Class: Sub Compact Crossover
Color: Sapphire Blue Pearl
Miles driven: 176
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Observed fuel economy: 29.5 mpg
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 27/34/29 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Snow Performance: N/A
Base price: $26,145 (not including $1295 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: OP14 option package ($2245)
Price as tested: $29,685
The great: Refined on-road behavior, roomy front seating area, sporty handling
The good: High-value pricing, fuel economy, Snow Belt winter capability
The not so good: Cheap-looking cabin materials, only adequate power
There is an Italian restaurant in Niles, Illinois, that, quite subtly, is one of the best lunch places in the Chicagoland area. The food is great, the service is great, and the dining room open and airy. Even the prices are fair. The strange thing about the restaurant is that as a diner, you never quite appreciate just how awesome the place is until after you’ve left. There is no single outstanding Graziano’s characteristic. Instead, everything about every meal is great, and diners leave feeling happy and well fed. Note: There is one little thing wrong with Graziano’s: the outdoor patio seating area is located too close to the street, making conversation difficult above the din of midday traffic.
I mention Graziano’s because I just spent a week in the redesigned 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, and it was well into my evaluation week before I fully appreciated just how good this little car really is. Completely redesigned for 2024, the new Crosstrek looks surprisingly similar to the vehicle it replaces. That’s likely a good thing, as the little Subaru’s popularity is certainly due in part to the vehicle’s spunky, diminutive profile.
It’s possible, however, that the new Crosstrek looks too much like the old one, as the Subaru marketing folks felt compelled to post this on the brand website:
It might look very similar to the 2023 Crosstrek, but the Crosstrek undergoes a complete redesign for 2024, kicking off the start of the small crossover’s third generation.
For 2024, the Crosstrek is offered in Base, Premium, Sport, and Limited trim levels. Due soon is an off-road ready Wilderness edition. As on Subaru’s Forester and Outback crossovers, the Wilderness offers increased ride height along with specific rugged-looking trim. The Wilderness should be priced similarly to the Sport.
Two engines are offered for 2024. Based and Premium models are powered by a 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four, while Sport and Limited models get a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter four. A manual transmission is no longer offered on the Crosstrek. All models come with a CVT automatic. And, like every Subaru except the BRZ sports coupe, all Crosstreks come equipped with the brand’s excellent “Symmetrical” AWD system.
Consumer Guide recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Premium in Sapphire Blue and equipped with the $2445 OP14 option package. All told, our Crosstrek stickered for $29,685.
Unlike many modern small crossovers, the Crosstrek cabin does not immediately impress. There is plenty of budget-looking hard plastic on the doors, dash, and console, and the seat fabric looks a little common. Indeed, the seat fabric gathers in places as if it wasn’t pulled taut enough at the factory. Additionally, the “carbon-fiber” dash trim elements are so obviously fake that Subaru should not have bothered employing them. That’s the bad news.
The good news is, the cabin works very well. There is generous big-guy space up front, plenty of seat adjustability, and a generally open and airy feeling environment. The big “Starlink” touch screen is easy to read in direct light, and the icons are large and easy to read. The Touch screen can be slow to respond to inputs—especially just after starting—but the general layout is smart and intuitive.
The real surprise here is the Crosstrek’s mechanical refinement, and it sneaks up on you. The Crosstrek is surprisingly silky underway. The cabin is quiet, and ride quality is excellent at low speed and on the highway. Additionally, the little Subaru is fun to drive. The steering is direct and informative, lean in corners is well checked, and the brakes feel strong and reliable.
Much has been made in the media about the Crosstrek’s dearth of power, especially with the smaller 2.0-liter engine. In practice, the ‘Trek feels spunky in around town driving, and throttle response is very good. It is only when extra power is needed—mostly on onramps—that the little 4-cylinder mill comes up short. We’ll be reporting on the larger 2.5-liter engine shortly.
More good news: Subaru’s God-awful engine stop/start system is MUCH improved for 2024, at least in the Crosstrek. The engine now shuts off at idle with nary a quake, and fires back up with little fuss. We are very thankful for the fix.
We heartily recommend the OP14 option package. Included in the group are blind-spot alert with cross-traffic detection, a power driver’s seat, and power moonroof. Also included is the All-Weather package, which brings heated front seats, heated windshield wipers, and heated mirrors. For around two grand, the package seems like a deal.
And, in fact, the whole car seems like a deal. For less that $30,000 owners enjoy an affordable commuter car that is refined and comfortable, excellent in the show, and includes an occasional-use rear seat and plenty of cargo storage.
Like a good restaurant, the 2024 Crosstrek sneaks up on you. Maybe the cabin décor trails the competition, but in almost every other way, Subaru’s redesigned subcompact crossover impresses, and, over time, delights.
2024 Subaru Crosstrek Premium
(Click below for enlarged images)