrek only received a grade of 7.5 overall.
Who should we believe?
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When you have two strong but very different views on the same subject, it’s time to consult some other sources. Kelley Blue Book seems to align closely with the opinions of the Consumer Reports test drivers, agreeing on off-road ability and good fuel economy.
The KBB consumer reviews give the Crosstrek a 4.6/5 expert rating and a 4.5/5 consumer rating, while Car and Driver came in at a close second with an 8/10. Edmunds.com trails, aligning more closely with U.S. News, giving it a 7.5/10.
In the end, all the experts might not agree on its ranking among the subcompact SUV class, but they all have similar things to say. If you are looking for a smooth ride, roomy interior, superior off-road handling, and good gas mileage, the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek is a strong contender. If you are looking for cargo room, power, and performance, you might want to keep shopping.