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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Ownership: Long-Term Introduction

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is the exact kind of car many (maybe even most) new car shoppers are looking for. As a result, sales of vehicles like the Crosstrek, Forester and Outback are taking off, and Subaru as a whole continues to have one of the longest winning streaks in recent memory. Essentially, the Crosstrek is a small crossover SUV, the smallest in the Subaru lineup, and it’s completely new for 2018.

Why We Got It

Two simple things have us interested in the Crosstrek. First, the sheer popularity of small SUVs. Second, every Subaru we’ve driven recently has a hard to quantify quality that makes the car more fun, more useful and more engaging than we’d guess by just looking at the spec sheet. We felt it with our long-term Subaru Legacy, Impreza and Impreza wagon, all of which would make excellent used or Subaru CPO cars today.

Also, the last time we drove a Crosstrek, it didn’t feel like much more than an Impreza wagon with black plastic around the fender openings. This time around, our initial impression is that the Crosstrek feels more like its own thing. Spending a year with the car will help confirm or undo those initial feelings.

Our Crosstrek

We opted for a Crosstrek 2.0i Limited with one additional option package. There are two different EyeSight technology packages. One is $2,100 and includes the EyeSight driver assist technology that includes forward-collision warning and automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and a few other automated features. Here’s how Subaru describes it:

“…the culmination of everything Subaru engineers know about safety. Adding confidence to every trip, EyeSight monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control and warns you if you sway outside your lane. The Pre-Collision Braking feature can even apply full braking force in emergency situations, helping you avoid or reduce frontal impacts.”

This package also includes a moonroof, automatic rear braking (helps prevent back-over accidents) and automatic high-beams. The bottom line here is that you can get some fairly advanced driver assist and automated features in several Subarus, including the Crosstrek, for $26,000 to $30,000 depending on the model and options.

The second EyeSight package is more expensive but includes more techy features on top of the less expensive EyeSight package. This is the optional package we chose for the Autotrader long-term Crosstrek. The price is $3,400.

This more expensive package adds two specific features we think are worthwhile when picking a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. An 8-speaker, 432-watt Harman-Kardon audio system is included, as is the Starlink Multimedia Navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen. The Starlink system includes a CD player, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, dual USB ports, a 3.5mm aux jack and is compatible with apps like Yelp, Pandora and Travel Link.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal; many cars have features like Starlink. But it’s the addition of the 8-inch screen as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that’s the big revelation here. It makes the Crosstrek act and feel like a truly modern little SUV. Plus, Subaru has Apple CarPlay, a desirable feature Nissan, Toyota, FIAT and even Lexus are just now figuring out.

We chose exterior color Cool Gray Khaki. In real life, it looks like a very light blue. We also added all-weather floormats ($132). Total price plus destination and delivery ($915) adds up to $30,787.

Initial Impressions

The Crosstrek comes equipped with a 2.0-liter flat-four cylinder engine making 152 hp. It’s not quick, but it doesn’t feel frustratingly slow either. Getting from a stop to highway speed should take about nine seconds. A powerful coupe or sedan could do it in about half that time. But the Crosstrek isn’t really about beating Nissan Zs to the next stop light, it’s more about leaving the beaten path and forgetting that there even are stop lights.

Ben Cheney is on the automotive data team here at Autotrader. His initial impressions kind of summed it up nicely. “Autotrader headquarters is in the Southeast (Atlanta), so there is not a huge market for AWD vehicles, which explains why we do not see many Subarus. However, I see the Crosstrek and older XV Crosstrek EVERYWHERE around here! Got to say, I love the fun colors that Subaru is offering with the Crosstrek, particularly the Sunshine Orange and, as ours is painted, the Cool Gray Khaki.” Several drivers have already commented that the color is getting a lot of attention.

One driver noted that the Crosstrek is much more fun on the open road and can feel a little jerky in stop-and-go traffic.

The Crosstrek also has earned quite a bit of praise already. The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek earned a spot on Autotrader’s Must Test Drive for 2018. Kelley Blue Book named Subaru one of their Most Trusted Brands, Car and Driver gives the Subaru Crosstrek a rating of four out of five stars and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the 2018 Crosstrek a Top Safety Pick.

Check Autotrader frequently for more updates on the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. Find a Subaru Crosstrek for sale

Check out our 2018 Subaru Crosstrek New Car Review

Brian Moody
Brian Moody is an author specializing in transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used, and certified pre-owned advice. He also specializes in liking ridiculous cars like the Buick Reatta, Studebaker Lark, and the GM A-Body wagons from the late 80s and mid-90s. Why? You'd have to ask him. Brian graduated from Cal State Long Beach and has been creating written... Read More about Brian Moody

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