When it comes to buying a Subaru Crosstrek, you might be wondering which model year is the best choice for your needs.
Deciding on the ideal year is important, as it can impact both your driving experience and the vehicle’s long-term reliability if you make a terrible mistake of buying any of the reported Crosstrek worst versions.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best years for the Subaru Crosstrek, based on industry reviews and owner feedback, to help you make an informed decision.
- 1 Model Year Comparisons
- 2 2013-2017: First Generation
- 3 2018-2022: Second Generation
- 4 What year is best for Crosstrek?
- 5 Performance and Handling
- 6 Engine Options
- 7 Transmission Choices
- 8 Fuel Economy
- 9 Acceleration
- 10 Steering and Ground Clearance
- 11 Reliability and Safety
- 12 Common Problems
- 13 Recalls
- 14 Key Subaru Crosstrek Models
- 15 Base Model
- 16 Premium
- 17 Limited
- 18 Hybrid
- 19 2020: 2.0L vs 2.5L Engine
- 20 Interior and Technology
- 21 Infotainment System
- 22 Space and Comfort
- 23 Connectivity
- 24 Driver Assistance
- 25 Alternative Subaru Models
- 26 Subaru Outback
- 27 Subaru Forester
- 28 Subaru Impreza
- 29 Share this post:
Model Year Comparisons
2013-2017: First Generation
The first generation of the Subaru Crosstrek, launched in 2013, introduced this subcompact crossover to the market.
This generation consists of model years 2013 to 2017. The 2013 model faced some reliability issues, which earned it the title of the worst model year. However, things improved in the following years.
In 2014, Subaru Crosstrek addressed some of the 2013 model’s problems, resulting in a slightly better vehicle.
The 2015 Crosstrek is considered as one of the best all-rounder Subaru vehicles on the market, boasting impressive ratings from its owners.
This generation continues to offer the practicality and reliability Subaru is known for, making it a smart consideration if you’re shopping for a used vehicle.
2018-2022: Second Generation
The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek kicked off in 2018, featuring improved performance and more advanced technology.
For this generation, the 2019 and 2020 models stand out as the best years due to their enhanced reliability and performance.
The 2019 model introduced a host of safety features, making it more desirable for your peace of mind.
Meanwhile, the 2020 model earned an impressive reliability score of 84 out of 100, which is exceptional compared to other model years.
The latest models in this generation, particularly the 2021 and 2022 vehicles, received positive reviews as well, reinforcing their status as reliable and practical options for your next purchase.
As you browse through the different model years of Subaru Crosstrek, keep in mind their respective strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and needs. Whichever year you decide on, rest assured that you’re investing in a capable and well-rounded subcompact crossover SUV.
What year is best for Crosstrek?
2018: Based on industry reviews, reported problems, and consumer feedback, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek stands out as the best year for the Crosstrek.
This model year received a refreshed design and new technology features. You’ll appreciate that the 2018 Crosstrek was built on an entirely new platform, departing from its Impreza-based predecessor.
So, what specifically does this impressive 2018 model offer you?
Firstly, the redesigned Crosstrek platform provides improved handling and ride comfort while maintaining Subaru’s iconic all-wheel-drive capabilities. Expect better fuel efficiency and a more rigid structure for a smoother driving experience.
Next, the 2018 Crosstrek comes with enhanced technology features, making it an excellent choice for those who like to stay connected on the go.
You’ll have access to Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system, which offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Additionally, this model year introduced Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist package, making your driving experience safer with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision braking.
Performance and Handling
You’ll find two different engine options in the Subaru Crosstrek: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer engine and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine.
The 2023 and 2022 models both offer exceptional quality and performance, as well as the option of a hybrid drivetrain for better fuel efficiency.
The Subaru Crosstrek offers a manual transmission and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to cater to your preference.
The CVT option is more fuel-efficient, while the manual transmission provides a more engaging driving experience.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Subaru Crosstrek does not disappoint.
With the 2.0-liter engine and CVT, you’ll get 28/33 mpg city/highway, while the 2.5-liter engine with CVT offers slightly better fuel efficiency at 27/34 mpg.
If you choose the manual transmission, expect a lower rate of 22/29 mpg city/highway.
In regards to acceleration, the Subaru Crosstrek provides a smooth and comfortable ride, which is often not the case in the subcompact SUV class.
The 2023 model handles well with good acceleration, making it a reliable choice for daily commuting or weekend adventures.
Steering and Ground Clearance
One of the highlights of the Subaru Crosstrek is its well-weighted steering and composed ride.
