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The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek: Third Time's the Charm

2024 subaru crosstrek premium off road on trail
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek: Third Time's the CharmLucas Bell

If anyone you know bought a new Subaru over the last year, chances are it was a Crosstrek that ended up in their driveway. The compact SUV became the brand’s best seller last year, and has remained the brand’s fastest-selling nameplate since its arrival in 2013. Subaru is back with a new generation of Crosstrek models for 2024, and on the surface not all that much has changed with the fan-favorite crossover. After spending some time with the SUV and the automaker in Palm Springs, California, I think that just might be for the best.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is based on an updated version of the familiar Subaru Global Platform. Thanks to adjustments in welding practices and the use of additional structural adhesives (up from 22.6 feet to 88.5 feet for 2024), the new Crosstrek has a 10 percent stiffer chassis than its predecessor. That added strength allowed the team to drop the spring rates in the suspension for improved ride quality without sacrificing the SUV’s dynamics in that pursuit. The marks of abuse that dot southern California’s highways were not erased by the softer set-up in my experience, but the feedback from the road was never fatiguing or sharp. Increased sound-deadening around the roof also plays a role in improving overall comfort from behind the wheel, bringing a genuinely quiet ride for the segment. Wind noise from the mirrors is the only harsh tone that really stands out.

2024 subaru crosstrek premium engine detail shot
Subaru

As with the outgoing Crosstrek, third-generation models will be offered with either a 2.0-liter or 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine. The smaller motor provides 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque, and comes standard with Base and Premium trimmed offerings. The Sport and Limited models receive the 2.5-liter, which provides 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of which trim, Subaru’s revised Lineartronic CVT is the sole gearbox available for 2024. While it admittedly may not be anybody's favorite transmission, this powertrain combination is noticeably quieter than before. There is hardly a change of tone across the rev band, helping keep things hushed inside. Premium, Sport and Limited buyers receive a set of wheel-mounted paddle shifters that can be used to cycle through eight predetermined ratios, though you likely will not find any interest in doing so. There is no getting around the fact that the Crosstrek is not a powerful or even moderately quick car. Subaru has yet to share acceleration figures for the 2024 models, but the 2.0-liter is every bit the 9.0-second-to-60-mph car as its predecessor. That said, the chassis is not put off when you try to crank up the pace. Not a WRX competitor by any means, but the Crosstrek is not a totally uninspired machine in the canyons.

2024 subaru crosstrek premium on road front view
SUBARU

Speaking of the WRX, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek borrows its dual-pinion electric power steering rack from the Rally-bred sedan. The system is well weighted and precise around town, and plays a part in bringing a bit of fun to the driving experience. That said, the weighting in this application feels inconsistent at highway speeds, with a noticeable deadzone off-center when making lane adjustments.

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The interior of the new Crosstrek features some key updates over the outgoing SUV, not least of which include the revised front seating. Mounted directly to the chassis to reduce body movement, the tweaked seats feature improved pelvic support that helps bring a less fatiguing experience. In conjunction with the quieter cabin, the seats do make for a more comfortable ride than other vehicles at this price point. Interior appointments look better than the materials actually bear out, but the extensive hard plastics are an excusable value-saver in this segment. Rear seating room is unchanged from before, but rear cargo volume has shrunk slightly to 19.9 cubic-feet with the seats up and 54.7 cubic-feet with them folded. There’s still plenty of room for camping gear back there, with roof rails ready for a box on top if more equipment is required on your adventures.

subaru crosstrek interior 2024 premium trim
Subaru