New 2019 Subaru Crosstrek SUV New 2019
Subaru Crosstrek SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek comes with all-wheel drive as standard and useful ground clearance, putting it firmly in the subcompact-crossover-SUV camp as opposed to a mere small hatchback with a slightly raised ride height. The 2019 model year represents the second year of the Crosstrek’s second generation. This version follows on from the success of the first wave, adding more driver-assistance features and raising refinement levels while remaining a value proposition. If there’s one complaint it’s that we’d like to see a chassis as good as this accompanied by more engine power, but the rest of the class is similarly modest. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack comes with more punch and athleticism, but the Crosstrek counters that with a solid reputation for practicality, reliability and high resale values.


You'll Like This SUV If...

When you need something with a wide spectrum of qualities, check out the Crosstrek. The security of all-wheel drive is enhanced by fuel economy, that much-loved high driving position, versatility when carrying people and/or cargo, refined driving manners, and Subaru’s superb reliability.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

Size matters. Not everyone can live with a subcompact-crossover SUV. The Subaru Forester is the next step up and might be more suitable. And those requiring greater driving talents should check out the Mazda CX-3 or the VW Golf Alltrack.

What's New for 2019

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek now offers driver-assistance features (including forward-collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping) in the automatic version of its most basic trim level. The Limited trim has those driver-assistance features as standard, along with reverse automatic braking and automatic high beams.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

If we’re just talking about general day-to-day stuff, the 2019 Crosstrek is a perfectly acceptable drive. Comfortable yet controlled, fairly quiet and easy-going. The biggest gripe, which also afflicted the previous generation, is that engine output (152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque) is barely adequate. Those situations when joining the freeway flow or planning an overtaking move involve a foot to the floor and a prayer for a following wind. The standard transmission in the lower trims is a 6-speed manual, which doesn’t really help get the most out of the engine. The automatic alternative is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), known for being slow to respond but cheaper than a conventional planetary-gear setup. At least the new Crosstrek has useful off-road chops (with 8.7 inches of ground clearance). In our test, the standard all-wheel drive and torque-vectoring system coped easily with miles of unpaved roads.

Favorite Features

Should any Crosstrek driver be so adventurous as to tackle a steep and slippery downward slope, this feature will be a boon. Just press the appropriate button, then resist the urge to put any feet on any pedals, and concentrate solely on steering. The Crosstrek’s X-Mode system (in CVT models only) will handle the rest.

Smartphone integration for both of these major players is becoming increasingly popular in new cars, but it’s quite often an option. Even in the lowest 2019 Crosstrek trim, it’s standard equipment.

Vehicle Details


The 5-seater Crosstrek has a decent amount of cargo and passenger space for a subcompact-crossover SUV. The rear seats fold flat, opening out from 20.8 to 55.3 cubic feet. The A-pillars and B-pillars are relatively thin, contributing to first-rate outward vision, while the dashboard is unfussy and uses good-quality materials. Our complaints are reserved for the strangely firm front headrests. Those seats could use a little more lower back support as well. And the sunshades are almost comically small.


Every beholder will have their own notion of beauty, but Subaru has never really been a company to place much emphasis on exterior design. On top of that, the current Crosstrek isn’t a departure from its predecessor. Hardly a concern, since this vehicle has other virtues and sells pretty well. Nice to know Subaru fans aren’t shallow. They’ll appreciate the fact that the new Crosstrek’s tailgate is four inches wider than the first generation’s, creating a larger aperture through which to load luggage and things like sports equipment. Roof rails are also standard.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2019 Crosstrek range starts with 17-inch alloy wheels, rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, smartphone integration, all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, driver-knee airbag, and a 6.5-inch touch screen. Nice, but for an extra $1,000, the Premium trim brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel, sound-insulated windshield, heated front seats and side mirrors, fog lights, and an upgraded infotainment setup that includes satellite radio and Subaru’s Starlink system (featuring emergency assistance, remote lock/unlock, stolen-vehicle recovery service and automatic collision notification). It’s also eligible for more options. The Limited trim includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, 8-inch touch screen and some advanced driver aids.

Notable Optional Equipment

The 2.0i base version can be fitted with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and forward-collision mitigation. Premium trims may also include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Other options include a powered moonroof, navigation, reverse automatic braking, and a harman/kardon audio system.

Under the Hood

Subaru’s 2019 Crosstrek has one engine: a 2.0-liter unit with four horizontally opposed cylinders. This “boxer-engine” configuration means a lower center of gravity compared with the more common upright/inline arrangement, bringing benefits to the handling. Base and Premium trims come with a 6-speed manual transmission. Most buyers will choose the CVT automatic; it’s optional in the lower two trims, standard in the Limited. We’ve moaned about a lack of power, but fuel economy is impressive, especially since all-wheel drive is standard. A plug-in hybrid version is expected at some point in this model year. Unlike some subcompact-crossover SUVs, the Crosstrek is rated to tow, albeit a humble 1,500 pounds.

2.0-liter flat-4
152 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/29 mpg (manual), 27/33 mpg (automatic)


Pricing Notes

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek range begins at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $21,895. Add the $975 destination charge and we’re talking $22,870 for a base 2.0i model with the manual transmission. The automatic (CVT) option is an extra $1,000. Again, we reckon it’s a smarter call to stretch the budget by another $1,000 for the better-equipped Premium trim. Limited models start at $28,170; a fully loaded Crosstrek Limited can exceed $30,000. Rivals like the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Kicks, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X start slightly lower, but they don't have all-wheel drive as standard. The VW Golf Alltrack, starting a few thousand higher, is a larger and perhaps less obvious Crosstrek rival. Before buying, check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying. As with other Subaru vehicles, the Crosstrek's resale value is expected to be among the highest in its segment.

OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used Crosstrek.

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