Subaru Crosstrek 500-Word Car Review: Thoroughly Likable

Seeking Safety? You'll Find It in the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is a subcompact SUV that Americans have come to love. It outsells the competing Honda HR-V, Nissan Kicks and Toyota C-HR, and that’s a strong indication it is thoroughly likable. Through July of this year Crosstrek sales were up a startling 69 percent versus the same period in 2017, and the Crosstrek has become Subaru’s third best-selling vehicle in the United States.

Safety, security resonate with buyers

So why does the Crosstrek resonate so well with American car-buyers? A big reason is the safety and security the model offers. Every Crosstrek features all-wheel-drive, which means it delivers uncommon traction that is useful in inclement weather. Then there is the Subaru brand’s emphasis on safety that manifests itself in a number of ways. For instance, all 2019 Crosstrek models include seven airbags, including driver and front passenger frontal airbags, side curtain airbags, side pelvis-torso airbags and a driver’s knee airbag.

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Other brands hide advanced safety and driver-aid systems away in high-priced packages often available only on the top trim levels. Subaru takes a different approach. Its EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which integrates adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking and lane departure and sway warning, is available across the Crosstrek line. The top-level Limited trim makes EyeSight standard. It also features high-beam assist, steering responsive headlights, reverse automatic braking, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.

Reliable 2.0-liter ‘boxer’ engine

The Crosstrek’s single powertrain won’t have you dreaming of taking the checkered flag at LeMans, but it provides stolid power. The 2.0-liter “boxer” four-cylinder engine delivers 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Buyers have the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic. Selectable driving modes plus hill descent control are available on base and Premium trims that are equipped with the continuously variable transmission and are standard on Limited models.

Subaru used to lag its competitors in interior design and usability, but those days are over. The Crosstrek’s interior is a tidy, comfortable place to be. Heated front seats are standard on the Premium and Limited models, and leather seats are standard on the Limited trims. The base infotainment system includes a 6.5-inch display, AM/FM stereo, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Aha and Pandora, Bluetooth, rear vision camera and four speakers. A Rockford Fosgate audio system is available across all trims as an option, and the uplevel 8.0-inch multimedia/navigation system features voiced-activated navigation and Harmon Kardon premium audio.

Available in 3 trims

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is available in three trims: base, Premium and Limited. The top-shelf 2.0i Limited model comes with black-finished 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless access, push-button start, six-way power driver’s seat and steering responsive headlights. Attractive17-inch alloy wheels are standard on the base and Premium trim levels.

The EPA fuel economy estimates for Crosstrek might be a mild disappointment. When equipped with the manual transmission the ratings are 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. With the CVT automatic the estimates climb to 27 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29 mpg combined.

Read our review of the Nissan Rogue SUV

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i starts at $21,895 plus a $975 destination charge, and that, as we said, includes weather-friendly all-wheel drive. Even climbing to to peak of the trim ladder, the 2.0i Limited bases at just $27,195 plus destination. The Crosstrek’s resale vale is among the best in the segment. So the Crosstrek isn’t just easy to drive; it’s also easy on your checkbook.