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2018 Subaru Crosstrek: How the Good Could Be Great

As our time with our long-term 2018 Subaru Crosstrek draws to a close, our staff has been thinking about how this rugged little crossover could go from good to great. Before we get into it, let’s have a quick refresher on the car we’re talking about.

Our tester is a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited, which is the top trim of the Crosstrek (unless you count the hybrid). This loaded little Subie packs in EyeSight safety tech, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with braking assist, and a few other driver-assistance features, a moonroof, and an additional premium package, which throws in Harman-Kardon eight-speaker premium audio and an upgraded 8-in Starlink infotainment system with navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and various Starlink apps like Pandora and Yelp.

The price of our Cool Gray Khaki Crosstrek is just a hair over $30k after destination and delivery charges. With the out-the-door price crossing the $30,000 mark, this is getting a little expensive for a compact Subaru. There’s no doubt that the Crosstrek, in general, is a great value with its standard all-wheel drive and charming character, but is a fully-loaded Limited model worth the price?

Not in a Hurry

One of the most common complaints about the Subaru Crosstrek since its inception is a lack of oomph from the engine. This flat four engine only makes 152 horsepower and our editor Ben noted that the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder found in bigger Subarus would be a welcome upgrade. It would only be about a 20 hp boost, but that little bump in power would go a long way when trying to accelerate when merging.

The Little Things

Since we’re all quite impressed with the Subaru Crosstrek, which was all-new for the 2018 model year, it takes a little nitpicking to find anything wrong with it. Our editor Dwight noted that with the Crosstrek being a model geared towards outdoor adventure, it would be nice to have a heated steering wheel in the Limited trim. A heated steering wheel is available on the hybrid model with the premium package, but it’s a little surprising that option can’t be had on the regular, non-hybrid Crosstrek, even on the high end. Another notable absence on the options list is ventilated seats.

A couple of other little things that could make the Subaru Crosstrek go from good to great is the addition of more USB ports and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. As we said, we’re getting a little nitpicky, but in driving this car for about a year, these things become noticeable. A few little additions like these and maybe even an available head-up display in the next refresh of the Crosstrek would make it much more competitive and an even stronger value.

Still a Standout

Despite our little gripes here and there and the anemic 4-cylinder engine, the Subaru Crosstrek is still a standout in the growing field of subcompact crossovers. There are a lot of little crossovers flooding the market, but there still aren’t any that are quite like the Crosstrek. What started out as an Impreza on stilts has come into its own as its own, distinct model and its worth consideration for anyone looking for a cute little off-roader. Find a Subaru Crosstrek for sale

Check out our 2018 Subaru Crosstrek New Car Review

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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