2013-2017 Crosstrek 1st Generation Maintenance and Cost
The 1st-generation Subaru Crosstrek is fairly well-regarded in terms of reliability, with very few design or manufacturing flaws rearing their heads over the years. The camshafts are chain-driven on the FB20 engine, so the old EJ's requirement for frequent cam belt and tensioner changes is no longer an issue. Its head gaskets also hold up better than the EJ could manage, so engine reliability should be better than most of its competitors.
There are some things to note with the FB engine, though. They tend to present oil leaks from seals and gaskets as they age, and there are a multitude of seals to leak on a boxer engine; some examples may develop a mild oil-consumption habit with time. For these reasons, regular oil-level checks are advised.
The Crosstrek has always featured a CVT somewhere in the model line-up, and earlier examples have demonstrated substandard transmission durability. However, these issues were mostly resolved by 2015, meaning that 2016-2017 models shouldn't be as problematic. Older examples will however require a careful check-up, as those CVTs are still of the problematic generation. Fortunately, Subaru extended the warranty on the 2013-2015 Crosstreks from 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles, or from 5 years to 10 years, whichever comes first. Keep an eye out for jerking ratio changes, any signs of a shudder when taking up drive, or hesitation in response to changing accelerator pedal inputs when test-driving any CVT-equipped Crosstrek - if it exhibits these symptoms, walk away.
Preventative maintenance can help avoid transmission problems, too. While Subaru doesn't quote recommended CVT fluid changes, we'd advise that the CVT oil be changed every 30,000 miles at most (or even earlier, if you tow heavy loads or indulge in off-roading escapades). Ensure that the correct replacement oil is used, and only trust a respectable service agent or dealership to perform this job. Also note that, because there is no dipstick to check the level and condition of the CVT fluid yourself, it has to be refilled exactly to Subaru's specifications every time the CVT oil is replaced.
Standard Subaru servicing practice stipulates that the engine oil and oil filter must be changed every 6 months or every 6,000 miles, whichever occurs first. At the same time, tires should be rotated and a visual inspection should be performed to check for leaks or perishing fluid hoses.
The cabin air filter needs to be replaced every 12,000 miles, and the engine's air filter and brake fluid must be replaced every 30,000 miles. Spark plugs should last 60,000 miles, and the fuel filter should be good for 72,000 miles.