2024 Subaru Crosstrek Review - For Those About To Flock, We Salute You

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn

Fast Facts

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Limited Fast Facts

2.5-liter horizontally-opposed four (182 horsepower @ 5,800 RPM, 178 lb-ft @ 3,700 RPM)
Continuously-variable transmission, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
26 city / 33 highway / 29 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
Fuel Economy. L/100km
8.9 city / 7.2 highway / 8.1 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$32,190 (U.S.) / $39,190 (Canada)
As Tested
$35,030 (U.S.) / $39,190 (Canada)
Prices include $1,295 destination charge in the United States and $2,190 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Subaru has long been a relatively small automaker building products for niche markets. It’s been well-documented how the company, decades ago, specifically targeted certain demographics, becoming wildly popular and inspiring serious owner loyalty. They have done an incredible job doing so, but some more mainstream buyers may still not have the brand front of mind when shopping.

Efforts have been made at more middle-America-friendly fare, most notably the Ascent as their second attempt at the large crossover class which is proving to be a solid, safe choice for buyers. But their bread is buttered with their bread-and-butter smaller cars, much like the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek seen here. And with this redesigned tall wagon, I’m ready to name a new subset of the population that really should be looking at the Pleiades - middle-aged dads.

No, I’m not kidding. And I completely count myself in this population. My eldest child is a senior in high school, so my nest is about to get a bit more empty. This past summer has been a whirlwind of college visits and endless spreadsheeting of every possible future path as we push this particular bird out into the world. 

Oh, and the constant worry. Worry about money. Fretting about grades. Hand-wringing over college acceptance. Concern about safety. The grey hairs have been sprouting in my beard with haste over the past few months as I worry about sending my kid off into the world. 

That’s why I’m thinking that a car like the Crosstrek is an ideal choice for a dad to buy. Had I thought through things more clearly a few years ago, maybe I should have bought a Crosstrek for myself and handed it down to my kid upon graduation. Right now, I’m worried about what they will drive as they venture several hours away from home, outside the radius where dad can come help quickly should something go wrong, and the Crosstrek simply makes me feel at ease behind the wheel and especially when the kid would be behind the wheel.

First of all, it’s safe. Subaru’s all-wheel drive is legendary for a reason, with excellent stability and traction in all conditions. There’s a reason that much of New England relies on Subarus new and old to get around. While I drove the latest Crosstrek over the summer, I’ve no question that it will be an ideal Midwestern winter runabout. I’ve even taken a different ‘24 Crosstrek on a brief off-road journey and found it nearly as capable as larger, more powerful SUVs.

More importantly, as a guy who has been known to, ahem, drive a bit more briskly than is lawfully proscribed: The Crosstrek isn’t exactly fast. With the optional 2.5-liter four as found in my tester, it’s less painfully slow than it had been in the past, but it won’t encourage you to go out and seek stoplight races. It is a quiet, smooth, comfortable ride both on the highway and around town. With the relatively low center of gravity compared to most crossovers, it feels less tippy when you do decide to go into a tight turn without braking as much as you should. It’s comfortable enough on a road trip, and the fuel economy is better than most non-hybrid compact crossovers. An unexpected road trip yielded indicated highway numbers closer to 38 mpg than the EPA’s 33 mpg highway rating.

The interior is a comfortable place to spend a day driving. Seats are supportive without being restrictive, with simple adjustments. The 11.6-inch portrait-orientation touchscreen - standard on all but the base trim which makes do with a seven-inch screen - is clear and easy to use. Knobs are there for volume and tuning, and real buttons allow for temperature adjustments as well as defog and defrost actions. You do need to tap the screen for fan speed adjustments, but the screen responds quickly. 

And then you get to the value. Twenty-five grand gets you into a base trim that includes the Eyesight suite of safety features, though it’s powered by the older 2.0-liter four which most find rather sluggish. But for a car that will last well past the day when they’re onto their own career, it’s hard to pass up. This one stickers at a touch over $35,000 delivered, but that includes a $2,445 option package with a power moonroof, onboard navigation, and an upgraded speaker package. I'd be happier without the roof glass and generally prefer navigation via the included wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So that extra cost can be factored out.

As a car enthusiast, I find myself thinking about my cars a lot. But when I was in college and just starting my career, worrying about whether my car would get me to class or work without drama consumed entirely too much of my day. As a dad, I’d rather my kid not experience the same level of concern, which is why an otherwise boring commuter car like this 2024 Subaru Crosstrek feels as if it’s the perfect way to let your hatchlings soar.

[Images: © 2023 Chris Tonn/TTAC.com]

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Chris Tonn
Chris Tonn

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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2 of 54 comments
  • Legacygt Legacygt on Sep 19, 2023

    There are a number of ways to have fun with a car. The Crosstrek won't make you smile with brisk acceleration or dynamic handling. But there are more than a few ways where a Crosstrek owner might be having fun where other compact crossovers are stuck.

    I'm one of those boring family guys in an Ascent. It's my first Subaru since I gave up my Legacy GT 15 years ago. I had forgotten how much more capable Subaru's AWD is than most of the competition. It's just so solid in tough conditions, be it snow or mud or even nasty highway puddles in a rainstorm.

  • Morley Morley on Oct 03, 2023

    What is it's towing capacity?

  • Carson D I hadn't seen a second-generation Courier with a Mazda engine before. I've seen a few with Ford engines. There was one at the Cox Driving Range that they used to collect golf balls. Golf would definitely be more entertaining to watch if they used moving targets.
  • Tassos ooops, Tim, you missed this one. Would make a lovely "Tim's used car of the day". It satisfies all the prerequisites except the wildly overpriced bit.
  • Tassos ASTON AND BOND BY A MILE. While Aston Martin sells a TINY FRACTION of what even the rarified Ferrari and Lambo sell, it is unbelievably well known. Credit the idiotic, but hugely successful and sometimes entertaining James Bond Movies.
  • Tassos 1988? Too young for me. It's all yours, Tim... BAHAHAHAHA!
  • Gray Awesome. Love these. But, if I had the money for a Fox-body, there is a clean '84 GT 350 here for little more than half the price.