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Last updateThu, 18 Jan 2018 4pm

On The Road

2018 Subaru Crosstrek is practical for families


Courtesy of Subaru
The Subaru Crosstrek has all the safety features of higher-priced vehicles.

Some vehicles we test don’t scream their virtues or demand attention – they just do a good job of doing what they were designed to do and quietly flatter the owners’ good judgment.

The Subaru Crosstrek, redesigned for 2018, is such a vehicle. It may be the most practical vehicle a family could buy in terms of price, utility and safety, and it’s pretty comfortable and attractive as well.

What we drove: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited five-door compact vehicle with 152 horsepower, 145 pound-feet of torque from a horizontally opposed 4-cylinder, 2-liter engine driving all wheels for true all-weather capability. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, and a selectable 7-speed continuously variable automatic transmission with off-road control system is available. This is a true compact 3,113-pound sport-utility vehicle with raised suspension providing 8.7 inches of ground clearance and 55.3 cubic feet of cargo storage with the rear seats folded, 20.8 cubic feet with five passengers aboard.

What it cost: Base price for the Limited version is $26,295, which includes torque-vectoring stability system, blind-spot warning, lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. We also would take the standard options package, which includes the Eyesight system that provides semi-autonomous driving assistance, as well as moon roof, navigation and advanced audio with Harmon-Kardon sound system. Total price with vehicle preparation was a value-laden $30,655.

What we liked: This is a confident and attractive compact SUV with everything a small family needs in a primary vehicle, plus all the driving safety and convenience features of much more expensive cars.

What we would change: A little more engine power to assist in traffic maneuvering would be nice.

Overall: This is one of the best vehicles in a highly competitive market segment.

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