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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Ownership: Room for Improvement

The keys to the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek have been passed around the team frequently as of late, and although we still like the plucky little crossover, we’ve also noticed several shortcomings. What tops our list of gripes? The continuously variable transmission and the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine.


The most common complaint about the Crosstrek is the slightly wonky CVT. Most of the time the transmission works as intended, shifting appropriately and presenting no issues other than the droning noise that is part and parcel of a continuously variable transmission. At lower speeds or in traffic, however, the CVT can become erratic as it searches for the right gear ratio for the situation. This results in a jerky ride and a less enjoyable driving experience. We think further refinement to the gearbox would make the stellar Crosstrek even better.


The second most remarked upon shortcoming is the lack of power from the 2.0L engine. The somewhat anemic 4 banger only produces 152 horsepower, resulting in lackluster performance and sluggish acceleration. In addition, the 2.0L engine is the sole available powerplant for the Crosstrek, meaning that if you want more power from your crossover, you would have to opt for the Foresterwith its base 2.5L engine or available 2.0L direct-injected turbocharged engine. We think that either engine might make a good addition to the Crosstrek — if they could fit inside the engine bay that is.


While stopping at a local burrito joint to get dinner one night, one of our editors had a couple of women ask some questions about the Crosstrek. Unfamiliar with the model, they asked about what vehicle it was and remarked on the eye-catching color. Apparently, one of the women was currently in the market for a new vehicle and was interested in what the Crosstrek had to offer. Tommy informed them it was a Subaru Crosstrek, then stated that it was a great vehicle, that it rode well and that it got good gas mileage. The only major drawback, in his opinion, is it can shift a little erratically in traffic.

Up Next

With the start of another month, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek will make its way into the hands of another team member for more adventures on the road. And despite our few complaints regarding the slightly underpowered engine and the occasionally jerky CVT, we still think the Crosstrek is a great small crossover worthy of your consideration. Find a Subaru Crosstrek for sale

Check out our 2018 Subaru Crosstrek New Car Review

Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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