Subaru's loveable Crosstrek is great on the street, OK on dirt
This is Subaru's second generation crosstrade.
An unobtrusive but still very handsome crossover SUV that builds on everything you've liked about the first generation.
All of the utility and flexibility with a laundry list of upgrades and revisions aimed at making it easier to live with.
Not the least of which is a complete overhaul of Subaru's notoriously basic dashboard tech.
So let's hop behind the wheel and see what's new.
The Crosstrek is powered by Subaru's two liter Boxer four cylinder engine, That makes about 154 horsepower and about 145 pound feet of torque.
Not a whole lot of power on paper, but fortunately our optional continuously variable transmission, or CVT, does a really good job of making use of what torque we have.
Now the standard transmission is a 6-speed manual gear box.
And also standard on all Cross Cut models is Subaru's Symmetrical all wheel drive system which gains torque [UNKNOWN] for this generation to improve handling a little bit.
You toss this car into a corner and you notice a little bit of lean and roll.
You can't get around that with this tall suspension but there is a marked improvement in this car's goes where you point it nature.
So they're on to something there Now the continuously variable transmission doesn't really do the Crosstrek any favors when you drive dynamically, even though there is a manual mode with pedal shifters.
It doesn't really improve the performance of the vehicle, so much as it highlights these dips in the power band that you don't get when you're in the automatic mode.
So I find that it's best, Just to leave it in automatic mode because the transmission knows what it's doing.
Now around town is where the cross trick really starts to come into its own.
The [UNKNOWN] does a really good job of keeping you in the meaty part of the power band when you go to pass or accelerate.
So you get the most out of whatever pound feet you have.
And then when you start cruising around town it dips down into a smoother, much thriftier part of the power band allowing you to reach an epa estimated 33 gallons on the highway or around 27 miles per gallon around town.
I'm averaging around 29 or 30 miles per gallon which is actually pretty good for a crossover SUV with all wheel drive.
And this is full time all wheel drive.
None of that on demand trickery that a lot of the competition make you felt.
Now Subaru symmetrical all wheel drive system has proven off road capable for generation after generation.
And it gets a little bit of a tweak for this year With the six speed manual, it is locked into a 50 50 split, but with the [UNKNOWN] you get a little bit more leeway as far as shifting that power around, which increases grip in low traction situations.
Now aiding the Cross Trek's off-road capability is the taller ride height.
We're riding at around 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is impressive considering that some full size SUV's now that ride height grants the Subaru genuinely impressive approach departure and break over angles when you're off road it also does a really good job of soaking up bumps when you have to out on a dirt road with any sort of speed and it trods off pot holes like they're not even there Now, in addition to the on road and off road performance improvements, the Cross Treck also receives a number of quality of life improvements in the cabin.
Let's start with the eyesight safety system.
This two camera system uses pretty much only that to add a full suite of driver aid technologies to the Cross Treck's bag of tricks.
So you get things like adaptive cruise control that works all the way down to a stop so you can even stop and go traffic you get lane departure warnings with lane departure preventing steering, traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking, all of that just from two cameras which is pretty impressive Meanwhile out back, we've got blind spot monitoring at highway speeds, and a rear emergency braking system at low speed.
So if you're reversing in the cross check and something or someone steps into your path, the car can automatically brake.
It's cool for preventing collisions, or worse if that something is someone you love.
Perhaps the biggest improvement to the Crosstrek cabin is in the dashboard, where you'll find the new Starling infotainment system.
It comes in six and a half or eight inch flavors, the latter of which has navigation.
Regardless of which one you get, you get standard Android auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, along with Subaru's own suite of app integrations for navigation and audio streaming.
We talk more about it in a separate video, so be sure to check that out.
I had actually started to worry a little bit about the Crosstrek when Volkswagen slapped a taller suspension onto its SportWagen and came out with the Golf Alltrack, which was actually a really good competitor in this class.
However, Subaru struck back with a very strong repost.
And the 2018 Crosstrek pretty much maintains this position as one of the best vehicles in this slice of the class.
In fact, if you're the kind of person who's looking at a cross over because you want tough couple of mountain bikes in the back and hit the trail, or maybe put a couple of snowboards on the roof for a winter in Tahoe There aren't very many vehicles in this class that can match the Subaru's blend of capability and price.
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,795 for the base model, but this limited model with all the bells and whistles that matter tips the scales at around 30K.
Now, somewhere between those extremes is the premium model.
But I like to think of the sweet spot where you get access to all of the dashboard and driver aid options we have here, while keeping the same standard all wheel drive system that actually is worth a flip off road and on road performance that's very relaxed and comfortable.
All of that for what I think is an excellent value.
Well done, Subaru, well done.
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