If adventurous road trips came prepackaged, the second-generation Subaru Crosstrek might be the box they’d arrive in.
That’s because this all-wheel-drive compact crossover stands ready to show you where some of those intriguing dashed lines on the map lead. Throw a couple of mountain bikes on top and load the 55.3-cubic-foot back with camping gear, and you’ve got yourself a fun weekend.
The Crosstrek Sport model we drove was propelled by a new, more powerful 182-horsepower, 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The combination gives the sporty-looking crossover good performance, but the engine’s coarse soundtrack can get tiresome.
The Crosstrek’s cabin isn’t long on technology, but our test car had handy Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Subaru’s standard EyeSight system uses a camera mounted next to the rearview mirror to provide desirable features such as automatic emergency braking.
Add sleeker styling, and the Subaru Crosstrek becomes a good-looking box of road-trip adventures waiting to be unwrapped.
- Sport model’s water-repellent Star Tex upholstery
- More off-road-capable than most small crossovers
- Lack of true four-wheel drive limits off-pavement potential.
- Compact dimensions make it best suited to smaller exploration parties.
- It’s a fine car for around town, but it’s really in its element if you fill the box and get out there.
- Base Price: $22,245
- As Tested: $28,095
- NHTSA: Overall: 5 Stars (top rating)
- 27/34 (2.5L CVT/AWD)
- 28/33 (2.0L CVT/AWD)