Geneva 2017: Next-generation Subaru Crosstrek Stands Tall, Blends In

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
geneva 2017 next generation subaru crosstrek stands tall blends in

Unveiled in Geneva today, Subaru’s Crosstrek undergoes a top-down revamp for 2018, bringing the compact, lifted five-door in line with its Impreza stablemate.

Called the XV overseas, the Crosstrek soldiered on with its old bodystyle and platform in 2017, even after the model it shares its body and mechanics with went in for a makeover. With new skin, bones, and a thoroughly reworked powerplant, the model no longer has to live in the new Impreza’s shadow.

The biggest news for 2018, besides the updated looks, is the Subaru Global Platform borrowed from its compact sibling. Like with the 2017 Impreza, the new modular platform has increased the vehicle’s torsional rigidity by at least 70 percent. Less vibration and noise is Subaru’s goal.

While the new Crosstrek maintains the body cladding and 8.7 inches of ground clearance found on its predecessor, structural improvements aim for improved handling. Rear stabilizer bars are now mounted to the body, reducing body roll by 50 percent. The steering gear ratio drops from 14:1 to 13:1, aiding responsiveness.

Another form of comfort benefits from the new platform: piece of mind. Because of the increased stiffness and boosted use of high-tensile steel plates, impact energy absorption has increased by 40 percent.

Clearly, Subaru wasn’t waiting to spring brand-new all-wheel-drive advancements on the model, but it does gain a couple of extra features. The Crosstrek now offers improved bad-road performance and traction thanks to the availability of X-Mode, which optimizes the functioning of the engine, drive wheels and brakes to keep the journey under control. When shortcuts beckon, Hill Descent Control is on tap to keep momentum down.

The 2017 Crosstrek we tested recently felt low on power, and winter weather made it extra thirsty. For 2018, the automaker claims that 80 percent of the model’s 2.0-liter flat-four engine is revamped, reducing the unit’s weight by 26 pounds and improving fuel economy (though we don’t know by how much). While torque, regrettably, remains the same at 145 lb-ft, horsepower rises by six horses to 154 hp. Subaru also claims improvements to the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission.

Inside, a restyled dash, breathable fabric seats and an eight-inch infotainment screen await. The new model’s longer wheelbase means rear-seat passengers will gain extra legroom, though rear cargo space hasn’t improved.

Subaru plans to release more details on the U.S.-spec version of the Crosstrek at next month’s New York Auto Show.

[Images: Subaru]

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  • Brettc Brettc on Mar 08, 2017

    6 extra horsepower and no extra torque, that's quite a feat. Sign me up for one of them slow 'n thirsty Crosstreks.

  • Bikegoesbaa Bikegoesbaa on Mar 08, 2017

    Piece of mind? I think you were going for "peace of mind".

  • Alan The Prado shouldn't have the Landcruiser name attached. It isn't a Landcruiser as much as a Tacoma or 4 Runner or a FJ Cruiser. Toyota have used the Landcruiser name as a marketing exercise for years. In Australia the RAV4 even had Landcruiser attached years ago! The Toyota Landcruiser is the Landcruiser, not a tarted up Tacoma wagon.Here a GX Prado cost about $61k before on roads, this is about $41k USD. This is a 2.8 diesel 4x4 with all the off road tricky stuff, plus AC, power windows, etc. I'm wondering if Toyota will perform the Nissan Armada treatment on it and debase the Prado. The Patrol here is actually as capable and possibly more capable than the Landcruiser off road (according to some reviews). The Armada was 'muricanised and the off road ability was reduced a lot. Who ever heard of a 2 wheel drive Patrol.Does the US need the Prado? Why not. Another option to choose from built by Toyota that is overpriced and uses old tech.My sister had a Prado Grande, I didn't think much of it. It was narrow inside and not that comfortable. Her Grand Cherokee was more comfortable and now her Toureg is even more comfortable, but you can still feel the road in the seat of your pants and ears.
  • Jeffrey No tis vehicle doen't need to come to America. The market if flooded in this segment what we need are fun affordable vehicles.
  • Nrd515 I don't really see the point of annual inspections, especially when the car is under 3 years (warranty) old. Inspections should be safety related, ONLY, none of the nonsensical CA ARB rules that end up being something like, "Your air intake doesn't have an ARB sticker on it, so you have to remove it and buy one just like it that does have the ARB sticker on it!". If the car or whatever isn't puking smoke out of it, and it doesn't make your eyes water, like an old Chevy Bel-Air I was behind on Wed did, it's fine. I was stuck in traffic behind that old car, and wow, the gasoline smell was super potent. It was in nice shape, but man, it was choking me. I was amused by the 80 something old guy driving it, he even had a hat with a feather in it, THE sign of someone you don't want to be driving anywhere near you.
  • Lou_BC "15mpg EPA" The 2023 ZR2 Colorado is supposed to be 16 mpg
  • ToolGuy "The more aerodynamic, organic shape of the Mark VIII meant ride height was slightly lower than before at 53.6 inches, over 54.2” for the Mark VII."• I am not sure that ride height means what you think it means.Elaboration: There is some possible disagreement about what "ride height" refers to. Some say ground clearance, some say H point (without calling it that), some say something else. But none of those people would use a number of over 4 feet for a stock Mark anything.Then you go on to use it correctly ("A notable advancement in the Mark VIII’s suspension was programming to lower the ride height slightly at high speeds, which assisted fuel economy via improved aerodynamics.") so what do I know. Plus, I ended a sentence with a preposition. 🙂