This is thanks to its car-like handling, providing a responsive driving experience.
Additionally, the Crosstrek has an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, allowing you to tackle various terrains with ease and confidence.
Reliability and Safety
The Subaru Crosstrek has a reputation for being a reliable crossover. However, there are a few issues that some owners have reported.
These problems include excessive oil consumption, wheel bearing failure, and problems with the electrical system.
While these issues are not widespread, it’s essential to be aware of them when considering a used Crosstrek.
If you are looking for a model with fewer reported problems, the 2019 and 2020 Crosstreks are noted for their high reliability.
Subaru has had to issue recalls for certain model years of the Crosstrek. Some of the recalls involve issues with the electrical system, unintended acceleration, and corrosion.
It’s essential to check if any recalls apply to the specific model year you are interested in. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website to see if there are any outstanding recalls for the Crosstrek you’re considering.
The Crosstrek scores well in safety tests, and many models come equipped with Subaru’s Eyesight suite of safety features.
Eyesight includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and more.
Additionally, all Crosstrek models come standard with all-wheel drive, making it a popular choice for off-roading enthusiasts and those who live in areas with tricky road conditions.
The Crosstrek offers a comfortable and spacious interior, which includes features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as an available hybrid model.
In terms of owner satisfaction, the Crosstrek has a good resale value and is regarded as one of the more affordable subcompact crossover SUVs.
In conclusion, while there are some issues and recalls that have been reported for certain Crosstrek model years, it remains a reliable and safe vehicle. By reviewing the information above and checking for any outstanding recalls, you can make an informed decision when considering a used Subaru Crosstrek.
Key Subaru Crosstrek Models
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek introduced a refreshed design and added new tech features. Built on a new platform, the Base Model offers a comfortable ride and good fuel efficiency.
With the 2015 Subaru Crosstrek, the Premium trim is also a solid choice, featuring an upgraded infotainment system and improved reliability scores.
The 2020 and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Limited trims are great options as they provide a blend of performance and features, boasting the 2.0L engine and improved safety tech.
The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid model offers the best of both worlds with a plug-in hybrid system, which enhances fuel efficiency and lowers emissions without compromising performance.
2020: 2.0L vs 2.5L Engine
In 2020, Subaru introduced a more powerful 2.5-liter engine in the Crosstrek lineup. This engine offered added power and acceleration, creating a more engaging driving experience.
To summarize, the Subaru Crosstrek has been through several upgrades and improvements in recent years.
The 2018 Base Model, the 2015 Premium, the 2020 and 2021 Limited, and the Hybrid all offer unique benefits. The 2020 model year is particularly noteworthy for the introduction of the new 2.5L engine option.
Interior and Technology
The Subaru Crosstrek features a user-friendly infotainment system with a Starlink touchscreen. You’ll love the intuitive interface and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Space and Comfort
In the Crosstrek’s comfortable interior, you’ll find plenty of space for passengers and cargo. The 2018 model brought significant improvements in comfort, thanks to its new platform.
Stay connected on the go with advanced technology, including a 11.6-inch touchscreen (available on select models) that makes it easy to access your phone and other apps.
For your peace of mind, every Crosstrek comes with the EyeSight driver assistance system. And if you’re environmentally conscious, there’s a plug-in hybrid option to suit you!
Alternative Subaru Models
The Subaru Outback is a great alternative if you’re looking for a larger, more versatile vehicle. It offers more cargo space and a smoother ride than a typical small SUV.
However, its larger size and higher price tag might not be ideal for everyone as well lookout for unreliable Outback models.
The Outback also comes with Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive, making it perfect for off-road adventures and various weather conditions.
If you prefer a more traditional SUV, the Forester could be the right choice for you. It offers good fuel efficiency for a small SUV and has excellent visibility, making it easy to navigate tight spots.
However, it might not be as sporty or agile as some subcompact SUVs and we recommend to lookout for the Forester with more common performance issues.
The newer Forester models come with the latest safety and technology features, giving you peace of mind while on the road.
For those who prefer a smaller, more compact vehicle, the Subaru Impreza might be a perfect fit. Available as a sedan or a hatchback, this car offers versatility and practicality in a compact package.
The Impreza is known for its composed handling and stylish design, but its smaller size means less cargo space compared to other Subaru models. Read a detailed used Impreza cars with issues.
Keep in mind that the Impreza is not a subcompact SUV like the Crosstrek, but it is an appealing alternative for those seeking a compact car with all-wheel drive capabilities.