The Subaru Crosstrek Is The Best Jacked-Up Impreza You Can Buy

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Uh, it's the only jacked-up Impreza.

Subaru had a stroke of marketing/product genius a few years ago when it realized it could increase the ride height of the now previous generation Impreza five-door hatchback, add some black plastic body cladding (styling inspired by a North Face backpack) and voila! You've got the Crosstrek, whose base price was about $2,700 more than its lowered sibling. The plan worked and now the Crosstrek has become a strong seller for Subaru. We spent a week behind the wheel and, as expected, were left impressed, except for one thing: power.

There's simply not enough of it and we think it was a mistake on Subaru's part not to offer a more powerful engine option. The Crosstrek's sole engine is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer four with 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. Yes. Only 148 hp. Power goes to all four wheels (of course) through a CVT.

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Despite the disappointing engine and that 0-60 time of 10.3 seconds, the 2016 Crosstrek is a solid winner, and our fully loaded tester still cost less than $30,000. But still. That engine. Perhaps Subaru could've offered either of the Forester's engines, a 2.5-liter with 170 hp and 174 lb-ft, or the turbocharged 2.0 with 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of twist. Oh well, here's hoping for more power in the eventual second-gen Crosstrek.

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