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2019 Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is essentially a more rugged-looking version of Subaru's compact Impreza hatchback. Its SUV-like styling cues hide the Impreza's well-tuned chassis, its efficient flat-four engine, and its attractive cabin.

Spotter's guide

The Crosstrek follows the successful recipe Subaru used to create the Outback. It's decked out with outdoorsy styling cues like black cladding on both bumpers, over the wheel arches, and on the rocker panels, a taller suspension, and roof rails. It's not merely about looks; the tweaks give it 8.7 inches of ground clearance, a figure that puts it above everything else in its segment with the exception of Jeep's Trailhawk models.

Life aboard

The story is the same inside, where the Crosstrek and the Impreza share numerous components. Features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard from the base model on up and they're package in attractive and well-integrated hardware. Clearly, Subaru is putting effort into designing and building better interiors for its cars. Even base models get a 6.5-inch, full-color multimedia interface.

The cabin offers space for five passengers, though the middle seat gets tight if you try to fit three adults on it, and 20.3 cubic feet of trunk space with both rows of seats left up. Folding down the rear seats yields a crossover-like 55.3 cubes.

Technical specifications

Power for the Crosstrek comes from a naturally-aspirated, 2.0-liter flat-four engine that makes 152 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 145 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. All-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission comes standard on some versions, but most trim levels come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Fuel economy checks in at 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 in a combined cycle for the most efficient Crosstrek. Selecting the six-speed stick lowers those figures to 23, 29, and 25, respectively.

Standard and optional features

The Crosstrek line-up includes three trim levels named 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, and 2.0i Limited, respectively.

The list of standard features includes a 6.5-inch touch screen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, power windows, 60/40-split rear seats, power door locks, power side mirrors, a multi-function display in the instrument cluster, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, an alarm with an engine immobilizer, and carpeted floor mats.

Buyers have several option packages to choose from. They bundle popular equipment like EyeSight, a moonroof, and an upgraded sound system made by Harman Kardon.

Occupant safety

Every Crosstrek comes standard with dual front, front side, and full-length side curtain airbags in addition to a driver's side knee airbag, traction and stability control systems, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Subaru's EyeSight suite of electronic driving aids is available across the board, though usually at an extra cost. It includes high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, blind spot detection, and lane-keeping assist, among other features.

Key Competitors

The Subaru Crosstrek is essentially a hatchback with a lift kit and SUV-like styling. If that sounds familiar, it's likely because it's the textbook definition of a crossover.

Crosstrek buyers can look at the Nissan Rogue Sport, the Honda HR-V, the Jeep Compass, and even Subaru's own Impreza.