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2020 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: 2.0i vs Premium, Limited & Hybrid
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek is one of those vehicles that has something for just about everybody. It is well-rounded with an array of different features, and Crosstreks are known for being safe and reliable. That is going to make it a tough competitor in the crossover SUV segment.

The fact that all-wheel drive comes standard is going to appeal to drivers who like to go off-roading or who live in areas where inclement weather is common. The only thing that is not so great about the Crosstrek is that the 2.0i engine is somewhat under-powered. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) makes the engine issue worse, making for quite the sluggish acceleration.

That being said, the rest of the Crosstrek is pretty exciting. But which of the four trim levels (the 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited, and Hybrid) provides the average driver with the best overall deal? This comparison review will go over each trim level and, at the end, bestow the title of Best Trim Level on one of the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek models.

Compare the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i vs 2.0i Premium Trims. What is the difference?

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek's base trim is known as the 2.0i. The name is based on the fact that the engine is a the 2.0-L 4-cylinder. This engine comes standard on all of the trim levels and musters up 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0i and 2.0i Premium are both paired up with a 6-speed manual transmission, which provides for some smooth shifts and doesn't drag on the acceleration like the CVT, which the upper trim levels get stuck with. There is, however, an option for getting it equipped on both trim levels.

It gets the standard all-wheel drive as well as vehicle dynamics control, traction control, and active torque vectoring. You can add X-MODE on both trim levels, which helps by boosting all-wheel drive, the engine's output, the transmission ratio, and minimizes the spinning of individual wheels. Brake override and brake assist also come standard and can be quite helpful.

The exteriors of the 2.0i and 2.0i Premium are fairly similar and, therefore, are kind of hard to tell apart upon first glance. But they do have some contrasts. They both get 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is decent enough for some moderate off-roading. Both ride atop standard 17-inch alloy wheels with a black machine finish. Multi-reflector halogen headlights, a roof spoiler, body-colored door handles, two-speed variable intermittent windshield wipers, black-finished roof rails, and wheel arch cladding all come standard on both trims as well.

The 2.0i Premium gains heated side mirrors (which are also folding and body-colored), windshield de-icer, and fog lights. You can opt to get steering responsive fog lights instead. An option also opens up for a power tilt and sliding sunroof.

On the inside, there are some considerable differences, seeing as how the 2.0i Premium gives some upgrades. Both interiors are cozy and give a good amount of space. The rear seat gives 38 inches of head room, 36.5 inches of leg room, and 55.6 inches of shoulder room. The cargo area has 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in place. When you fold them down, that number maxes out at 55.3 cubes. Not a best in class number, but not too shabby either. Your groceries can definitely fit back there with a few bulkier items, like a double stroller.

The driver's seat is manually adjustable six different ways, and the passenger seat can be adjusted four ways. The 2.0i Prmeium does give you standard heated front seats, which is nice to have in the cooler months. It also has a leather-wrapped steering wheel stitched in orange. If you get the CVT, the automatic transmission handle is leather-clad and stitched in orange too. And, while the 2.0i has cloth upholstery, the 2.0i Premium gains orange stitching on that.

a 2.4-inch LCD display makes up the instrument cluster. There is also a multi-function display. You can opt for an instrument display that has a tachometer and speedometer in a 4.2-inch LCD display.

As far as convenience features go, the 2.0i and 2.0i Premium share automatic up/down front windows, electronic cruise control, power side mirrors, a multi-functional 3-spoke steering wheel, a manually-adjustable tilt and telescoping steering column, two cupholders up front, one bottle holder on each door panel, a 12-volt power outlet built into the center console, a lit-up and locking glove box, and tie-down hooks for the cargo area. The 2.0i Premium adds standard automatic on/off headlights, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors which are concealed, a rear cargo tray, and a retractable cargo cover that can be removed. CVT paddle shifters come on it if you get the CVT transmission instead of the manual.

Both vehicles also have a manually adjustable air conditioning system. The StarLink Infotainment System comes standard on the 2.0i and has a 6.5-inch infotainment screen. You can integrate your smartphone's apps via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there is also Bluetooth connectivity. The 2.0i Premium gets the Plus version of this system, which adds cloud-based application connectivity and a 3.5-mm auxiliary jack. Also, the base trim gets a 4-speaker sound system while the 2.0i Prmeium gets six.

Of course, safety features tend to be part of what sell new vehicles, so you should expect that Subaru adorns its vehicles with as many as possible. The 2.0i and 2.0i Premium both get a standard rear vision camera, daytime running lights, a tire pressure monitoring system, whiplash protection, rollover sensors, an anti-theft system, keyless entry, and an engine immobilizer. The big difference here is that the 2.0i Premium gets the StarLink Safety and Security System. This bundle of active driver aids gives you automatic collision notification, remote lock and unlock, diagnostic alerts, and SOS emergency assistance, to name a few.

