Since this crossover SUV arrived for the 2013 model year, sales have increased annually. Now, the redesigned 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is poised to assume that role and responsibility.
Still based on the Impreza hatchback, the 2018 Crosstrek formula isn’t different, just new and improved. Subaru upgrades the model’s powertrain, safety, and infotainment system, while adding greater refinement, comfort, utility, and dynamism.
Good looks have never been a Subaru hallmark, but then, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. To my eyes, the new Crosstrek’s design is just as funky as before, smoothed a bit over here and sculpted a bit over there. But this is as it should be. Whether you like it or not, weirdness is part of Subaru’s character, and its charm.
Quirks need to disappear inside of a car, though, and Subaru understands this. Nevertheless, the company goes to extremes to maximize outward visibility, dresses the Crosstrek Limited’s cabin in orange contrast stitching, and adds a pod atop the dashboard equipped with a screen that shows various types of information. It even includes a traditional hand brake on the center console, a feature that is increasingly rare.
Front seats are comfortable, providing plenty of support despite a limited range of adjustment. The driver grips a thick-rimmed steering wheel that is pleasing to hold, and Subaru provides soft places to rest arms and elbows.
Rear seats are relatively roomy, and because the Crosstrek sits up high on its suspension, perceived comfort is greater than the Impreza hatchback on which it is based. Subaru does not, however, supply air conditioning vents to rear occupants, which could prove contentious on hot days. Also missing: USB charging ports for the back-seat passengers.
Cargo space measures 20.8 cu. ft. behind the Crosstrek’s rear seat, which expands to 55.3 cu. ft. with the rear seat folded down. Roof rails are standard, and when equipped with cross bars a Crosstrek accommodates a wide range of dealer-installed accessories designed to carry just about anything and everything.