2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited Review
An off-road ready, versatile ride at a bargain priceNo Comments
Equipped with Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist technology, the Crosstrek provides an extra set of eyes on the road, and when need be, an extra foot.
Subarus have become synonymous with two things: all-wheel drive and boxer engines. The Japanese automaker makes some of the best vehicles money can buy, offering reliability, safety and versatility across the board. The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is no exception to this reputation and fills a unique spot in the market. While the options for crossovers on the road today are endless, the Crosstrek offers an interesting blend of features from various segments. Its higher ride height gives it the stance of a utility vehicle, with a beefed-up suspension for off-road capability. But, it also sports sleeker styling, being an Impreza hatchback at heart. All of this culminates to bring a vehicle with nimble maneuverability, a tougher-looking exterior and all-around versatility.
Ride Quality: On the road it's nothing but smooth cruising for the Crosstrek. It's able to handle uneven surfaces, nicely cushioning passengers from bumps in the road. Steering: Electric power steering is responsive, making the Crosstrek easy to maneuver about, though a windy day on the highway will cause you to be a bit more attentive to the wheel as it will require slight adjustments to keep it in its lane. Acceleration: Acceleration is lackluster, with the CVT performing in a not-so-subtle (noisy) manner. Braking: Braking is impressive and immediate. With Subaru's EyeSight Driver-Assist System, Pre-Collision Braking is included so when the system senses a collision is imminent, it will send an alert to the driver and then apply full braking force. We experienced this while in traffic on the highway during a gap where drivers were speeding up, only to have to slow down 100 yards ahead. After hearing the warning system chime, hitting the brakes was met with a whiplash-inducing halt. While it was a bit startling how powerful the brakes were, it also is a testament to how well the system works in avoiding potential fender-benders. Handling: Despite its taller ride height, the Crosstrek still feels grounded. Once it gets going, it provides quick responses, with an athletic feel in corners. With Subaru's legendary standard all-wheel drive system, it's able to expertly tackle road, gravel, dirt, ice, rain, snow and everything in-between.
Infotainment Screen Size/Quality: The 7-inch touch, infotainment screen displayed clear images and was responsive to touch gestures. Bluetooth Phone Pairing: It was a smooth and easy process to pair my smartphone. Sound Quality: No issues making or receiving calls, with crisp audio on both ends. Controls: The Crosstrek has a neatly organized dash, with minimal buttons surrounding the infotainment screen, in addition to volume and audio tune scrolling knobs for convenience. Three large, round controls adjust the heating and cooling elements of the vehicle for simplicity. The Crosstrek still sports Subaru's traditional analog instrument cluster. Safety: With the Crosstrek's host of standard safety systems and available driver assistance features, it's no surprise it received a five-star overall safety rating from the government and was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Front: The Crosstrek gets a new grille, front fascia, bumper and headlight design with multi-reflector halogen headlights and auto on/off headlights. Rear: Fender flairs, a rear spoiler and raised roof rails give it a distinguished look. The sturdy roof rack can also carry up to 150 pounds. Profile: The Crosstrek has a handsome profile, with sleek, sporty hatchback styling.
Front Seats: Our Limited trim had leather-trimmed, heated front seats that felt supportive. The driver seat was easy adjust for height, reclining and back and forth sliding. Rear Seats: The rear seats are well-contoured for adults, with plenty of legroom space to keep them happy. Visibility: A higher ride height makes for a perfect driving position, with great outward visibility.
Storage: There are plenty of nooks to store your things, from side pockets on the front doors, to front cupholders, a useful concave space in the center stack and a storage compartment in the armrest. Trunk/Cargo Room: The cargo area was well designed for utility, to actually hold the equipment someone with an off-road capable vehicle might haul around. The cargo area features a large, wide, flat area with a removable rubber tray that could easily be hosed off. Plus, easy-folding 60/40 split rear seats open up even more room to accommodate larger objects.
Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable
Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel drive
Power Output: 148 horsepower / 145 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 26 city / 34 highway
Base Price: $25,095
As Tested: $28,840 (incl. $850 destination fee)
Standard Features: All-wheel drive, rear vision camera, Blind Spot Detection and Lane Change Assist, daytime running lights, privacy glass, roof rails and fog lights, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic climate control, 7.0-inch infotainment system, Starlink smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, cruise control, HD Radio and SiriusXM, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, leather-trimmed upholstery, All-Weather Package with heated front seats.
Options on our test vehicle: Power moonroof, keyless access with push-button start, EyeSight Driver-Assist System, Pre-Collision Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Throttle Management System, Subaru Starlink navigation system, SiriusXM satellite radio.