Subaru’s Crosstrek has been a success for the Japanese company since the get go. It hits a sweet spot for a certain market segment. A certain amount of off-road capability and chassis robustness, like an SUV. Not huge; easy to park and easy on fuel, like a compact.
Now the latest 2017 Crosstrek is about to hit showrooms, and Subaru has announced prices.
If you live north of the 45th parallel, why you should consider buying a Subaru is a pretty easy argument to make. You go to any large northern city: Seattle, Denver, Boise, Boston, Montreal – you’ll see Subarus of all stripes all over. If you live in say, Miami, you might not understand why these cars are so popular. That reason can be summed up in one word: Winter. If you want to get down the road any time of the year, any given Subaru is a real sensible choice. You can think of them as being less expensive Japanese versions of Audis, with all-wheel drive tech providing lots of grip in a bunch of horrid conditions – Seattle rain, Denver slush, ice in Boise etc. – and tons of practicality in hauling things and going places, all at a price much less than say, an Audi A4 Avant.
The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek is priced from $21,695. Audi’s comparable A4 Avant is, well, much more than that. So let’s look in detail at what Subaru’s Crosstrek has to offer.
Like all of Fuji Heavy Industry’s best, the Subaru Crosstrek features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard across the line. Essentially, that’s their corp-speak for a drivetrain featuring three limited slip viscous differentials; one in the center sending power fore and aft, and one at each axel sending power side to side. This gives you bags of grip, and, if that’s your bent, Subarus make really good rally cars too.
Not that we’d encourage that sort of thing. Oh no. Not us.
In addition to the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) there is also a 5-speed manual transmission for the 2.0i base model. The CVT also has a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters. Those allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.
Cargo Capacity & Fuel Mileage
The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek has 8.7-inches of ground clearance, meaning if you do lots of hiking or camping or kayaking or things of that nature, the Crosstrek is worth considering. There is also ample room for passengers and cargo. There are four doors and a tailgate for easy access to the versatile cargo area.
Given it’s capabilities, it’s one of the most fuel efficient all-wheel drive crossover vehicles in America, offering 33 mpg on the highway with the Lineartronic CVT. Given that all Crosstrek models come with a 2.0-liter boxer engine cranking out 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft. of torque, that’s a more than respectable MPG figure.
With a 103.7-inch wheelbase, there’s lots of room on the inside. There’s 35.4 inches of rear seat legroom, which is a lot for a car of this outward size. There’s a standard 60/40 split rear seat that provides a flat load floor and up to 51.9 cubic feet of carrying space.
Model Lineup & Availability
The base model comes standard with a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, plus audio and Bluetooth control switches; power windows, door locks, and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; security system with engine immobilizer; illuminated front console storage tray; outside temperature gauge; carpeted floor mats and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Premium models start at $22,495 and includes the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icer), body-color exterior mirrors, cargo area enhancements, upgraded interior trim, a 6-speaker sound system, retractable cargo cover, cargo tray, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The new for 2017 Premium Special Edition gives you even more goodies and gee-gaws. The SEs wear 5-spoke, dark gray aluminum-alloy 17-inch wheels. There is gloss black cabin trim appointments and red stitching on the cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shifter, and door trim. The red theme repeats for the illuminated front foot wells with an aluminum-alloy pedal cover and driver footrest. Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and SiriusXM come standard. The Special Edition is priced at $25,795 and is available exclusively in Pure Red or Crystal Black Silica with black badging.
All models of the 2017 Subaru Crosstrek will arrive at retailers in November.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life around racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.