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2018 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

What do you get with each? Find out below..
2018 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Limited vs Premium vs 2.0i

What 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?


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Back in 2013, well before the subcompact SUV category has been established, Subaru decided to leverage its competence in making safe all-wheel drive vehicles by taking its Impreza sedan and lifting, giving it a crossover’s ground clearance and seating position, while still maintaining the excellent fuel economy of a small car.

While it may have seemed like a strange decision to many of Subaru’s competitors, the resulting vehicle - the Subaru Crosstrek - became very successful and launched a wave of imitators that gave us the current subcompact crossover market. Now, the redesigned 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is angling to once again come out on top of the market that it created. 

The new Subaru Crosstrek is very similar in design and looks to the outgoing model, but has changed in many ways. It has a larger cabin, a new engine, improved suspension, and a full set of new entertainment and driver assistance features. Those are split up along three trim levels, from the basic 2.0i model through to the nicely trimmed 2.0i Limited. There is quite a bit of variation between the models in terms of equipment, so choosing the right one can be key to having a happy and successful car ownership experience.

This guide breaks down each of the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek trim levels to give buyers an easy reference for what each one offers and how to maximize the value of their car purchase. 

Compare the 2018 Crosstrek 2.0i vs 2.0i Premium Trims. What is the difference? 

The base Subaru Crosstrek comes with some nice equipment, and offers a significant improvement over the similar model on last year’s version. It comes with all of the usual standards like Bluetooth, a rearview camera, power locks and windows, air conditioning, four speakers, and cloth upholstery. It also comes with the Subaru StarLink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Newly upgraded, the StarLink system is easy to use and includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality.

Like most Subarus, the 2.0i Crosstrek comes with all-wheel drive included. It is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic. There are no optional packages for the Crosstrek 2.0i, aside from the CVT, but there are a number of available a la carte upgrade options including a remote starter, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, LED interior lights, and Rockford Fosgate speakers. 

The 2.0i Premium is a slight upgrade over the base model, adding heated seats and exterior side mirrors, as well as fog lights and leather-covered steering wheel and shifter. Like the 2.0i, it comes with a standard manual transmission but can be upgraded to a CVT. The Premium models with the automatic transmission can in turn choose one of three additional packages.

The EyeSight package includes all of the Subaru safety features like pre-collision braking and adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, as well as steering-responsive fog lights. It also comes bundled with blind spot monitors and rear cross traffic alerts.

The moonroof package also includes the blind spot monitors and the rear cross traffic alert, as well as the titular moonroof. The third package combines the two, including both the moonroof and all of the safety features. Aside from those, all of the same piecemeal upgrades that are available on the 2.0i are also available on the 2.0i Premium. 

The base model of the Crosstrek is nicely equipped relative to its price and the similar models offered by its competitors. That makes it a good choice for anyone looking for infotainment features but not too concerned about the comfort upgrades added by the Premium.

But the price difference between the regular 2.0i and the 2.0i Premium is rather small - less than $1,000. This makes the Premium a very price-worthy choice as well, even without the optional packages. The active safety features of the EyeSight package simply add another reason to upgrade to the Premium. It is important to note that the manual-transmission Premium models can’t get any of the advanced equipment, but the manual transmission in general is not a great choice for the Crosstrek. It gets much lower mileage than the CVT, without making the car feel much more sporty. For all but the most die-hard manual transmission fans, the CVT is simply too good to pass up. 

Compare the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium vs 2.0i Limited Trim Levels. What is the difference?  

Rounding out the selection of Crosstrek trim levels is the 2.0i Limited. Unlike the other two models, the Limited is available exclusively with a CVT, and includes a leather interior, power driver’s seat, and larger 18-inch wheels as standard equipment. The optional blind-spot detection and rear cross traffic alert system from the Premium is also standard. Exclusive to the Limited are the steering-linked LED headlights, which are also standard. 

There are two available optional packages for the Limited and, just like on the Premium, they are mutually exclusive. The first includes the EyeSight driver assistance suite and the moonroof, though it also adds automatic high beam control and reverse automatic braking, neither of which are a part of the similar package for the 2.0i Premium. The second optional package includes those features as well as a navigation system and a premium Harman/Kardon audio system with eight speakers. The individual accessories are the same as on the other two models. 

The Limited represents a significant jump in price over the Premium model, so unless a leather interior is particularly important to you, it may not be a very good value. Of course, if it is a critical feature then the 2.0i Limited is the only choice, but otherwise there are few things that the Limited offers that one can’t get on the Premium. Though the Rockford Fosgate speakers may not be as nice as the Harman/Kardon ones, they are still a solid improvement over the stock ones, and the smart headlights are more of a convenience feature than a key safety technology, offering only a marginal advantage over the optional steering-sensitive fog lights on the Premium.

For most buyers, unless leather seating is important, the 2.0i Premium will be a better investment than the 2.0i Limited. 

Which Trim Level to Choose? 

The three trim levels of the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek are all clustered together relatively closely, with each one offering only small improvements over the others. Of the three, the best value likely resides in the 2.0i Premium model for most drivers.

While the base 2.0i is very nicely equipped, for only a small increase in price it is possible to get the many nice extras that the Premium model brings. Conversely, the 2.0i Limited comes with a much steeper price increase, but few additional features; much of the options on the Premium remain options on the Limited.

As such, buyers looking to maximize the amount of useful features they get for the money may want to avoid the model and stick with the 2.0i Premium. The Limited does offer a few exclusives such as leather upholstery, power seating, or Harman/Kardon audio, however. If those sound nice and your budget allows it, then the Limited has them on offer.

Besides those considerations, the 2.0i Premium makes for a good starting point for most who are contemplating buying a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, Edmunds, CarsDirect & MotorTrend.

These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.
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