Thursday, February 22, 2024
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek?

Should You Buy a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek?

  • The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek retails from $26,290 in the United States and from $31,190 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Great all-wheel drivetrain, affordably priced, good cabin ergonomics.

  • Unrefined auto stop/start system, stiff ride, unexciting drive.

The Japanese manufacturer introduced the third generation of its subcompact crossover with the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, redesigned, but not too much as to avoid messing with one of reasons explaining its success on the sales charts. It fits right in with the ongoing trend of rugged-looking utility vehicles, which consumers seem to appreciate more and more.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Unlike some rivals that offer a robust appearance without the relative off-road abilities, the Subaru Crosstrek is equipped to head off the beaten path, to ditch our smartphones and breathe some clean countryside air.

Aside from its redesigned bodywork, the Crosstrek benefits from a reworked platform said to boast a 10% improvement in torsional rigidity compared to the outgoing generation’s. Usually, a stiff chassis allow engineers to enhance handling and cabin quietness. The steering, front-seat comfort, climate control system and infotainment have all been revised as well, while a new vertically-oriented or portrait-style 11.6-inch touchscreen is now available in the Crosstrek, which is already offered in the brand’s other models.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

The crossover also gets the latest iteration of the Subaru EyeSight active safety feature suite, which recently debuted on the Subaru Outback. It benefits from sharper reactivity and an improved detection of emergency situations thanks to its wider-angle front camera and electric brake booster, among other things.

Under the hood, nothing has changed. U.S.-market Base and Premium trims, along with Canadian-market Convenience and Touring trims are equipped with the 2.0L horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that develops 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the U.S.-market Sport, Limited and Wilderness, along with the Canadian-market Onyx, Limited and Wilderness receive the 2.5L flat-four with 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet. Both engines are matched to a continuously variable automatic transmission, as the six-speed manual gearbox has been ditched for 2024.

With the 2.0L engine, city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings are set at 27/34/29 mpg or 8.8/7.1/8.0 L/100 km, while the 2.5L mill’s ratings are 26/33/29 mpg or 8.9/7.2/8.1 L/100 km. Those numbers are slightly down compared to those of the 2023 model. During our test with the bigger engine, we managed a pretty good average of 32 mpg or 7.3 L/100 km, though.

It’s worth noting that due to the Wilderness variant’s all-terrain tires and higher differential ratio, its fuel consumption is higher. Also, the Crosstrek plug-in hybrid is gone, at least for now, which boasted 35 mpg or 6.7 L/100 km combined along with an EV-only driving range of 17 miles or 27 km.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Despite the marginally worse fuel economy figures, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek still ranks among the most efficient subcompact crossovers. In fact, only the Toyota Corolla Cross AWD fares better, in both hybrid and non-hybrid configurations, while the Kia Seltos, Mazda CX-30, Canada-only Nissan Qashqai, Hyundai Kona and Chevrolet Trailblazer aren’t far behind the Subaru. The Dodge Hornet, Jeep Renegade, Mitsubishi RVR, Ford Bronco Sport, Volkswagen Taos and Honda HR-V are, in order, the least efficient in its category—the Hornet being the worst.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek’s full-time AWD provides a mild advantage in slippery situations, as its torque distribution varies from 50/50 to 60/40 front/rear, according to the system’s electronic brains. Almost all its adversaries rely on reactive all-wheel drivetrains, which shift torque to the rear wheels when slippage occurs. This happens in milliseconds, of course, but in a snowstorm, Subarus show poise and confidence that are tough to beat.

The Crosstrek also gets ground clearance of 8.7 to 9.3 inches or 220 to 235 millimetres, along with good suspension travel, which is also quite handy on poorly maintained city streets as well. If the Outback’s elevated suspension enhances road comfort, the Crosstrek’s ride is on the stiff side. On the other hand, its turning radius is one of the narrowest in its segment, facilitating parking manoeuvres at the shopping mall.

The cabin’s design focuses on function rather than form, it isn’t resolutely luxurious or refined, but it’s made it with good-quality materials, including durable-looking seat fabric. Interior space isn’t overly generous, but still fairly good since the Crosstrek is based on the compact-sized Subaru Impreza, and its dimensions are about the same as those in the previous generation. The Taos and the Bronco Sport are roomier for both occupants and their cargo, however.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek’s base price is $26,290 in the United States, freight and delivery charges included. That’s only a few dollars more than the 2023 model with the automatic transmission. In Canada, base price is set at $31,190, or $2,020 more than last year. The Crosstrek isn’t the most affordable in its segment or the costliest, although the Canadian-spec base trim is equipped with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and roof rails, which are optional on some lower-priced competitors.

Why You Should Buy a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek

  • The Crosstrek has a strong reputation for reliability, according to Consumer Reports, and the previous generation was an IIHS Top Safety Pick. We’re expecting the new generation to be just as safe and durable.
  • The Subie’s full-time all-wheel drivetrain is certainly a plus, as it’s one of the most capable systems on the market. Speaking of capabilities, the Wilderness variant gets a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds or 1,588 kilograms compared to the other trims’ 1,500-pound or 680-kg limit, thanks to the addition of a transmission oil cooler.
  • The Subaru Crosstrek offers good fuel economy, no matter which engine we choose, so the 2.5L mill’s extra 30 horses don’t affect how much we’ll pay at the pump. That said, the disappearance of the PHEV variant can’t be considered a step forward, despite its high price and scarcity.
  • It won’t win any beauty contests, but the Crosstrek’s exterior and interior design won’t offend anyone, and will likely never feel outdated or out of fashion. There’s hardly anything regarding cabin ergonomics, including the easy-to-use infotainment system.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek

  • While the Crosstrek is by no means boring to drive, it isn’t a joy to flog either. The SI-DRIVE system doesn’t provide any extra excitement, either, even in Sport mode. The Subie just does its business without getting our adrenaline pumping. If that’s a concern, we strongly recommend skipping the base engine. Since we’re on the subject, why still offer the 2.0L mill if it doesn’t provide any fuel economy benefits over the 2.5L unit?
  • We’d really like the Subaru’s automatic stop/start system to be more refined. Every time the engine comes back to life, it sends shudders through the vehicle. Not very refined.
  • In addition to the somewhat stiff ride, there’s quite a bit of head toss aboard the Crosstrek, which further downgrades its refinement level.
  • The rear seatback angle isn’t adjustable. Not a big deal, but some rivals offer this comfort perk.
  • As mentioned above, some rivals such as the Volkswagen Taos and Ford Bronco Sport are roomier and more versatile for hauling the family.

Final Word

Solid, practical and capable, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is affordably priced, too. It’s great for the winter season and quite reasonable on fuel. However, it isn’t the most exciting subcompact crossover on the market or the fastest, but overall, it’s a rationally good vehicle that challenges its rivals to be better.

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