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2017 Subaru Crosstrek: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2017

The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek combines the off-road prowess of the popular Outback SUV with the budget-minded size and pricing of the previous-generation Impreza wagon. In fact, the Crosstrek is heavily based on the old Impreza, carrying over its chassis, engine and interior. To differentiate the two, Subaru endows the Crosstrek with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, adds stiffer shocks and then tacks on a distinctive exterior appearance. Thus completely separate from the Impreza, the 2017 Crosstrek is able to stand on its own, competing with a number of small compact crossovers while delivering a car-like ride, fuel economy and versatility.

What's New for 2017?

For 2017, Subaru offers the Premium Special Edition in either Pure Red or Crystal Black Silica. The Premium trim can also be equipped with blind spot monitoring, lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. The Crosstrek Hybrid has been discontinued.

What We Like

Cool styling; plenty of ground clearance when the snow gets deep; good fuel economy; well-equipped base models; Premium and Limited available with EyeSight collision-avoidance system

What We Don't

Not much power under the hood; no power driver's seat option; satellite radio only available with 7-inch audio upgrade; manual-equipped models get very few optional upgrades

How Much?

$22,570-$33,000

Fuel Economy

The Subaru Crosstrek is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine (instead of pistons moving up and down inside an engine, flip the image 90 degrees and imagine them moving side to side). This engine develops 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. When the Crosstrek is equipped with the standard 5-speed manual, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings stand at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) ups those figures to 26 mpg city/33 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek comes in three trims: the 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited.

The 2.0i ($22,570) includes a 5-speed manual transmission, power windows, door locks and mirrors, an AM/FM/CD stereo, USB/iPod connectivity, Bluetooth with music streaming, a rear backup camera, steering-wheel audio controls, 17-in alloy wheels, a rear wiper/washer, cruise control, air conditioning and a tilt-telescopic steering column.

The 2.0i Premium ($23,370) adds the Cold Weather package (heated front seats, heated mirrors and a windshield de-icer), fog lights, two additional speakers (for a total of six), a rear cargo cover, a sliding center armrest and a lighted ignition key ring. The CVT automatic transmission is optional.

The 2.0i Limited ($26,070) adds the CVT automatic, leather seating, automatic climate control, upgraded audio with a 7-in display screen, SiriusXM and HD Radio, auto on/off headlights, a sound-insulation windshield, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, welcome lighting, exterior mirrors with turn signals and a rear-seat center armrest with cup holders.

Options for the Premium trim with the CVT automatic include the EyeSight and Starlink packages (bringing the EyeSight collision-avoidance system, adaptive cruise control, steering-responsive fog lights and an upgraded 7-in audio display), the Special Edition and Sport package, upgraded speakers, a powered subwoofer and a power moonroof. The Limited can be equipped with EyeSight, navigation, a power moonroof and keyless access with push-button start.

Safety

The Crosstrek comes standard with an anti-lock braking system, electronic traction and stability control and electronic brake assist. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the Crosstrek a 5-star overall rating; the model earned four out of five stars in the front crash test, five in the side-impact test and four in the rollover test. The Crosstrek also ranks at the top of its class in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests and was chosen as a Top Safety Pick.

Behind the Wheel

Since power goes to all four wheels, there's a stability to the Crosstrek rivaling that of the Swiss currency. Admittedly, the engine never taxes it, but the chassis has a talent that can deal with canyon roads and dirt tracks. It's controlled, composed and fairly comfortable.

Ground clearance is 8.7 inches, which is pretty good and comes into its own when mud and ruts replace paved roads. Because of the flat 4-cylinder engine, the Crosstrek's center of gravity is the best in its class. A low center of gravity helps the feeling of stability and brings a liveliness to the ride.

Mention the letters CVT to a driving enthusiast and expect a tirade about slow responses and drivetrain drone. Put the same enthusiast in the business seat of a Crosstrek and watch him or her eat those words. There's no advantage to having the manual transmission. Even if there's an itch to select the occasional gear, this setup includes steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles for clicking through six preprogrammed virtual ratios.

The drive isn't without its negatives. As well as the aforementioned lack of oomph, there's a sense of detachment to the controls, like numb steering that lacks feedback in the turns, plus some road noise coming into the cabin.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Kia Sportage -- This latest generation of the Sportage is already a hit thanks to smart styling, generous equipment levels and decent pricing. There's also a turbo version.

2017 Nissan JUKE -- The JUKE offers unique styling, a number of high-tech features and a more powerful turbocharged engine. It can be had with AWD, though its interior is not as roomy. The JUKE is also more fun to drive.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport -- The Outlander Sport offers good room, attractive styling and an attractive price. Offered with FWD or all AWD, the Outlander Sport can be a great winter vehicle, but it comes with a much smaller dealer network and much lower resale values.

Used Subaru Outback -- A 2010-2014 Outback will give you the year-round traction and good fuel economy of the Crosstrek, but with more interior room.

Autotrader's Advice

Go for any CVT-equipped model and it will ultimately have better resale value. The entry-level model starts under $23,000 including destination charges, but only comes with the 5-speed manual. For an added measure of safety, we'd recommend going for the Premium or Limited trim with EyeSight, which also brings the 7-in audio system and SiriusXM radio.

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Used 2017 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium
Used 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
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Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2017 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium
Used 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2017 Subaru Crosstrek: New Car Review - Autotrader