Lots of "compact" SUVs out there, and almost all of them are boring and bland. While no drag racer, this car is fun to drive, has exciting styling, and is just the right size. Also, it has a unique look and size that isn't quite an SUV, more like a sports wagon/SUV cross. You get a lot for the money - heated leather seats, Navigation, moonroof, backup camera - compared to other cars. Plus, the raised clearance, cool wheels, and great gas mileage (at at 27 MPG mostly on short trips and city driving). The drive feels very secure, and the shift paddles are fun to use. The engine does rev high and won't get you 0 - 60 in a record time, but the car feels punchy, spry, and turns on a dime.
When I first started looking at cars I never even thought to look at the Crosstrek or Subaru. As a real estate agent I wanted something nice but didn't want to go the standard issue luxury car everyone seems to drive. When a family member recommended the forester, I wasn't thrilled but went to test drive it anyway. While at the dealership I saw this little beauty and fell in love. I can cart around my clients and all my signs/lockboxes/excess Realtor stuff. But its also very comfortable and safe feeling. Being able to sit up high is a plus when you drive 20k miles a year. I highly recommend the GPS option, with it you get an upgraded sound system and a back up camera. I love my Crosstrek!
I have been sold on Subaru for many years, but this is a change from my usual purchase of a Forester. The engine is just average in regard to performance, but exceptional in gas mileage, averaging 29 in rural back road driving. The seats are very comfortable and the cabin seems much more roomy compared to the Foresters I have had in the past. The doors are large and provide easy in/out access. The exterior styling is aggressive and has received a lot of compliments, while the interior is more just utilitarian and the radio readout is disappointing. Overall, the more I drive it, the better I like it.
UPDATE: We really loved our Crosstrek, in bright orange, but after driving it for a little bit, I noticed my arm was sore. I didn't really understand why. But I figure it out. It was pulling to the right, constantly, upon any acceleration. As a car guy, I remember torque steer; it was just like torque steer but obvious at all levels of acceleration. The dealer could not fix it. The techs of course denied it happening. But I went and tried a brand new one (this was new too) and no torque steer. So the dealer basically traded it in for this one and put this broken one on the lot as a non-certified pre owned. I was happy but I felt bad for whomever bought it after me. Anyway, the replacement was fine, until someone stole the wheels and tires off of it while it sat in front of my house.....those are some nice wheels. And after that, I started driving it at I95 rush hour traffic and found it could not handle the speed of I95 with as much grace as it should; it felt wonky. So, I traded it in on a a competitor's SUV. I am so happy I did this, despite losing some cash along the way. The other problems that surfaced were on the 2nd one, if you had the heater in the bi-level mode, the engine would run rough like it was going to stall. All other modes were okay. The engine is a 60K tune up interval. When cold it had a very fast idle. Reminded me of something from the 80's, fast idle. Those things said, I also had major problems with my feet hurting after driving for awhile......at 5' 11", I could not stretch out my legs as I would on other cars. That turned out to be a bigger problem that anticipated. And also, the cargo area was smaller than I first realized. My fault for not renting one for a week first, but they are hard to find as rentals. So, it turns out that these weren't as good as originally anticipated, but probably for many, it would be fine.
I bought my 2014 subaru a little over a year ago. This past winter I really noticed how poorly the heat works. My feet and legs get so cold I'm tempted to put in a heating blanket. The service dept said..."Can't do anything...the heating system is weak" Also very noisy at highway speeds...can't listen easily to my audio books. Finally, some of these problems might be tolerable if the MPG was better than 23 using 87 octane. The service person said the computer says 26 MPG ??and it's winter.