The Crosstrek is powered by Subaru’s unique boxer engine. This 2.0 L aluminum-alloy 4-cylinder engine has the cylinders lie flat, with two facing the opposite direction as the other two. This 2-2 horizontally opposing geometry has key merits of reducing the engine height, and hence a lower center of gravity, and also reducing vibrations due to the piston movements counter-balancing each other. The engine in the Crosstrek produce a maximum of 148 hp at 6,200 rpm and 145 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm, and this power is carried to the wheels through Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This powertrain has EPA estimated gas mileage of 34 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in the city. A tankful of gas gives you a driving range of over 500 miles.
StarLink is Subaru’s connectivity software that powers the infotainment and security systems in its vehicles. This system lives in a 6.2-inch touchscreen (Upgraded to a 7.0-inch touchscreen with an options package discussed later). On the security front, the Crosstrek comes with a complimentary one-year subscription to the Safety Plus service, which includes Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Diagnostic Alerts, Maintenance Notification, and Monthly Vehicle Health Report.
On the entertainment side, StarLink Multimedia gives access to Pandora, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Aha, SiriusXM, and HD Radio with iTunes tagging. Bluetooth connectivity is also there, as expected, but StarLink supports deeper integration with compatible smartphones through an app.
Crosstrek is built for carrying folks and cargo, with dimensions of 175.2-inch long, 70.1-inch wide, and 63.6-inch tall. The standard integrated roof rails greatly expand the total cargo capacity on top of the 22.3 cubic feet of interior cargo volume.
Even if you choose rough terrain in your path, Symmetrical AWD and 8.7-inch of ground clearance get you up or down the road, travelling with ease to your favorite resort, picnic area, or campground.
The best interior feature was the medium-sized knobs for changing radio stations and controlling volume. There are even larger knobs for adjusting air flow from the climate control system that includes an air filtration system. A rearview camera is standard.
Black cloth upholstery with orange stitching add luster to the black leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel, also with orange stitching. The sliding center console lid complements the above mentioned interior ensemble with the same orange stitching.
The MSRP for the 2.0i Premium, which includes the beautiful exterior coated in Venetian Red Pearl, is $22,395 with the 5-speed manual transmission. Add another $1,000 for the CVT.
My vehicle also had a $1,995 options package that upgraded the infotainment system with the 7-inch StarLink Multimedia Plus, supporting gesture controls. The crown jewel in this package is the EyeSight Drive Assist System, which uses two cameras mounted above the rearview mirror to implement Pre-collision Braking, Pre-collision Throttle Management, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Departure and Sway Warning. Also included are Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Subaru was given the 2016 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ with the EyeSight system especially featured.
Crosstrek handled well while performing admirably in curves and straightaways. The cab was quiet with the driver’s seating always positioned to manage all key features quickly and economically. I would like to have a little more width in the front seats, but the 43.5-inch legroom and the 37.7-inch headroom in the front made for a very comfortable environment.
Limited Warranty/Roadside Assistance
3-year/36,000-mile New Car Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
5-year/Unlimited mileage Rust Perforation Limited Warranty
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at email@example.com