Crosstrek is the smallest of Subaru’s three SUVs, sitting below the mid-sized Forester and
larger Outback.

It competes against vehicles such as MG ZS, Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-

While the name is new, Crosstrek has actually been on the Australian market since 2012
as the XV.

Five Crosstrek variants are offered: 2.0L, 2.0R, 2.0S (petrol), plus Hybrid L and Hybrid S,
with prices ranging from $34,990 to $45,090 plus on-road costs.

Our test was in the top-spec Hybrid S.

As with all Australian Subaru models, except for the Toyota re-badged BRZ coupe,
Crosstrek comes with all-wheel drive.

LED headlights, plus cornering lights, improve visibility at night and add to power savings,
while LED rear combination lamps feature a sharp 3-D C-shape.

Rear-view mirrors are smaller, improving aerodynamics and present a less obstructive

All Crosstrek variants come with dusk-sensing LED headlights, roof rails and power-folding
door mirrors.

Crosstrek 2.0R, 2.0S and Hybrid S also get LED Daytime Running Lights with the top-spec
2.0L and Hybrid L featuring bulb type DRLs.

While the general appearance of the Crosstrek is a carry-over from the XV, the bonnet and
radiator grille have been updated.

Use of lightweight aluminium for the bonnet contributes to improved pedestrian protection
with a softer head impact zone, while aluminium front fenders save two kilograms and
optimises weight distribution all round.

While the grille retains the signature hexagonal shape, it’s now larger with an aggressively
styled honeycomb design.

The cabin of the Crosstrek Hybrid S has a real premium feel, which it should, given that it
will cost close to $50,000 on the road.

It’s light and spacious with a friendly soft-touch material on the dashboard and steering

The front seats are comfortable and supportive with eight-way power adjustment and
lumbar support for the driver in the R and S models.

There’s good leg, head and shoulder room, although the centre-rear seat position is best
suited to young children as expected in a relatively small vehicle.

Boot space in the Crosstrek hybrid is a reasonable 315 litres although it doesn’t come with
a spare wheel of any sort.

Instead, it relies on a puncture repair kit, a feature likely to deter those who may be
considering using the car’s AWD and 220mm ground clearance to take it off-road.

Petrol-only models do get a space-saver spare which reduces the boot capacity to 290

Petrol-only Crosstrek variants are powered by the latest version of Subaru’s 2.0-litre four-
cylinder horizontally-opposed (Boxer) engine, delivering maximum power of 115kW at
6000 rpm and top torque of 196Nm at 4000 revs.

The same engine in the hybrid models get slightly less power (110 kW at 5800 rpm) but
the same torque figure.

The electric motor adds 12.3kW of power and 66Nm of torque and is self-charging,
capturing kinetic energy through regenerative braking and coasting.

The electric motor is placed near the vehicle’s centre of gravity, while the battery and other
components are positioned above the rear axle, providing balanced front/rear vehicle
weight distribution.

Drive from the e-Boxer engine is sent to the all-wheel drive system through a CVT
automatic with seven-steps for manual override.

Although it’s yet to undergo ANCAP testing the outgoing XV scored a maximum five stars
and with a comprehensive range of safety features the same rating is likely for Crosstrek.

Standard features in all variants include nine airbags, blind spot monitoring, front side
radar, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, reversing camera,
reverse automatic braking, driver inattention warning, tyre pressure monitoring and Isofix
child seat anchor points.

R and S variants add front and side view monitors, high beam assist and a 360-degree

Standard across the range is Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist system which includes
adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, numerous lane control and pre-
collision alerts and braking assist features, speed sign recognition and speed limiter.

The two hybrid models also come with a pedestrian alert system.

Crosstrek combines an 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard
with a 4.2-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) in front of the driver.

The central screen is in portrait mode. It has large buttons and fonts and is within easy
reach of the driver.

There are physical knobs for the audio system and, although the climate controls are on
the touchscreen they can be adjusted with a minimum of distraction.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are standard across
the range.

The nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system provided excellent sound reproduction.

It’s standard in the two S variants with the lower-spec models getting a more basic six-
speaker system.

Likewise, embedded satellite navigation is only available with the top-spec S petrol and

All models get USB-A and USB-C ports in the front console and there are also USB
charge ports in the R and S.

A wireless Qi smartphone charger is standard.

Unlike most other hybrids which start silently and smoothly under battery power, the
Crosstrek Hybrid’s engine kicks in immediately, taking away much of the appeal of the EV

That means missing out on the instant torque that’s such an appealing feature of electric

On the plus side the engine will shut down when the vehicle is coasting or in slow-moving
traffic and run solely on battery power.

The e-Boxer logic adjusts the power split between petrol and electric to match driving

It automatically changes between three modes: Motor Assist EV driving; Motor Assist
electric (EV) + petrol engine driving and engine-only driving.

The lower centre of gravity and greater rigidity provides excellent driving dynamics, both
on and off the bitumen.

When cornering, there is little evidence of body roll and it doesn’t get fazed by rapid
changes in direction.

The electric power steering is well-weighted and provides plenty of feel on both bitumen
and loose surfaces.

The steering wheel is both reach and tilt adjustable.

Crosstrek’s 220mm ground clearance is regarded by many as being the minimum for a
genuine off-road vehicle.

You wouldn’t call it a genuine 4WD in appearance, but under its station wagon body it’s
close to being one.

XV was a consistent seller for Subaru throughout its decade on the market.

There’s no reason why the more-sensibly named Crosstrek won’t continue that trend.

It’s a relatively conservative vehicle designed for couples or small families with all the
latest in safety features.

While its ground clearance and all-wheel drive means that it can cope with moderate off-
road conditions.

Subaru is at pains to describe Crosstrek Hybrid as a ‘mild’ hybrid and it falls a fair bit short
of the sub-5.0L/100km fuel consumption figures that we’re used to from Toyota hybrids
such as the similar-sized Corolla Cross.

On the combined urban/highway cycle, Crosstrek hybrid uses a claimed 6.5L/100km
compared to 7.2 L/100km for the petrol model, making it hard to justify the $3600

At the same time performance is hampered by the hybrid’s extra weight.

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 9/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10


Subaru Crosstrek 2.0L: $34,990
Subaru Crosstrek 2.0R: $38,490
Subaru Crosstrek 2.0S: $41.490
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid L: $39,590
Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid S: $45,090
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Subaru dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid S 2.0-litre petrol electric five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.995 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders horizontally opposed
Maximum Power: 110 kW @ 58000 rpm
Maximum Torque: 196 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Petrol 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.5 L/100km
Emissions CO2: 147 g/km

DRIVELINE: Boxer four-cylinder, CVT automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 4495 mm
Wheelbase: 2670 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Height: 1600 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1493 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 48 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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