Although the marketing folks claim the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek has been completely redesigned, there isn’t exactly a night-and-day difference next to its predecessor.
Fear not, however: it’s still a Crosstrek, just better. Subaru simply took its best-selling vehicle and made it a bit quieter, a bit more comfortable, and a tad more capable.
The Crosstrek is the littlest sibling in the Subaru family, designed to look like a compact version of the slightly larger Outback, which is hardly a criticism. [That’s according to an Outback owner himself. – Ed.] A little more muscular than the structurally identical Impreza, the Crosstrek has an appealing and rugged personality.
Safety is Subaru’s forte. Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hadn’t rated the 2024 Crosstrek as of this writing, its predecessors have been recognized with “Top Safety Pick” or a “Top Safety Pick+” ratings going all the way back to when the Crosstrek was first tested for the 2013 model year. There’s ample reason to believe this version will score highly as well, even with the not-for-profit organization’s more stringent testing.
Naturally, it’s better to avoid a collision altogether, which is why all 2024 Crosstrek models come equipped with Subaru’s so-called EyeSight driver assist technology. The system uses a pair of forward-facing cameras located at the top of the windshield to keep an eye on the road ahead.
The system can identify other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. If it sees that a collision is imminent, it will alert the driver. If the driver doesn’t react in time, it can apply the brakes automatically. In addition, every trim except the base Convenience gets blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency steering. There’s also lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control.
All trims get creature comforts like heated outside mirrors, heated seats, a windshield wiper de-icer, and LED steering-responsive headlights that swivel in the direction you’re turning to light up dark corners.
Cloth seats are standard in the Convenience, while Touring and Onyx trims get upgraded cloth upholstery. Only the top Limited trim comes with leather.
While the base Convenience trim gets a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, all others get an 11.6-inch touch display. (Likewise, the cheapest Crosstrek gets wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections, while both are wireless in the rest of the lineup.)
The Convenience trim also loses out in the USB department, getting a single USB-A port in the centre console, while all other trims get USB-A and USB-C ports front and rear rear (total of four). Onyx and Limited trims also get a wireless phone charger. The Convenience trim is the only one without a heated steering wheel.
The Touring and Onyx both get two extra speakers for a total of six, while the top-of-the-line Limited model gets a fancy 10-speaker sound system with a subwoofer. Meanwhile, all trims get dual-zone climate control.
Capable and practical, this compact crossover is well designed. The layout of all the controls, switches, and buttons is logical, everything is where you’d expect it to be, and you’ll likely never need to whip out the owner’s manual to get things done. The wireless Apple CarPlay system works flawlessly and the graphics on the massive infotainment screen are crisp and easy to read. The tailgate swings wide open and out of the way, which makes it easy to get items in and out without bumping your head.
The Crosstrek has ample room for a total of five occupants and their cargo. Just keep in mind that this is still a compact crossover, and it’s not designed to haul anywhere near as much as its larger siblings.
With all seats in place, the Crosstrek has 564 L or cargo space, which is a bit less than the 572 L available in the Mazda CX-30, a lot less than the 691 L available in the Honda HR-V, but more than the 544 L available in the Hyundai Kona.
Designed for the great outdoors, the Crosstrek features an impressive 220 mm (8.7 in) of ground clearance. When properly equipped, the Crosstrek will tow 680 kg (1,500 lb).
The Crosstrek has room for five, but the middle seat in the back row will leave anyone over 5-foot10 rubbing the top of their head against the headliner thanks to the tunnel that runs under the centre of the floor. The other four seats are comfy and supportive.
Convenience and Touring trims come with a six-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat, while Onyx and Limited versions feature a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support. (All models get the same four-way manually-adjustable front passenger seat.)
Subaru made the interior of the Crosstrek a bit quieter for the new model year, with very little road, engine, or wind noise getting inside. Moreover, the Crosstrek nicely absorbs bumps in the road thanks to its stilted, softer suspension. You can definitely sip your double-double on the way to work without worrying about spilling.
Convenience and Touring models get a 152-hp 2.0L four-cylinder boxer engine that puts out 145 lb-ft of torque, while Onyx and Limited models get a more powerful 182-hp 2.5L four-cylinder boxer. Peak torque is up to 178 lb-ft with that engine. All models get an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), as well as paddle shifters (not available in the Convenience trim), which allow you to feel like you’re changing simulated gears.
Driving Feel: 7/10
The Crosstrek has never been known to quicken a driver’s pulse or offer neck-snapping acceleration. If you enjoy spirited driving, the Crosstrek is not for you. However, everything else about the driving experience is great. The suspension is soft and forgiving, which makes for a very relaxed and civilized ride, and this compact crossover responds well to steering input with minimal body roll. And thanks to the standard all-wheel drive system, the Crosstrek gets its torque down with ease.
Fuel Economy: 8/10
According to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the 2024 Crosstrek with the 2.0L engine is rated to consume 8.8 L/100 km in the city and 7.1 on the highway. The bigger engine is barely worse, with ratings of 8.9 around town and 7.2 on the open road. Either way, those numbers are a bit better than most in the segment with the exception of the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid that’s the clearcut efficiency champ.
For the 2024 model year, the Crosstrek starts at $31,572, but that’s for the base model that goes without some key features and amenities. They’re available on the next trim level up, the Touring, that’s priced at $34,772. (All prices include $2,195 for freight.)
Subaru has figured out the secret sauce that makes the Crosstrek a perennial top seller for the brand. For 2024, it continues to provide capability and ample room inside for people and stuff, a comfortable ride, a quiet interior, and great advanced safety equipment.
|Peak Horsepower||182 hp @ 5 800 rpm|
|Peak Torque||178 lb-ft @ 3,700 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||8.8 / 7.0 / 8.0 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||564 / 1,549 L seats up/down|
|Model Tested||2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx|
|Price as Tested||$36,290|