I’ve been a somewhat silent fan of the Crosstrek (previously XV Crosstrek) since they showed up stateside a few years ago. With the 2018 model, Subaru has finally addressed many of the issues I had with the outgoing model.
It may not be a huge improvement, but its an improvement none the less. A revised version of the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost performance to a whopping 152-hp (vs. 148 before). The outgoing 2.0-liter was painfully slow when paired to the CVT, which put it off our list the last time we were shopping for a vehicle. A 6-speed manual transmission is still available for base and premium trim levels (hooray!) while the CVT, with 7 speed configurations, is available (limited comes standard with the CVT).
The 2018 Crosstrek rides on a 104.9-in. wheelbase, up 1.2-in. over the last generation. Just 0.6-in. longer than the outgoing model and 0.9- in. wider, the 2018 Crosstrek claims to have a much larger cargo area thanks to the wider gate opening area.
The Crosstrek retains its impressive ground clearance at 8.7-in – a figure that remains higher than many much larger SUVs.
One of the coolest additions to the 2018 model year is the availability of X-Mode – something that was previously only available on the Outback and Forester. X-Mode optimizes the vehicle’s all wheel drive and braking systems to increase traction on slick surfaces and steep inclines.
Multimedia features include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and Near Field Communication to simplify Bluetooth pairing.
Overall, I feel like the improvements were well thought out and certainly give the Crosstrek an edge over any other AWD hatchback on the market, but I’ll have to wait and see if the additional 4 hp make that big of a difference during acceleration before I’d consider buying one myself.