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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Review

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek ranks in the middle of the subcompact SUV class. It has a lot of cargo and passenger space, but it's overshadowed by its rivals in most other areas.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Responsive handling
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Roomy rear seats
  • Sluggish engine
  • Seats can feel firm

Rankings & Awards

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2018 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money award. Currently the Subaru Crosstrek has a score of 7.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Overview

Is the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is an OK subcompact SUV that stands out for its standard all-wheel drive.

The 2018 Crosstrek has several strengths:

  • Spacious second row seats, especially by class standards
  • Tons of cargo room
  • Standard all-wheel drive 
  • Quiet and fuel-efficient continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Smooth, lively handling and some light off-road prowess
  • Low select ownership costs for the class

It also has a few weaknesses:

  • Slow acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy in models equipped with the manual transmission
  • High average purchase price for the class
  • Seats could use more padding for longer drives
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive Subaru Crosstrek review. It combines concrete data (like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 27 automotive sources.

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Is the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek?

Based on listings for the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek on our site, the average price is $25,000, which is well above average for the class. Prices range from $20,900 to $29,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Cost to Own?

The 2018 Crosstrek’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $21,440, or $4,288 per year. That’s below average for the subcompact SUV class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Crosstrek?

The 2019 Crosstrek gained a few available features, such as a Wi-Fi hot spot, as well as a plug-in hybrid powertrain. If those aren’t important to you, stick with the 2018 model, which will likely cost you less money.

Read about the new Crosstrek »

Subaru fully redesigned the Crosstrek for the 2018 model year. You could potentially save more money with a previous-generation model, but you’d miss out on several updates, including more rear-seat legroom, more cargo space, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a slightly stronger engine, a refined transmission, and a restyled exterior and interior. If you’re interested in a used Crosstrek Hybrid, you’ll have to stick with a 2017 model, as Subaru did not produce it for the 2018 model year.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Crosstrek »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Crosstrek?

The 2018 Crosstrek has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is about average.

Read more about Crosstrek reliability »

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one recall for the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek:

  • The floor mat may move out of position and interfere with the throttle or brake pedal

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Subaru Crosstrek safety recalls »

Which Used Subaru Crosstrek Trim Is Right for Me?

Subaru offers the Crosstrek in three trim levels: base, Premium, and Limited. All three come with a 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine.

The base and Premium trims come with either a manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Limited trim comes with the CVT only. The Premium and Limited trims are available with the EyeSight suite of safety features, which includes a pre-collision warning and braking system, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

The Premium trim is a good bet for shoppers after those safety features, as it’s the first trim to offer them as options. It also has a few comfort upgrades, such as heated front seats.

  • Subaru Crosstrek base: The base Crosstrek features a 6.5-inch display, the Starlink infotainment system, Pandora, Aha, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a USB port, a four-speaker stereo, cloth seats, and a rearview camera.
  • Subaru Crosstrek Premium: The Premium adds a six-speaker stereo, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It’s available with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, and a moonroof.
  • Subaru Crosstrek Limited: The top-of-the-line Limited adds an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, and the Premium’s optional safety features. The Limited is the only trim available with a navigation system, an eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, automatic high beams, and reverse automatic braking. The moonroof remains available too.

See 2018 Subaru Crosstrek trims and specs »

What Does Subaru's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Subaru offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. Subaru provides no additional coverage for CPO vehicles, so buyers receive the remainder of the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty. However, buyers can purchase additional coverage. Every CPO Subaru must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like owner loyalty discounts, a one-year Starlink Safety Plus trial subscription, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

Subaru’s CPO program isn’t particularly robust, according to our analysis. Among affordable automakers, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and many others have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Subaru certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Crosstrek?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Crosstrek a 2018 Top Safety Pick+, earning the top rating of Good in all six crash test categories. Additionally, properly equipped models earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention. Ratings for how well the headlights illuminate the road vary by trim and options. They range from Poor (the worst rating) to Good.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave this crossover a five-out-of-five-star overall rating, with five stars in side crash tests and four stars in front crash and rollover tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • lane keep assist
  • lane departure warning
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • automatic high beams
  • adaptive cruise control
  • reverse automatic braking

See Crosstrek safety scores »

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek or 2018 Mazda CX-3?

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 distinguishes itself from other subcompact crossovers with its spritely handling and brisk acceleration, helping it feel more like a sporty hatchback. It also has an upscale cabin and better fuel economy estimates than the Crosstrek, though it lacks standard all-wheel drive (AWD is available). On average, buying the Mazda will save you around $4,200 compared to the Subaru. The Crosstrek has more room for passengers and cargo, but unless you need the extra space, go with the CX-3.

Which Is Better: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek or 2018 Honda HR-V?

The 2018 Honda HR-V is another good subcompact SUV. It has more rear-seat legroom and cargo space than the Subaru, and the rear seat can be configured in several ways for carrying oddly shaped pieces of cargo. The Crosstrek has a bit more off-road capability and more ground clearance, but if you can do without that, then the HR-V is the superior choice.

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

2018 Crosstrek Performance

How Does the 2018 Crosstrek Drive?

The Crosstrek feels underpowered. Slow acceleration isn’t unusual among subcompact crossovers, but this Subaru feels especially pokey. The continuously variable automatic transmission draws praise for its fuel efficiency. Unlike many CVTs, it doesn’t induce engine drone at higher speeds.

This vehicle has a smooth ride. It’s more athletic than some of its rivals too, and it has great traction. An exceptional 8.7 inches of ground clearance and available hill-descent control, which comes in all models equipped with the CVT, give it light off-roading abilities.

  • Base engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed manual; available continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Crosstrek Get Good Gas Mileage?

With the manual transmission, this SUV gets some of the worst fuel economy estimates in the class. Models with the CVT get above-average EPA estimates, which is impressive considering the Crosstrek’s standard all-wheel drive.

  • Manual: 23/29 mpg city/highway
  • CVT: 27/33 mpg
2018 Subaru Crosstrek Towing Capacity

The Crosstrek can tow up to 1,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Crosstrek performance »

2018 Crosstrek Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Crosstrek Seat?

The Crosstrek seats five people in two rows. The front and rear seats have ample leg- and headroom for most passengers. Some critics found the seats to be comfortable and supportive, but others thought the seats could use a little more padding for long trips. Visibility is great, and the cabin has a clean, upscale feeling.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth seats

Available seating features:

  • leather seats
  • heated front seats
  • six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek?

This SUV has two complete sets of LATCH connectors on the rear outboard seats, as well as a third tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The middle seat can borrow lower anchors from the adjacent outboard seats. The whole setup received the highest rating of Good+ for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Features

The infotainment system is straightforward, and there are lots of physical buttons and knobs that help make it easy to use.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 6.5-inch touch screen, a Starlink infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a USB port, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: a navigation system, an 8-inch touch screen, a six- or eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and satellite radio
  • Additional standard features: cruise control and a rearview camera
  • Other available features: push-button start, proximity keyless entry, automatic climate control, and a moonroof

See Subaru Crosstrek specs »

Read more about Crosstrek interior »

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Dimensions

Subaru Crosstrek Cargo Space

This Subaru has 20.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 55.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Those are fantastic figures, surpassing most class rivals.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek Length and Weight
  • Length: 14 feet, 7.8 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,113 to 3,230 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Built?

Subaru built the 2018 Crosstrek in Japan.

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