Subaru Crosstrek Touring, a compact SUV

In 4x4, Car Reviews, Subaru by Robin Roberts

Subaru – One of the smallest model ranges on sale in Britain, but arguably, one of the best

Car Reviewed: Subaru Crosstrek Touring

After building a long reputation on performance in the World Rally Championship, Subaru has since focused on active leisure and lifestyle buyers and is now exclusively a four-wheel-drive producer.

Early in 2024, the new Subaru Crosstrek replaced the venerable XV model in the brand’s UK range alongside the Forester, Outback and Solterra BEV. It is available in Limited and Touring trim levels, with prices starting at £34,345 and going up to £36,345 for the range-topping Touring variant, the version we tested.

With its proven and highly effective all-wheel-drive transmission, the vehicle has a faster response time, more agile handling, and better control both on and off-road. Driver-selectable X-MODE with Hill Descent Control maximises wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines.

Touring variants upgrade to dual-function X-MODE for increased capability in a wider range of conditions. This permits an experienced driver to fine-tune traction through snow, mud, and sand.

All models feature Incline Start Assist, which briefly holds the vehicle while the driver pulls away from a stop on a hill, along with Subaru Intelligent Drive with two selectable drive modes, Intelligent and Sport.

All Crosstrek models now have an 11.6-inch high-resolution touchscreen inside and they all come with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The onboard multimedia system also works as an information display with combination meter integration and on-screen controls for audio, climate, and vehicle functions.

Additional features include Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming connectivity, AM/FM stereo and DAB audio, and a rear vision camera.

So the Subaru Crosstrek really lacks nothing you’d find in a much more expensive all-wheel-drive competitor.

As found in many Porsche models, the 2.0-litre engine has a flat four-cylinder design. This design aids handling but tends to be thirstier and noisier than a conventional upright quad-cylinder block.

Our test car’s performance was reasonable but not remarkable in a comparatively mild state of tune. However, its best feature was the intelligent four-wheel-drive transmission, which could be twitched along through the column paddles and offered fine-tuning modes for grip, as well as economy and sport settings.

The Subaru Crosstrek is very much a car for any reason or season.

Everything worked very smoothly; the acceleration, braking and steering were positive and precise, and it really gripped the road very well and didn’t display any vices.

Hill ascent and descent aided ultimate control and the ground clearance of nearly nine inches meant it could ease through many ruts and over rough ground without grounding.

Secondary controls grouped about the wheel spokes needed familiarisation, while the usual stalks were well placed and worked silently. 

Ahead of the driver were the regular gauges, large and clearly marked. To the centre of the fascia, the impressive multi-purpose infotainment screen combines essential and desirable features, showing them quickly and clearly.

Heating and ventilation worked well to fill the cabin with air and backed up by powered windows and a sunroof.

Oddments room was reasonable throughout and the boot’s regular shape made it easy to load and empty. A low cill and quick folding seatbacks almost tripled the volume.

Access to seats was also easy and the room inside was very good, with the front pair having a wide adjustment range. All were very well shaped and supportive and combined with the long travel springs, made for a very smooth experience over any surface.

The Crosstrek did not roll about to any great degree and stayed planted on the road reassuringly, instantly coping with changes to grip and incline.

Visibility was excellent, with a low waistline, deep windows, long wide beam headlights and excellent wipers.

The engine sounded busy at higher revs and some surfaces introduced more noise into the cabin; otherwise, it was a pleasant environment and experience.

The flat-four engine design is not the best for fuel saving and some may think the 42mpg achieved could have been better, but it’s acceptable unless you’re a particularly hard driver.

As it stands, the Subaru Crosstrek Touring is very competitively priced compared to other 4WD rivals, offers a lot of sophistication and style and delivers a very comfortable experience. 

For: Very comfortable, well equipped, good soft-road ability and ground clearance

Against: Average economy and performance, modest luggage space, some engine noise, high emissions hit road tax

© 2024 WheelsWithinWales

Author Rating 3.8/5

Car Reviewed: Subaru Crosstrek Touring

on the road price as tested £36,345

  • 0-62mph 10.8secs
  • Top speed 123mph
  • Mechanical 4cyl 2.0 petrol-hybrid engine
  • Fuel Consumption Combined 36.8mpg
  • Max Power 136ps@5600rpm
  • Torque 182Nm@4000rpm
  • Dimensions MM 4495 L/1800 W/1600 H
  • CO2 emissions 174g/km
  • Transmission Lineartronic automatic AWD
  • Bootspace 315 / 922 1itres (seats folded)

Robin Roberts

Motoring Journalist

Robin contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.

Robin was the longest serving chairman of The Western Group of Motoring Writers. He specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.

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