2023 Chicago Auto Show: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Revealed; Both Puppies And Indiana Rejoice
Amid a digital backdrop showing stark b-roll scenes from various National Parks, under a cloud of smoke haze and inexplicable soap bubbles, and flanked by a booth filled with rescue puppies, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek compact crossover was revealed today at the Chicago Auto Show. While this third-generation crossover does not look markedly different from the prior model, perhaps the most notable announcement was that production of some Crosstrek models will be shifted from Japan to the venerable Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in Lafayette, Indiana.
The Crosstrek is quite important for Subaru, being the top-selling model for the brand last year with over 155,000 sold last year – typically the last year of a model is a slack year in sales. Over a million have been sold since the 2012 debut, showing the appeal of all-wheel drive capability in a compact, fuel-efficient platform.
A pair of drivetrains are on offer - the Base and Premium trim models are equipped with a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder producing 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The Sport and Limited trims come with the 2.5-liter boxer four with 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Both engines drive all four wheels via a CVT - all but the Base trim feature a manual mode to choose eight preset ratios via steering wheel paddle shifters.
The two-liter equipped Base and Premium models wear 17-inch alloy wheels - the 2.5-liter Sport and Limited trims have 18 inchers. 8.7 inches of ground clearance affords all models plenty of go-anywhere capability. Subaru’s driver-selectable X-MODE with hill-descent control works with the all-wheel drive for wheel control on slippery surfaces, and a dual-function X-MODE is fitted to Sport and Limited trims with additional capability in a wider variety of driving conditions.
The upper-level models with the 2.5-liter engine will be produced in Indiana, while the 2.0-liter powered Base and Premium trim packages will continue to arrive from Gunma, Japan. Supply chain issues have of course plagued the industry for the past few years, so bringing some production stateside makes sense.
Interestingly, the hybrid model is no longer - likely due to those same supply chain concerns. Garrick Goh, car line manager for the Crosstrek, tells TTAC that historically the take rate for the Crosstrek Hybrid is not high, as production has been artificially limited by component availability.
The styling is not much changed, though I'll note a bit more of an angry look to the grille. Indeed, the structure looks to be substantially similar to the outgoing model, though Subaru notes that body rigidity is up 10 percent due to more effective welding techniques and greater use of body adhesives throughout. Subaru safety has long been a hallmark, continuing with an enhanced version of Subaru Eyesight safety aids being standard across the Crosstrek. A wider field of view for the Eyesight camera gives better pedestrian and bicyclist avoidance detection.
Entertainment whilst driving is an underrated factor in driving safety and enjoyment, and Subaru goes beyond their standard seven-inch touchscreen this year with their available 11.6-inch Starlink screen. Portrait-oriented and quite clear, the Starlink touchscreen gives wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto to the usual suite of in-car entertainment options.
Maybe the puppy thing explains why your author, allergic to dogs and thus a cat person, is generally not invited to Subaru events. Subaru tends to bring rescue dogs to the auto show, today working with Anderson Humane in suburban Chicago to bring some – admittedly very cute – boxer/chihuahua mix puppies to roam an enclosure and mug for the camera. The cynic in me wonders if Subaru specifically picked a dog with boxer ancestry considering their iconic boxer engine layout.
Notably, Subaru announced pricing for the base trim remains at $24,995 (plus $1,295 destination) like the outgoing Crosstrek. The Premium trim adds keyless access and pushbutton start, USB-C charging, auto up/down on the power windows, the 11.6-inch Starlink screen, and raised roof rails at $26,145 plus destination.
The more powerful 2.5-liter engine is the important feature on the Crosstrek Sport at $28,995 plus destination. Gold trim inside and out, reminiscent of the Wilderness package fitted to the Outback and Forester, hips the onlooker to the Sport package. Wireless device charging, an All-Weather package (heated seats, windshield, and exterior mirrors), and a leather steering wheel round out the Sport highlights. That All-Weather package is optionally available on the Premium trim for $2,245.
The Crosstrek Limited rounds out the lineup at $30,895 with additional safety features like blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as dark gray or black leather seats and trim throughout.
The base and Premium trims will be arriving from Japan this spring, while the upmarket 2.5-liter powered models will start shipping from Indiana over the summer.
[Images: © 2023 TTAC/Chris Tonn]
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Some enthusiasts say they were born with gasoline in their veins. Chris Tonn, on the other hand, had rust flakes in his eyes nearly since birth. Living in salty Ohio and being hopelessly addicted to vintage British and Japanese steel will do that to you. His work has appeared in eBay Motors, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars, Reader's Digest, AutoGuide, Family Handyman, and Jalopnik. He is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, and he's currently looking for the safety glasses he just set down somewhere.
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