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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.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
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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