Somewhere between a wagon and a sport utility vehicle lies the crossover. Most of these lean more towards the car end of the equation, but the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek injects a hefty dose of off-road utility.
We sauntered over to the Badlands of South Dakota to see what the all-new Crosstrek is all about. With 95% new parts compared to the outgoing model, it has quite a bit of freshness going on. That’s because it rides on Subaru’s new Global Platform, which will serve as basis for all forthcoming Subaru vehicles.
Here with the Crosstrek, it’s packing a reworked FB20 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine. This mill now puts out 152 horsepower. That’s not a lot, and you can tell when you put your foot down. But you’ll also tell when you go to fill this not-so-thirsty mule up with fuel.
Pricing starts at around $21,000 and will rise up to $30,000 if you load up a Limited-trim example. Stick somewhere in the middle and you’ll find your happy place, however, because the base and Premium trims can skip the CVT for a six-speed manual gearbox. If you do want the CVT for daily-driving duty though, you’ll be happy to hear that it doesn’t drone on and even features a stepped seven-speed simulated mode if you go flat with your throttle foot.
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is more capable off road than you’d expect. It’s not fast on-road, but it’s good in every other area. From comfort to capability, it’s a serious competitor in the compact crossover space.
[Disclaimer: Subaru flew us to South Dakota and put us up in a fancy tent on some private land.]