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MSRP: $21,895 - 27,195

7.9

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.9
Safety: 9.4
Reliability: TBD

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Review

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek finishes in the middle of our subcompact SUV rankings. Few class rivals have better interiors, but many competitors deliver better performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of cargo space
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Well-built interior
  • Smooth ride
  • Seats could use more support
  • Lethargic acceleration
  • Rivals handle better

New for 2019

  • Eyesight safety suite now available in all trims
  • Some trims have updated feature availability

Is the Subaru Crosstrek a Good SUV?

The Subaru Crosstrek is a good SUV and makes a great choice for families and young couples. It delivers a comfortable ride, allows for light off-roading, and provides plenty of passenger and cargo space. It also feels more upscale than many rivals and offers plenty of tech features. However, the Crosstrek's uninspiring engine and lackluster handling make it less fun to drive than many of its classmates.

Should I Buy the Subaru Crosstrek?

The Crosstrek makes a great choice if you don't care much about power and handling. Still, you may want to explore other options. This Subaru costs more than many of its competitors, so it doesn't provide as much bang for your buck. Instead, you may want to consider the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3.

Compare the Crosstrek, HR-V, and CX-3 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Subaru Crosstrek?

The 2019 Crosstrek is part of a generation that began with the 2018 model year. The 2019 model sees few major updates. It offers a Wi-Fi hot spot and HD Radio, and some trims offer more features. A plug-in hybrid will join the Crosstrek lineup later in the model year. The 2018 redesign included several updates: It offered more legroom and cargo space than the 2017 model and added 4 more horsepower and standard features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which weren't available at all in the 2017 Crosstrek.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used Crosstrek, but know that if you get a pre-2018 model, you'll miss out on the redesign's updates. If you are interested in a used model, check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. Also look through our Used Car Deals page to learn about the discounts and savings you can get on a used vehicle.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Crosstrek »

We Did the Research for You: 19 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Crosstrek generation, which includes 2018 and 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Subaru Crosstrek Cost?

The Crosstrek sports a base price of around $22,000. That's one of the highest base prices in the class. The top trim, the Limited, starts at around $27,200, which is reasonable for a subcompact SUV's top trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.

Subaru Crosstrek Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Subaru Crosstrek or Honda HR-V?

The Honda HR-V sits near the top of our subcompact SUV rankings. It offers plenty of passenger and storage space, and its innovative Magic Seat allows for various rear-seat configurations that make it easy to carry awkwardly shaped items. The Honda also has more rear-seat passenger space than the Subaru. However, the HR-V can't keep up with the Crosstrek when it comes to off-road ability. 

Which Is Better: Subaru Crosstrek or Mazda CX-3?

The Mazda CX-3 is the most athletic vehicle in the class by far. It delivers nimble handling and a fun driving experience, feeling more like a sporty hatchback than a small SUV. The CX-3’s engine is livelier than the Crosstrek's, allowing you to merge onto the highway with confidence. If performance is at the top of your checklist, test-drive the CX-3. If you're not worried about a sporty drive, then the Crosstrek makes a solid choice as well.

Compare the Crosstrek, HR-V, and CX-3 »

Crosstrek Interior

How Many People Does the Crosstrek Seat?

The Crosstrek seats five. Both rows have plenty of head- and legroom for adult passengers to ride comfortably. The seats are well-bolstered, but some people may wish for more support.

Crosstrek and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The system earns a rating of Good+ (the highest rating) for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Crosstrek Interior Quality

The Crosstrek's inviting cabin features a lot of soft-touch materials, giving it an upscale look and feel. In the subcompact SUV class, it’s tough to beat the interior quality of this Subaru.

Crosstrek Cargo Space

Few crossovers can match the Crosstrek for cargo space. It gives you nearly 21 cubic feet of room with the rear seats in use, which is enough space for all your tailgate gear or vacation luggage. Fold down the rear seats, and you get just over 55 cubic feet of space.

Crosstrek Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Crosstrek comes standard with the Starlink infotainment system, which includes a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker audio system.

Available features include a moonroof, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, two additional USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, navigation, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen.

Some of the Crosstrek's features can be finicky, but there's still a lot to like about this Subaru's tech offerings. The infotainment system serves as the hub for the in-vehicle tech, and it features crisp graphics, an intuitive layout, and physical controls that complement the touch screen.

