There's a lot to like about the 2017 Subaru Crosstrek. It offers standard all-wheel drive, a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, and a roomy interior and cargo area. If you're an outdoor person and you don't like trucks or tall SUVs, or you live in snowy, slippery winter weather, it's a compelling choice. At its core, the Crosstrek is a more rugged version of the Subaru Impreza, with a beefed-up suspension, higher ground clearance and trail-ready styling. You can even get it with a manual transmission if you prefer commanding your own gear changes.
For 2017, the Crosstrek carries over largely unchanged from the current model, with the exception of a new trim level — 2.0i Premium Special Edition — that adds a few desirable features and cosmetic upgrades from the Premium trim.
Despite its all-weather and off-road capability, the Crosstrek isn't the first pint-sized crossover we'd recommend. An underpowered four-cylinder engine makes it one of the slowest among its competitors that we've tested, requiring almost 10 seconds from 0 to 60 mph — and that's with an empty cargo area and no traveling companions. The Crosstrek's noisy automatic transmission is also annoying, especially under hard acceleration when it fills the cabin with a loud drone.
If you spend most of your drive time on urban/suburban roads, better options include the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3. The Jeep Renegade is also a capable small crossover with bonafide off-road chops if you get the Trailhawk model. But if you're looking for an inexpensive and fuel-efficient (29 mpg combined) hatchback that you can regularly get dirty off the beaten path, the Subaru Crosstrek is a solid pick.
- All-wheel drive and tall profile combine for strong off-road ability
- Offers adult-sized front and rear legroom and headroom
- Achieves good fuel economy for a rugged all-wheel-drive car
- Big hatchback utility means room for loads of lifestyle gear
- Underperforming engine makes Crosstrek one of slowest in class
- CVT exacerbates the engine's droning sounds
- Infotainment interface isn't as user-friendly as many competitors'