Subaru Crosstrek

Car Review: Subaru XV Crosstrek (2013-2017)

Sporty good looks, off-road handling and ultra-cool wheel rims made, and still makes the Subaru Crosstrek popular amongst younger buyers. So how does it stack up when put under the microscope? Read on to find out.   

The Good

1. Four-wheel drive comes as standard

2. 5 or 6 speed manual, or CVT automatic gearbox available

3. 2016 model saw new safety features including lane-change assist

4. 2016 also had a much improved 7.0 Starlink Multimedia touchscreen

5. Great off-road capabilities

6. A great off-road 8.7 inches (220mm) of ground clearance

7. 17 inch alloy wheels come standard

8. SE versions come with heated front seats, dual-climate control and reversing camera

9. SE Lux Premium (renamed SE Premium) adds leather trim, keyless entry & keyless start

10. Engines are solidly reliable – no major issues reported over the years

11. Awesome color range including Jasmine Green, Tangerine Orange and Hyper Blue

12. Also available in hybrid

13. Plenty of legroom and headroom in the cabin

14. Tilt and telescopic steering wheel

12. Aerodynamic roof rails

Subaru Crosstrek

The Bad

1. Inconsistently weighted steering and lumpy ride – made more for off-road capability

2. 1.6 liter engine is under powered and struggles off-road. Better to go for the 2.0 liter model

3. Some electrical system issues involving the stereo and backup camera have been reported

4. 2013 model had 2 recalls – engine stalling issues due to an engine valve spring failure, and a fob malfunction causing the engine to inadvertently start and run for up to fifteen minutes. The engine may then continue to start and stop until the fob battery runs dead, or until the vehicle runs out of fuel.

The Essentials

If you’re considering a 2013 model, ensure the recall issues have been attended to. Also check the electrical system works fine – especially the stereo and backup camera. This is usually a software problem and Subaru can typically fix the problem with a simple update. Typically used for off-road adventures, always check the undercarriage for abuse and rust issues, and listen for knocks when doing a sharp u-turn. Get as much history as you can about the model you’re thinking of buying as it will give you a picture of how the car has been used and treated, and what to look for in relation to such usage. Private sellers can easily provide this information whereas dealers don’t have this advantage.  

The Alternatives

Nissan Qashqai (2013-2017), Kia Sportage (2010-2015), Honda HR-V (2013-2020)

The Verdict

8 out of 10

The Subaru Crosstrek has become the most popular and best-selling Subaru vehicle over the years with its off-road versatility and continued improvements to keep it at the top of the game. Their engines are the best Subaru have put out and should last well over 200,000 miles with regular maintenance and servicing. The best buy out of these years would be the 2016 (or 2017) models as they came with improved updates and the best reliability rating.

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