Subaru vehicles continue to pride themselves on being one of the most reliable brands on the road, along with having some off-roading chops and all-wheel-drive throughout the lineup, with the exception of the RWD BRZ sports car. When it comes to affordability and versatility, vehicles like the Crosstrek have risen above most in offering a crossover utility vehicle package that stands the test of time with its simplistic approach and economic factors.
For the 2024 model year, the Subaru Crosstrek gets refreshed slightly with some updated equipment and mild styling reworking. Otherwise, the Crosstrek continues its path of essentially being a more capable alternative to the Subaru Impreza hatchback. With that, the Subaru Crosstrek receives many updated bits that give us a more agreeable vehicle with a quieter cabin, updated safety, a 10% stiffer chassis, a more responsive steering rack taken from the new WRX, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration through the latest Subaru STARLINK 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen system that’s portrait-styled oriented.
For the exterior, the Crosstrek remains to retain much of its poky-looking stature with an elongated front end and busty SUV-like cabin area. The body cladding around the wheel wells also remains to signify the off-roading capability of the Crosstrek, while there are new LED headlights, fog lights, and taillights.
In the performance arena, the Subaru Crosstrek doesn’t improve much outside its base trim level (Base and Premium trims) 2.0-liter boxer (horizontally opposed) 4-cylinder engine’s 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. Although, the reworking of the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) seems to add a bit of additional low-end throttle response, which is where things matter to get the Crosstrek moving.
Scooting along, the Crosstrek doesn’t have a sense of urgency, as it takes 9.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standstill. Still, the low-end power delivery appears to be much improved, where the CVT doesn’t dull the experience as much as it has in the past. Overall, the Crosstrek with the standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is zippy enough to get out of the way of itself as there’s a relatively light SUV body you’re moving around at the tune of just over 3,200 pounds. While I don’t care for CVTs, the Crosstrek’s latest CVT has less fuss and wisely uses its virtualization of gear ratio kick-downs that attempt to emulate a traditional automatic transmission, which feels as if it makes the best of the smallish power figures.
When moving out on the road, the Crosstrek feels assuring and has a decent ride quality but feels more at home just cruising instead of overtaking other vehicles. Making moves on the highway does require some planning as there’s just not much power up high, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying the Crosstrek is dangerous due to its mundane amount of power. Opting of for the larger engine (2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder 182-horsepower) would be my suggestion, which is available on the upper-level trims (Sport and Limited) and well worth the small additional price.
With its 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel-drive, the Crosstrek joins its other siblings in being somewhat capable for off-roading duties. There’s also an advanced X-MODE with hill decent control that offers settings for off-roading where the CVT holds lower ratios and has better control for the respectable 30.1-degree departure angle.
Fuel economy remains the same as outgoing years, where you can easily obtain the matching EPA estimates in the real world of 27 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. The 16.6-gallon take gives you an excellent cruising range of just over 560 miles if you keep things civil on the highway.
Technology takes on somewhat of a different approach than most in the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. The latest infotainment system has several menu sets and hidden functions within the primary features. I found some of the deep menus to be somewhat distracting and elongating a learning curve that isn’t necessary because the system should be simpler for what it offers. Subaru does, however, place most of the more-used functions on the main menu but still embeds some that I think should have been brought to the front, such as an AUTO button for the dual-zone climate control. To get the AUTO setting, you must go into the climate function instead of using the fixed on-screen climate control settings. There are a select number of physical buttons, such as the climate control temp, defroster buttons, and a welcoming volume and tuning knob.
The cloth seats are comfy and have plentiful space up front with seat heating. The back seats are surprisingly accommodating, with just enough headroom for someone who is 6 feet tall. Folding down the rear 60/40-split seatbacks opens up a considerable amount of usable cargo space, as much as 55 cubic feet. You still have about 20 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks up in place.
There is an availability of a fully digital gauge cluster, but in my Crosstrek Premium test vehicle there are two large analog gauges and the central color LCD information screen that displays several vehicle functions and the advanced Eye Sight safety system status.
There’s a nice play on the basic interior appointments in the Crosstrek, where most of what you see is unabashedly Subaru. Soft touch areas are limited to the upper dash area, and some of the door trim leaving most of the cabin composed of hard plastics. Though, the plastics don’t look overly cheap.
The latest Eye Sight safety system works nearly flawlessly and is even a little too sensitive, where it may sense vehicles on the side of a curvy road and blast off a collision alert. Luckily, the emergency braking doesn’t enact as the system is smart enough to tell if a collision or near collision is imminent. Having the full array of Eye Sight safety systems as standard across the line of Crosstrek trims is a nice change and value proposition for such a vehicle, which includes the typical active safety features of blind-spot monitors, lane keep assist/steering assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The value aspect of the new Subaru Crosstrek keeps with tradition but increases slightly to the starting price of $26,290. My 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Premium comes to an as-tested price of $29,686, which includes a $2,245 option package and a $1,295 destination and delivery charge.