August 14th, 2020

Subaru Crosstrek the right compact fit


By Lethbridge Herald on June 27, 2019.

Al Beeber

Lethbridge Herald

abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

When Subaru rolled out its smallest all-wheel-drive crossover a few years ago, it found a ready niche market. With the long-established Forester and Outback having established well-established customer bases, the Crosstrek slid into the lineup and made huge fans out of buyers wanting something smaller.

The Crosstrek, years and a redesign later, is still hitting the sweet spot among smaller sport utility-style vehicles. Like all Subarus, it has the company’s “Symmetrical Full-Time AWD system” which will get buyers through mud and snow thanks to the car’s — yes, I’m using the term “car” — substantial ground clearance.

Under the hood is a 2.0-litre Boxer engine cranking out 152 horsepower and 145 lb. ft. of torque. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission, a potent combination for both fuel economy and performance.

Sure, 152 horses doesn’t sound that overwhelming but it’s more than sufficient to get the Crosstrek up to highway speeds with no effort.

Fuel economy is rated at 32 mpg city and 39 mph highway (8.8L/100 km and 7.2L/100 km) respectively which will give operators a lot of distance between fillups.

With the rear split-folding bench seat in place, cargo space is 21 cubic feet. With it down, space increases to a decent 55 cubic feet, more than enough room for a couple of adventurers to put all their gear. When more space is needed, the Crosstrek comes equipped with roof rails so owners can add a cargo carrier.

With its redesign, Subaru says the Crosstrek rear seats fold flatter to increase versatility. A cargo cover and tie-downs are standard.

This week’s tester, provided by Subaru of Lethbridge, is a stunning orange Touring model priced at $29,528.

I had a feeling of deja vu when handed the keys because this tester’s colour is the same as the first Crosstrek I drove on a blistering cold and snowy winter day when the car was first launched.

Years later, the Crosstrek still makes a big impression on me. While considered a compact, the Crosstrek has ample interior space for four adults. Front passengers get 43.1 inches of legroom while rear riders have 36.5 inches. Shoulder room is 55.6 inches.

Both rows of seats are not only roomy but exceptionally comfortable.

And while the car has a good 220 millimetres of ground clearance, step-in height is a breeze.

Once inside, a driver finds he or she has a superb view of the road thanks to a wide greenhouse.

The front seat can be raised or lowered quickly with a ratchet mechanism. I prefer to sit a little higher and with feet closer to the wheel, the latter which means anybody in the rear seat would have abundant room to stretch out legs on long trips.

The tester comes well-equipped with goodies such as fog lights, automatic headlights, a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 6.3-inch display mounted about that unit which displays a wide range of information.

Also included are two cargo tie-down hooks, four utility hooks, automatic climate control, rear heat ducts and a 12-volt power outlet in the centre console.

Such features as navigation and a heated steering wheel are available on upper trims for those who want to go adventuring in luxury.

If I was spending your money and budget was a priority, the Touring trim certainly would be one I’d be interested in.

It has plenty of feature content and on the highway, it is supremely comfortable and quiet. The steering has a nice weighted feel and the Crosstrek protects passengers from the feel of road imperfections.

The Crosstrek’s size makes it easy to manoeuvre in the city and parking will be a breeze with its compact dimensions.

For buyers who want all-wheel-drive an don’t need a bulkier vehicle, the Crosstrek is a superb choice. It really stands out in a crowded field. Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.

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