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Video: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek: 5 Things We Like, 2 We Don’t

07:20 min
By Editors
June 28, 2023

About the video

Let’s check out five things we like and two we don’t about the redesigned 2024 Subaru Crosstrek.


We're big fans of the Subaru Crosstrek. It has won two small SUV comparisons, but the last one, the third one, came in second.
So now we have a new generation of Subaru Crosstrek that's meant to compete with this big crop of small, affordable SUVs so we drove a couple different versions. Let's take a look at the five things we like and the two things we don't. The first thing we like was almost immediately apparent when we started driving the Crosstrek, and that's just how much more refined the driving experience is. Everything feels much more confident and stable and quieter. The quietness is a huge improvement over the previous Crosstrek that had a coarse, gravelly sounding engine and lots of road noise, and that has been significantly lessened in the new Crosstrek. The engine is much quieter. There's much less road noise, although there is still a bit of wind noise. Actually, more than a bit of wind noise. There's more wind noise than you would have in other vehicles. Some of that I think just comes down to the Crosstrek's amazing visibility. There's a lot of glass, including these little windows ahead of the main front window that in most cars it's just solid body. The next thing we like is just how comfortable the Crosstrek drives, and there's actually a little softer shock tuning for this redesign, and they were able to maintain a handling because the overall chassis is stronger, so the suspension is a little softer and it also continues to handle well. Now, the ride quality is very good. You don't feel road imperfections or big bumps as much as you used to. Part of that could also be attributed to our car, which this Premium trim level has 17-inch wheels, tall sidewall tires, and that always makes for a nice ride too. So you add everything up, and the Crosstrek drives like a much more substantial vehicle than its exterior size suggests. And while the Crosstrek is nice to drive, it's also nice to sit in the backseat. It remains comfortable. This is a hallmark reason why you buy a Crosstrek versus other small SUVs, and that has not changed with this redesign. Another thing we like is how the Crosstrek's standard suite of safety features as part of the EyeSight package has been improved to be more refined and accurate for 2024. Forward collision warning, lane departure warning, those are operating a bit more refined and fewer alerts and yelling and beeping than previous systems in our experience. And that's good because if it's less annoying while you're driving, you'll be more inclined to keep it on versus turning it off. Another big improvement is the controls, and that impacts everyday usability. And when I say controls, I mean the steering wheel controls, the 11.6-inch touchscreen done very well, and it's simplified versus the previous Crosstrek. In our last affordable SUV comparison, the Crosstrek lost points because of really it had confusing controls, it had the separate pod information display on top of the dashboard, which was controlled by a separate set of buttons on the steering wheel. That's gone. Everything is much better integrated and the touchscreen is done really well for multiple reasons. One, you've got a volume and a tuning knob, which is fantastic. And then also, in this screen's integration and other Subarus over the past couple years, we've observed important controls buried in menus, which they've addressed. But the best way to do that is through a physical control like the heated seat switches that this Crosstrek has, and I'm a huge fan of that. One of the things we've always liked about the Crosstrek is just how it's a little more rugged than your typical affordable, small SUV. And you can see that with its raised ride height, its 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and also these wheels and tires. You have the smaller wheels, 17 inches, and the pretty tall tires, which gives you lots of good, meaty sidewall. And then also you have this roof rack, which is capable of static 700 pounds, which means you could fit a tent and a couple of people up here. While moving though, that's limited to 175 pounds. And while it is more off-road oriented than your typical small SUV, it's not a like a trail ready, Rubicon ready vehicle. You still have passenger car oriented tires and there's no locking differentials. And overall, if you're looking at doing more than just some dirt trails or exploring different trailheads, then you might wanna look at the Wilderness version of a Crosstrek, which is new for 2024. Otherwise, though, this is much more appropriate on the street every day driving that gives you that more SUV-like feel because of its raised ride height. The first thing we don't like about the Crosstrek is its standard engine, which is a pretty pokey four cylinder. It's a two-liter four cylinder that makes 152 horsepower. It pairs with a continuously variable automatic transmission and it is pretty slow. And that's not unusual for the class, but I'm flooring it right now and still well under the speed limit. So what you really should look into though is the 2.5-liter four cylinder that makes 182 horsepower, and it's standard in the Sport and Limited trim levels and offers much more acceleration, a much more confident experience and it doesn't come with a mile per gallon penalty either, as the combined numbers for both engines are actually the same at 29 miles per gallon. Although strangely, the Crosstrek with a 2.5-liter does get a one mile per gallon hit in city and highway numbers. Another thing we don't like is just how wireless charging isn't standard across the lineup, because on this Premium trim level, you have wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A great feature to have. It works best when you have a wireless charger. On this trim level, the Premium, it's optional. You can also buy it as an accessory, but it's standard on Sport and Limited trim levels. And really, to get that benefit, it needs to be standard, it needs to be on this trim level. Otherwise, to charge your phone, you need to plug it in, and then what's the point of wireless Apple CarPlay? Just one area we wish was a little more stout. The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek has kept its winning formula of size for the money, but it's added a layer of refinement and technology to help it compete with this very expansive class of small SUVs. This car that we're driving is under $30,000 and that is mighty impressive. (upbeat music)

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