Read more about interior »

Crosstrek Performance

Crosstrek Engine: A Snail's Pace

Don't expect to win any races in the Crosstrek. Its 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine delivers molasses-esque acceleration, and while it does fine for driving around town, it feels uninspiring in high-energy driving situations. A plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek will join the lineup later in the model year.

Crosstrek Gas Mileage: Right on Par

The Crosstrek earns 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway, which is typical gas mileage for a subcompact SUV. That's even a hair better than you'll get in the all-wheel-drive version of the Honda HR-V. It’s also on par with the ratings of the larger Subaru Forester.

Crosstrek Ride and Handling: A Mixed Bag

The all-wheel-drive Crosstrek provides more off-road capability than most competitors and delivers a comfortable ride on the pavement. However, it offers less handling ability than most class rivals and isn't the best choice for buyers who prioritize driving enjoyment.

Read more about performance »

Crosstrek Reliability

Is the Subaru Crosstrek Reliable?

The 2019 Crosstrek does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power, but the nearly identical 2018 model earns a three out of five rating, which is about average.

Subaru Crosstrek Warranty

Subaru covers the Crosstrek with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Crosstrek Safety

Crosstrek Crash Test Results

The 2019 Crosstrek earned a five-out-of-five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Crosstrek Safety Features

The Crosstrek comes standard with a rearview camera. Available driver assistance features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and reverse automatic braking. Some of these features are part of Subaru's EyeSight suite of active safety technology.

Read more about safety »

Which Subaru Crosstrek Model Is Right for Me?

The Crosstrek comes in three trims: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, and 2.0i Limited (a plug-in hybrid will join the lineup later in the model year). Every model comes with a 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. The first two trims come standard with a manual transmission, while a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. The top-level Limited comes standard with the CVT.

In general, to get more features, you must step up in trim level. The 2.0i Premium trim comes with nice features like heated front seats, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hot spot, and it doesn't cost that much more than the base trim. Even though it costs about $4,300 more than the Premium trim, the 2.0i Limited also makes a good choice, as it offers a few driver assistance and tech features that you can't get in the lower trims.

Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i

The Crosstrek 2.0i carries a base price of $21,895. It comes standard with cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth, a four-speaker audio system, and the Starlink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. You can add a CVT for $1,000.

Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium

The Crosstrek 2.0i Premium has a starting price of $22,895. In addition to the base trim's features, the Premium comes with heated front seats, satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system, two additional USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. You can add a CVT for $1,000.

Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

Pricing for the Crosstrek 2.0i Limited starts at $27,195. The Limited comes with a CVT, leather seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, an 8-inch touch screen, automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the EyeSight suite of driver assistance features.

You can add a moonroof for $1,000. There's also a $2,350 option package that includes a moonroof, navigation, and a Harman Kardon audio system.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Subaru dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Subaru deals page.

See 2019 Subaru Crosstrek specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek has perhaps one of the best interiors in the subcompact SUV class, but it also delivers subpar performance. In other words, it's a mixed bag. It represents a great buying choice for some and a bad one for others, depending on your personal preferences. These disparate strengths and weakness are behind the Crosstrek's middle-of-the-pack class ranking.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "We've always loved the idea of an off-road-able compact wagon, and Subaru hit the bull's-eye again with the 2018 Crosstrek. If you loved the last one, you'll love this Crosstrek just the same or even more." -- Motor Trend (2018)
  • "Supplying value, quality, safety, capability, utility, advanced technology, and plenty of colorful character, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is likely to continue delighting the people who have made this model one of the company's best-selling vehicles. And though it faces a new onslaught of competitors, including the upcoming Ford Ecosport, Hyundai Kona, and Kia Stonic, it is also likely to remain a standard-bearer within its segment." -- New York Daily News (2018)
  • "As small SUVs go, this is a pretty good deal for a well-equipped, fun-to-drive, highly useful little machine. The fact that it's painfully slow just isn't important to the hundreds of thousands of buyers who've snapped them up in the past five years. All of the other attributes that have made the Crosstrek so popular have only been improved." -- Cars.com (2018)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 18, 2019

Booming Sales: Demand for the Subaru Crosstrek surged in 2018, and sales were 31.1 percent higher compared to 2017. The Crosstrek is currently outselling its nearest competitor in the subcompact SUV segment, the Jeep Renegade, by more than 48 percent. Across its whole lineup, Subaru sold 5 percent more vehicles in 2018 than they did in 2017.

Research more buying advice »
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