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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Ownership: Pros and Cons

Subaru’s smallest crossover is all-new for 2018. Now that we’ve had our 2018 Subaru Crosstrek for a while, we have some updates from Autotrader staffers Ben and Dwight about what they like and what they don’t like about one of Subaru’s most popular models.

Our long-term Crosstrek is the 2.0i Limited model which is the top trim for the Crosstrek. A few key features include leather-trimmed upholstery, 18-inch dark gray-finish alloy wheels and LED steering-responsive headlights. Our tester comes with the optional Subaru EyeSight safety suite which includes forward-collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and more.

Driving this car in springtime in the South, Dwight noticed an annoyance that you might not normally consider when shopping for a car. He found that the visor is too small to block out a sufficient amount of sunlight to drive comfortably on a particularly sunny day. This might not sound like that big of a deal, but adjusting the small visor to get it in just the right place can be very frustrating. This is something that Subaru could have easily remedied by simply using larger visors.

Ben noticed some issues with the Crosstrek’s Lineatronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). A CVT is great for fuel economy, but sometimes this transmission design can cause some issues, especially in our Subaru Crosstrek. It has an unusual delay getting into gear when you put the car in drive. In Ben’s experience, he would shift the car into drive, push on the gas pedal and have to wait a bit before the car actually moves. He had the same issue when putting the car in reverse. This is not necessarily a sign of the transmission being defective and it could possibly be fixed with a software update, but it’s another thing that gets more annoying the more you experience it.

Something that both Ben and Dwight noticed in the Crosstrek is the especially bad reception for SiriusXM satellite radio. Normally, one of the best things about SiriusXM is that you get clear reception everywhere unless you’re in an enclosed space like a parking garage or a tunnel. In our experience with the Crosstrek, reception would cut out randomly in places where most other cars would have no problem getting SiriusXM satellite reception. This would be especially frustrating if SiriusXM was a service you were paying for, but had spotty reception.

On the plus side, Ben got a compliment on the Crosstrek from a stranger, specifically on the color, which is Cool Gray Khaki. This sort of matte gray color is starting to get more popular on cars, and this Crosstrek pulls it off very well. Ben also found the steering responsive headlights useful for living in a rural area, but found it annoying that the rear view camera requires manual operation to combat headlights when it’s dark outside.

Despite the Crosstrek’s aforementioned issues, it still carries the virtues that people love about this car. It’s a unique small crossover with standard all-wheel drive and some legitimate off-road chops. On top of that, it’s a perfectly practical commuter or family car. But the little things like having visors that are too small and lousy SiriusXM reception are things to keep in mind. Find a Subaru Crosstrek for sale

Check out our 2018 Subaru Crosstrek New Car Review

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  1. As a regular driver of a 2019 Forester and a 2015 Outback, I always look for other perspectives. My Outback’s visors slide on the pivot shaft, so even if it were too small, you can relocate it’s position. My Outback also has a brief delay before moving when you put the gear selector in Drive, but once underway, it never misses a beat and always selects the right ratio for propelling the vehicle. It does not annoy me at all.

    I have not renewed the subscription to Sirius, so I don’t remember any reception issues.
    Based on your other observations, I think the Crosstrek would be a good choice for a smaller Subaru.

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