We gave the new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek a very hands-on test drive to see if it lived up to all the hype. We were surprised in the best possible way that this relatively small family car packed an enormous punch in terms of driveability, interior space and all-weather bells and whistles.
TL;DR: It's great and driving around town in a blue one earned us scores of compliments.
Subaru has long been the car of get-outside-and-get-your-hands-dirty types, and frankly, that's the space most people with kids are in whether they planned to be or not. I know that's the space I'm in. My little ones are all knee-deep in that stage of life where every patch of earth is a playground and all forms of weather are meant to be tousled with (please see the knees of my daughter's denim, below).
The Subaru Crosstrek has been in production for several years already—appealing exactly to this demo—people who actually do stuff. Each model, even the older ones, is brimming with features that make active lifestyles incredibly easy to manage.
The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is the most mega, ultimate, super-duper iteration of the Crosstrek yet thanks to driver assistance features, a smoother-than-ever ride and a rugged, sporty look that keeps Subaru drivers loyal.
Die-hard Subaru devotees are especially pumped about the 2024 Crosstrek's all-wheel drive and an available rugged suspension, which is handier for suburban parenting than you might expect.
The 2024 Crosstrek got a redesign with important, game-changing features like EyeSight driver assistance being standard in all models (it used to be part of a significant upgrade package).
A raised hatchback body offers a comfortable, smooth ride that's ideal for pushing out of a snowy driveway on a school morning when there's just no delayed opening or for driving around town with your music blasting like the total queen (or king) that you are.
All-wheel drive is standard, and fun yellow accent trim highlight's the 2024 Sport version, while the Wilderness trim package features a taller ride height and beefier suspension. An 11.6-inch touchscreen in the front is optional, and we think it's worth every penny.
The fuel economy is excellent for what this car offers. It rivals bigger, seemingly more rugged SUVs in terms of everything it has to offer (suspension, storage and AWD for starters), though it consumes far less fuel. That's great news if you're environmentally conscious or just looking to cut costs anywhere you can.
According to the EPA, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is rated for up to 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway depending on the configuration.
We also liked that the back seats fold flat to free up cargo space for things like scooters, skis, luggage and that new baby crib may end up hauling home on a whim.
First and foremost, the new Crosstrek's ride was smooth enough to not spill my very hot and very open travel mug of hot tea. Maybe this isn't the feature you're looking for, but if you're an over-frazzled and always-rushed parent, this is basically the most important litmus test you can put a vehicle through.
Not only did the Crosstrek pass—it did so while driving up the gravel-loaded hill my mountainside home has leading up to it. I tried it again with my giant 40-ounce Stanley Cup dupe, and yeehaw—it was just as smooth and spill-free.
That aside, we loved the touch-screen dash and excellent sound system that kept us singing all really, really good and someone inappropriate songs you're not supposed to sing after you have kids, but life is short and the music is good... so ya know?
My neck, my back... both felt good in tha Crosstrek
We also took it for a spin at a local cave-side swimming hole in the side of our little Appalachian paradise town that few people know about. It drove up and down the rocky, semi-paved path like a champ—hardly kicking up any dirt along the way. I loved that, and it's a pretty big deal for people who like to go off-roading without the feeling of swallowing full lungs full of dust.
The front seats were spacious, comfortable and easy to like. The back seats offered more than enough space for two adults to sit comfortably or three moderately-sized children.
The sweet spot for of the 2024 Crosstrek is a family of about four people, depending on how much stuff you tend to bring along with you.
We loved the smooth ride and all-weather features that made this zippy car a must-have in our mountainous hometown. But, if you've got a large family or need to haul large loads of basically anything—it may not have enough cargo space. It's ideal for families with one or two kids, but if you've got three or more, it'll either be tight or just too small.
The manual transmission option Subaru offered in prior years is no longer available, though frankly, this didn't bother us one bit.
We loved it—and frankly, if we didn't have an enormous litter of kids in this house, we'd probably be the first ones in line for the new Subaru Crosstrek. I'm keeping my minivan strictly for the third row of seating and cargo space, but if I had fewer kids or a need for a smaller second car? The Crosstrek would be top of the list.
The 2024 Crosstrek starts at about $26,000 for an AWD, automatic transmission model and goes well north of $32,000 for high-level trim packages.
Personally, the Crosstrek Sport trim option is seems like the best overall value, and it goes for about $30,000. It's a moderately-priced car that goes head to head with compact and crossover SUVs—and wins—both in terms of price and performance.
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