2020 Subaru Crosstrek

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2020 Subaru Crosstrek Review: The Rugged Urbanite

by Aiden Eksteen

Whether it's cruising through the urban streets or taking on a rugged off-road trail, the Subaru Crosstrek has both the looks and the capability to naturally do both. It's based on the Subaru Global Platform with the body of the Impreza Hatchback jacked up to crossover levels and given an appropriate level of body cladding to make it look the part, which has proven to be a good recipe thus far. But it's more than just a styling job, and with 8.7 inches of running ground clearance, it's got more claim to being an off-roader than many larger SUVs. Jam-packed with safety features in the form of Subaru's Eyesight suite, as well as the frugality of a 2.0-liter flat-four and a CVT gearbox with 152 horsepower on tap, the Crosstrek is a rugged alternative to the Mazda CX-30 - technically it's only true-to-type competitor in the USA.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 5 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 7 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
7.5
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2020 Subaru Crosstrek Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Crosstrek?

Subaru applied a lot of advancements and alterations to the Crosstrek for the 2020 model year. To start things off, Subaru's SI-DRIVE selectable drive modes, a new collision-detection automatic door-unlock system, and single-zone automatic climate control are all now standard in every model, all CVT-equipped models now come standard with EyeSight driver-assist technologies and an auto stop-start system. Subaru also relocated the front USB port and auxiliary input jack to a cubby located at the bottom of the center stack. The Limited now comes standard-fit with new LED fog lamps and with rear-seat USB charge ports. Finally, a keyless entry system with push-button start and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat are now available for the Premium.

Pros and Cons

  • Competent on- and off-road handling
  • Comfortable and refined ride quality
  • Attractive, adventurous exterior design
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Competitive gas mileage estimates
  • Underpowered four-cylinder engine
  • Frustrating CVT automatic
  • Below-average trunk capacity

Best Deals on 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,145
Premium
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$23,195
Limited
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$27,395
Hybrid
2.0L Flat 4 Plug-in Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$35,145
See All 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Despite its rather mediocre powertrain, the Subaru Crosstrek still exhibits some more than average aptitude in its ride quality and handling dynamics. Its standard suspension setup is tuned firmly, but not so as to deliver a harsh ride. It keeps the ride consistently composed and absorbs most larger road imperfections and undulations with ease. Thanks to its well-weighted steering and composed ride, it also feels sure-footed and firmly planted through the corners, plus, despite its relatively tall ride height, exhibits minimal body lean in the turns. Overall, its ride and handling can be likened to that of the Impreza hatchback; the Crosstrek feels like a car, quite easy and balanced.

It's on the offroad trails where the Crosstrek truly impresses, however. Subaru's AWD systems are renowned, and the Crosstrek's does an excellent job of maintaining confident levels of grip regardless of the surface conditions. Ultimately, Subaru did an exceptional job balancing the Crosstrek's urban-centric ride quality with its semi-off-road capability.

Verdict: 🏁Is the New 2020 Subaru Crosstrek a good SUV?

The Crosstrek is an odd breed. If you want a compact SUV from Subaru, the Forester more than fills the void, so the Impreza-based Crosstrek, with a small trunk and cramped interior, seems a little out of place. But when put to the test, it's more than just a lifted hatchback, and it's a genuinely capable off-roader and a comfortable on-road cruiser. Small dimensions mean it's nimble around parking lots, and the high level of safety features means it's ideal for families. Ultimately, the Crosstrek will have a very specific buyer, though, and if you're after a traditional SUV, this won't quite cut the mustard. But if you're an avid adventurer that spends equal amounts of time in urban and extra-urban situations, the Crosstrek is highly capable at handling both, and that ruggedness is a winning point in our eyes.

Check out other Subaru Crosstrek Styles

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Comparisons

Subaru Outback Subaru
Subaru Forester Subaru

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Subaru Outback

Another one of Subaru's well-balanced offerings, the Outback, is a larger off-road wagon. It comes equipped with a more powerful base engine and with the option of an even more powerful turbocharged four-banger, both of which make the Outback the better option in terms of outright performance and both are also reasonably fuel-efficient. As the larger vehicle, the Outback also offers more passenger room, way more cargo room, with 32.5 cu-ft. behind the rear seats, and a whole lot more capability with a max towing capacity of 2,700 lbs. The Outback is the more polished Subaru here, featuring a better powertrain overall, greater practicality, and a selection of more luxurious features and technologies. Subsequently, it is the more expensive vehicle, but one that is well worth the extra money, especially considering its more powerful engine options.

See Subaru Outback Review

2020 Subaru Crosstrek vs Subaru Forester

The Forester is Subaru's bona fide compact SUV and is priced only a little higher than the Crosstrek with the base model carrying an MSRP of $24,495. It features a more powerful 182-hp 2.5-liter engine, which, while beneficial to acceleration and being pretty much as fuel-efficient as the Crosstrek's mill, doesn't do much to improve capability, as the Forester's maximum towing capacity equals the Crosstreks at 1,500 lbs. The Forester is a lot more spacious, however, it accommodates passengers with more room overall and offers up 31.5 cu-ft of cargo room behind the rear seats. Apart from those differences, the two Subaru's are otherwise very similar in every other regard, from the cabin design to the standard features list. Ultimately, the Crosstrek would be the better option for those who'd appreciate its nimble car-like driving dynamics, while the Forester would be better for those who want the extra passenger room and practicality.

See Subaru Forester Review

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Popular Comparisons

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