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A cross between a station wagon and a hatchback, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is spacious, comfortable to ride in, and offers some moderate off-roading capabilities. Despite having a lower fuel economy than some of its competitors and suffering from a sluggish acceleration, the Crosstrek is a family-friendly vehicle with plenty of the safety and infotainment features that drivers desire.
What's New for 2019?
Since the Subaru Crosstrek was just revamped for the 2018 model year's introduction of the second generation, not a lot has changed on the 2019 line-up. There have been a few revisions made to some of the features found on the Crosstrek. Also, the Starlink telematics system now comes with more safety functions than ever before.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek – The Pros
1. A Comfortable Ride Quality
One of the best aspects of the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is that it provides all of its occupants with a comfortable ride quality. Whether you have the standard 17-inch wheels or the upgraded 18-inch wheels equipped, the ride feels smooth and relaxing. The vehicle has no problem handling the ups and downs of hilly roads, and the shocks and wheels absorb bumps of all sizes.
2. A Spacious Cabin
For a vehicle in its class, the new Subaru Crosstrek has a remarkably spacious cabin. Up front and in the rear, there is plenty of head, shoulder, hip, and leg room to be found. Even taller adults will not have too much of a problem fitting into the rear seat, which is not something that can be said for many of the Crosstrek's competitors.
3. High Ground Clearance Allows For Better Off-roading
The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, like many of the other new Subaru vehicles this year, offers an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance beneath the undercarriage. This makes taking the Crosstrek off the beaten path a lot less worrisome since there is a far smaller chance of getting rubble lodged underneath or bottoming out on a particularly rough spot along the path.
4. Plenty of Safety Features
There are plenty of safety features to be found on the Subaru Crosstrek. This year, Subaru has made its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids available across the line-up. This suite bundles helpful features such as blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane keep assist with sway monitoring. Overall, these features work well. Adaptive cruise control maintains a safe distance, and having reverse automatic braking on the Limited trim level is an extra bonus since it works nicely with the standard rear-view camera.
5. All-wheel Drive Comes Standard
As has been the tradition for Subaru over the past four decades, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek comes with standard all-wheel drive. This system sends power to all of the wheels and allows for steady traction on all types of road surfaces. Having all-wheel drive can make driving through rough winter conditions much safer, and it certainly enhances the off-roading experience you get in the Crosstrek.
6. X-mode Enhances Off-roading
Another feature that makes off-roading exciting in the Subaru Crosstrek is the availability of X-mode. X-mode is Subaru's fancy way of saying hill descent control, but don't think that it's only something that sounds cool. X-mode is something that is difficult to find in the hatchback vehicle class, and to have a system that works so well on the Crosstrek makes the model all the more appealing. X-mode works to optimize the performance of the vehicle's transmission, all-wheel drive, engine, brakes, and other critical mechanics when the Crosstrek is ascending or descending a hilly surface.
7. User-friendly Controls
Controls are thoughtfully laid out along the center console, and all of the controls that are located on the infotainment touchscreen are easy to access and use. The buttons themselves are large enough to read and are appropriately responsive to the touch. The touchscreen itself has a pleasing interface that makes it easy for even non-tech savvy drivers to use. Also, once you learn the voice control commands, using them becomes second nature.
8. Excellent Visibility All Around
Since Subaru decided to elevate the ride height to give the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek more ground clearance, visibility has also significantly improved. The front windshield is massive and wide, and the sectional windows near the windshield are small. The slender roof pillars up front lend to increased outward visibility for the driver. Visibility out of the rear window is equally excellent since the rear windshield also features a wide design. Also, with the aid of a rear-view camera and blind-spot monitoring through the EyeSight suite, there is no guesswork to be made as to what is happening around the vehicle's more hard-to-see places.
9. Quality of the Materials
The Subaru Crosstrek is not by any means a luxury vehicle, nor does it pretend to be so. It caters to families and to those who like going off the beaten path from time to time. However, the materials you will find throughout the cabin are classy in their own right. The soft touch plastics and upholstery are colored in subdued tones but feel nice to the touch and do not seem like they will easily break down with a little bit of wear and tear.
10. Superb Child Car Seat Accommodations
It is hard not to see the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek as a strong family vehicle. In fact, the LATCH anchors for the child safety seats in the rear seat are easy to access and use, which is not the case on other vehicles in this class. With the vehicle's tall roof and wide door openings, getting car seats in and out of the rear is pretty hassle-free. Additionally, the rear seat is definitely spacious enough to fit some of the larger rear-facing car seats that are now being manufactured for young children.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek – The Cons
1. Low Fuel Economy
Unfortunately, the drawback to driving a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is that its EPA ratings sink below quite a few of its competitors. On the models equipped with CVT transmissions, you can only get 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. These numbers drop if you opt for the 6-speed manual transmission, which garners approximately 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Those looking for better fuel efficiency will likely end up passing over the Crosstrek.
2. Slow to Accelerate
There is only one engine available across the Crosstrek line-up, and it is unfortunately not a very powerful one. The 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine only manages to muster up 152 hp, which is pretty far below what you will find on the competition. This means that acceleration is beyond sluggish. In fact, the Crosstrek has been clocked going from 0 to 60 mph in a rather long 10.3 seconds, a time which can be bested even by much larger vehicles.
3. Handling Lacks Some Refinement
While most driving aspects of the Crosstrek seem refined enough, handling is sub-par. This is due in part to the taller ride height as well as the firmer tires that are equipped. You will notice that the rear of the vehicle feels too light while hitting small bumps in the road. Also, you will have to be mindful to not take too many sharp and fast turns as these will produce a rather alarming amount of body roll.
4. Cargo Space is Just Average
Unlike many of the other Subaru models being released this year, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek has a rather limited amount of cargo space. Having 55.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down is, in this class, just average. Compact SUVs are by far outdoing these numbers and will likely be more attractive options for those needing the extra space.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Subaru Crosstrek vs. 2019 Honda HR-V
The 2019 Honda HR-V provides an ample amount of space throughout the cabin but has improved cargo space due to its innovative styling elements, putting it ahead of the Crosstrek. Like the Crosstrek, the HR-V has magnificent visibility but lacks a powerful engine to get it up and moving. The biggest edge that the HR-V has over the Crosstrek is that its fuel economy is better. Unfortunately, its controls are not as thoughtfully laid-out and user-friendly.
2019 Subaru Crosstrek vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3
The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is slightly more crowded in the rear seat, and its cargo space is even worse than that on the Crosstrek, expanding to only a maximum of 44.5 cubic feet. However, the CX-3 provides a thrilling experience for the driver and puts out decent numbers in terms of its fuel economy. It also has an extremely eye-catching body and cabin design.
The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek has a rugged but still family-friendly appeal that many drivers will be attracted to. While it does not have a powerful engine or get a top-notch fuel economy, the vehicle is user-friendly and provides drivers with solid off-roading capabilities.
• Why buy a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek? w/ pros vs cons