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2018 Subaru Crosstrek: New York Auto Show

 What Is It?

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek made its North American debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show, showing off this completely redesigned model’s revised styling, new engine and lineup of new and improved features.

The new styling is very much in keeping with the 2017 Subaru Impreza upon which it’s based, as are the enlarged dimensions. There’s only about an inch increase in wheelbase and width, though, so don’t expect a big improvement in space. Indeed, the cargo area continues to be rather unremarkable — even for a compact hatchback — meaning the Thules and Yakimas of the world will continue to do gangbuster accessory roof-box business among Crosstrek owners. Of course, the Crosstrek boasts the extra ground clearance and more rugged styling elements that characterized the previous-generation model, including black body cladding around the wheel arches, a lower rocker panel and standard roof rails.

In terms of feature content, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, which are supported by Subaru’s user-friendly touchscreen interface. You can also get the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite consisting of forward-collision warning and prevention, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. There are base, Premium and Limited trim levels.

Under the hood resides the same 2.0-liter “boxer” 4-cylinder engine found in the Impreza, which produces 152 horsepower. Sure, that’s 4 more than the old Crosstrek, but acceleration should continue to be quite slow. The base and Premium trim levels come standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional on those trims and standard on the Limited. As this is a Subaru, all-wheel drive is standard, but this latest version also includes the Active Torque Vectoring technology first seen on the WRX and STI, which enhances handling by reducing understeer around corners. A new, optional X-Mode enhances traction on slippery surfaces and inclines.

 How Much?

Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect a slight increase over the 2017 version’s base price of $21,695.

 When Can You Get It?

Summer 2017

 Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

More features, a more refined cabin and sharper styling build upon what was already a desirable, versatile little utility vehicle that blends the body style of a compact hatchback with the ground clearance and all-wheel drive of an SUV.

 Other Cars to Consider

2017 Honda HR-V — Honda’s subcompact SUV boasts more cargo and passenger space than the Crosstrek, but isn’t quite as rugged.

2017 Jeep Renegade — For those interested in getting their car dirty, the Renegade offers lots of ground clearance and more off-road-oriented variations.

Used Subaru Outback — The Outback is bigger, more comfortable, more powerful and quite simply a nicer car to spend time in. It’s more expensive, though, so you’d probably need to consider a used model to keep it in the Crosstrek’s price range.

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