Subaru Crosstrek: Chronicling the Changes

Revised: September 12, 2023

Subaru has long been ahead of the curve in developing crossover utility vehicles. Years before other manufacturers jumped in, the company had the market cornered. For the 2013 model year, Subaru introduced its smallest model yet, the XV Crosstrek. Based on the Impreza five-door, the Crosstrek is a subcompact model with room for five and standard all-wheel drive.

Subaru logo

Chronicling the Changes

2024 – Subaru rolls out the third-generation Crosstrek. This model has an upgraded suspension and all-terrain tires and a 9.3-inch ground clearance. A Wilderness off-road variant is new. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard. The car comes with a standard 2.5-liter engine and has a 3,500 lb towing capacity.

Third-Generation Subaru Crosstrek

The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek
The third-generation Subaru Crosstrek

2023 – A new Special Edition grade rolls out with its exclusive Desert Khaki exterior color. Along with dark exterior trim, the new grade features special black and red upholstery.

2022 – A Crosstrek Hybrid model returns. It works with a 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder engine and a CVT. It is a plug-in hybrid with a 17-mile all-electric range.

2021 – This year, the Crosstrek receives a new Sport edition. The Sport gains its own engine, a 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder with 182 horsepower. The engine works with a CVT and is also included with the Limited grade. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is new and includes lane centering and adaptive cruise control. The system is standard across the Crosstrek range.

2020 – All-new exterior lighting, an engine stop-start system, and a rear-seat minder are new this year. Other changes involve making select optional equipment standard.

2019 – Light changes accompany the second-generation Crosstrek in its second year. This model sees feature shuffling and an upgraded Starlinks telematics system.

2018 — Subaru introduces the second-generation Crosstrek. The exterior is nearly identical to the previous model, but the interior receives a substantial upgrade in its design and comfort. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder continues and develops 152 horsepower. This engine works with a CVT.

Second-Generation Subaru Crosstrek

The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek
The second-generation Subaru Crosstrek

2017 — Subaru rolls out the 2.0 Premium Special Edition, slotting between the Premium and Limited grades. The Crosstrek Hybrid is no more. New features, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, are added.

2016 — Besides a modest update to its front end, Subaru’s smallest utility vehicle loses its XV appellation and is henceforth known as the Crosstrek. Safety upgrades and Subaru’s Starlink system join the model line.

2015 — Subaru adds a new base grade, joining the Premium and Limited models. This year, all models come with a standard rearview camera along with a 6.2-inch touchscreen display.

2014 — One year removed from its introduction, a hybrid variant – Subaru’s first – debuts. The hybrid utilizes the same gas engine as the standard model, adds an electric motor, and sees a modest increase in horsepower along with a substantial boost in torque.

2013 — Subaru launches an all-new model, the XV Crosstrek. Underpinned by the same platform as the Subaru Impreza, the XV Crosstrek slots in as this brand’s smallest utility vehicle. This model sits three inches higher than the Impreza and features an enhanced suspension system for off-road travel and on-road beefiness. It comes with a 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder engine that develops 148 horsepower. Power routes to all four wheels utilizing a five-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission. Available in Premium and Limited grades, this vehicle comes with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, heated side mirrors, full power accessories, and a six-speaker audio system with CD.

First-Generation Subaru Crosstrek

The first-generation Subaru XV Crosstrek
The first-generation Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek Considerations

The entry-level crossover market includes models from nearly every manufacturer. Models such as the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Hyundai Venue, Nissan Kicks, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport should be compared.

The Crosstrek, with standard all-wheel drive, puts this model at an advantage. Some competitors offer front-wheel-drive only.

Consider the hybrid for the most recent model only. It offers decent fuel efficiency and, if you’re purchasing new, a hefty federal tax credit.

See AlsoPerformance Maven: Subaru WRX

Featured image copyright Subaru.

By M 93, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Wikipedia

By EurovisionNim – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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