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Compact Subaru Crosstrek is a back country-capable city wagon

While its small dimensions make it fit an urban environment, the Subaru Crosstrek can handle back country adventures.

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Wayne Cunningham
2016 Subaru Crosstrek
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Still on its first generation, Subaru launched the Crosstrek in 2011, giving the brand a smaller SUV than its Forester and Outback models.

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The Crosstrek, which originally went by the name of XV Crosstrek, is based on the Impreza platform, but designed for more off-road capability.

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Like the Forester and Outback, the Crosstrek has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive.

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With four doors and a hatchback, the Crosstrek holds five passengers and cargo.

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Subaru offers the Crosstrek in base, Premium and Limited trims, with prices ranging from $21,695 to $25,195.

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Subaru's all-wheel drive system shunts torque to the wheels that need it most, but doesn't have a switch to lock the torque output.

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The Subaru badge proclaims brand camaraderie with other Subaru drivers, implying an active, outdoorsy lifestyle.

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The Crosstrek makes due with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine, giving it 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque.

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The EyeSight advanced safety system enables collision prevention, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

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Side doors open at a near 90 degree angle, making for easy access to the cabin.

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Standard roof rails support bikes, kayaks, or any other equipment the typical Subaru driver would need.

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The rear hatch creates a large opening, easing cargo loading.

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At 22.3 cubic feet, cargo space is relatively limited, but expands to 51.9 cubic feet with the rear seats down.

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Even at the highest trim, there is no power adjustment on the seats.

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Rear seats offer a good amount of legroom.

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Subaru's interior is more utilitarian than upscale.

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Electric power steering is tuned for comfort rather than sharp handling.

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Subaru puts infotainment controls on the wheel's left, and adaptive cruise control on the right.

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The up, down and info buttons between the wheel's spokes don't really do that much.

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Subaru retains analog gauges, but puts a monochrome LCD in the center.

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A continuously variable automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission is available on the Crosstrek.

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