Both vehicles have quite a few optional upgrades. This list includes a Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade, a key start feature for the remote engine starter, all-weather floor liners, a Thule portable step, and LED dome and map lights.

Compare the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium vs 2.0i Limited Trims.  What is the difference?

You might be wondering how the 2.0i Limited could be even cooler than the Premium. Well, it is. It has a lot of the same standard features as the Premium trim level, but it certainly builds upon that.

First, the Limited gets upgraded to 18-inch alloy wheels. Also, the CVT engine comes standard, which is the trim level's only real downfall. You cannot opt for the manual. X-MODE and hill descent control do get standardized on the Limited. Overall, the fuel economy is decent, as this vehicle gets 33 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city. Other than that, the mechanical features remain the same.

On the outside, the 2.0i Limited gets a few upgrades that help set it apart from the Premium. These changes include standard LED steering responsive headlights and folding body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn indicators. The sun roof remains optional.

The interior has a few changes that are worthy of mentioning as well. The front seats become power-adjustable, and the leather-wrapped automatic transmission handle with orange stitching now comes standard. Also, the shifter handle has gloss black trim, the signature orange stitching, and a leather boot. The upholstery is done and leather and, as you might have guessed, comes with orange stitching. The 4.2-inch instrument display now comes as standard equipment, as do a 6.3-inch color multi-function display.

More convenience features get added as well since, if you are going to spend more money, you might as well get some extra creature comforts. The Limited sees the addition of keyless entry with push button start and PIN code access from the outside, CVT paddle shifters, a folding rear arm rest with two built-in cup holders, and an automatic climate control system. The infotainment system gets a bigger, 8-inch touchscreen display, and 4G LTE WiFi hot spot connectivity now comes equipped too. You can opt for the infotainment system with navigation and a Harman Kardon sound system that has eight speakers.

Safety features get a massive boost as well. The Limited trim level sees the addition of EyeSight Driver Assist (which includes pre-collision braking, automatic cruise control, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning), blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, automatic high beams, and reverse automatic braking. For these features alone, it might just be worth the splurge.

Options for the Limited trim include the Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade, the aero cross bar set, and a rear seatback protector. Of course, there are not a ton of options since so many of them have been standardized on this trim level.

Compare the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited vs Hybrid.  What is the difference?

Here we are at last, at the top of the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek line-up. The Hybrid is, quite naturally, the most expensive trim, jumping up to a starting MSRP of around $35,000. So, why the jump? What all is different, other than it is obviously a hybrid?

Well, let's start with the powertrain. This trim gets the 2.0-L 4-cylinder gas-powered engine, but it comes paired with a permanent magnetic AC synchronous motor, giving it a total combined power output of 148 hp. Subaru Intelligent Drive comes standard, as does a CVT with incline start assist and adaptive control. This vehicle gets 90 MPGe and 35 mpg combined. It does have a slightly smaller fuel tank than the gas--only trims. It also gets differently sized brakes, which is typical for a hybrid.

On the outside, there are a couple of noteworthy alterations, starting with the 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels done in a machine-finished black. Also, there are low-profile roof rails done in black with glossy black caps on the ends. But that is about it for the differences. Otherwise, it looks about the same as the Limited trim level.

The cabin gets a few minor upgrades, but it gets downgraded in terms of size since the battery eats up some of the cargo area, reducing it to 15.9 cubic feet when seats are in place (and 43.1 cubes when the rear seats get folded down). Changes include an option for a heated steering wheel, blue stitching in place of the orange, and a power meter on the instrument display. The color multifunction display gains the ability to read the vehicle's hybrid settings.

Its creature comforts totally mimic those found on the Limited, so there are no changes to note there. The safety features remain the same as well. There are a few options designed to fit the hybrid, but those are the only alterations worth mentioning in terms of optional add-ons. In other words, expect the hybrid to be very Limited-esque outside of what is under the hood.

Which Trim to Choose?

Now it all boils down to which trim level will appeal the most to the average driver. THat award goes to the 2.0i Limited. It stands out as the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek's best trim for a few reasons, and the biggest is the standardization of EyeSight. These features come in handy while driving and are often found on lower trim levels of the Subaru's competitors. Having to spend more to get them kind of stinks, but they can be worth the cost.

The 2.0i feels very basic, and the Premium does not add as much as it probably should. The good thing about these trims is that you get the manual transmission. Of course, most people will not want to drive a stick, so the Limited will probably catch their eyes anyhow.

The hybrid is a good choice if you value fuel efficiency. But that is really the only thing it has different from the Limited. Other automakers have hybrids that cost less and have the same - or more - features. So, if you are settled on the Crosstrek, stick with the Limited. It is as well-rounded as a vehicle in its class can be, and its versatility almost cancels out the fact that its engine and CVT are lackluster.

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Compare the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Trim Levels