2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited Test Drive

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“2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited”
Completely Redesigned Crosstrek More Refined and Capable

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Deadwood, So. Dakota – The Subaru team, always up for adventures and challenges, chose a secluded private ranch a few miles outside of Deadwood to erect a base camp for the introduction of their 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, which has been improved in literally every way. The Crosstrek bowed originally in 2013 as the Subaru XV Crosstrek, and at that time, it was an all-new vehicle unlike any other vehicle in the Subaru stable, even though many compared it to their Impreza model.

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The new 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is the second vehicle to be based on Subaru’s new global platform, and it has grown In both stature and structural rigidity, featuring a longer wheelbase and overall length along with a 4-inch wider tailgate opening and an increase in luggage space of 2.9 feet. The ride height is now 0.4-inches lower while retaining a ground clearance of 8.7-inches.

Trim levels will include a base 2.0i model, a 2.0i Premium model and top-of-the-line 2.0i Limited model.

The 2.0i base starts with an extensive standard feature list including: a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides; 60/40-split fold-down rear seat; power door locks and side mirrors; multi-function display with fuel economy information; tilt and telescoping steering column; security system with engine immobilizer; 17-inch machine finish alloy wheels; standard integrated roof rails; carpeted floor mats; and privacy glass. The 2.0i base and Premium come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission or available CVT equipped with X-Mode with hill-descent control.

Premium trim adds a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter, shark fin antenna, SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security features, automatic headlights and the All-Weather Package featuring heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer. Stepping up to the Premium trim also brings wider option availability, including a power moonroof and driver assist technology systems. The interior is available in either black or new high-contrast gray cloth interior with orange double stitching.
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The Limited trim provides a more upscale appearance with LED headlights, distinctive “Konoji” LED daytime running lights (DRL) and standard 18-inch machine finished alloy wheels. The Crosstrek Limited also has Steering Responsive Headlights, which can illuminate curves as the vehicle steers into them. The Limited comes standard with the CVT equipped with X-Mode with hill-descent control.
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Motive force for all trim levels will still be supplied by a 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder with Dual Active Valve Control System, Direct Fuel Injection and electronic throttle control but with an increase in both horsepower (now 152 at 6,000 rpm) and torque (now 145 at 4,000 rpm). The drivetrain consists of the front flat mounted Boxer engine / Symmettical All-Wheel Drive with Active Torque Split and electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer. Depending upon trim level, energy reaches all four wheels through either a 6-speed manual transmission with incline Start Assist or a Lineratronic® CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with a 7-speed manual shift mode, a special available X-Mode for off-roading and Hill Descent Control. Towing capacity is 1,500 pounds.
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The manual gearbox equipped Crosstrek’s AWD system is a continuous type with a viscous-coupling locking center differential, while the AWD system in CVT equipped models is an Active Torque Split system with an electronically managed, continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch.
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My test 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i was a pre-production model in Limited trim. The exterior was sprayed in a striking new color – Cool Gray Khaki, with the interior done in Gray and Charcoal tones with Orange stitching. The base price was set at $26,295 while the final total registered $30,655 after adding: Subaru’s EyeSight® feature, a Moonroof, Navigation system, Harmon Kardon Audio System and the Destination and Delivery charge.
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SUMMARY: The camping theme proved to be the ideal scenario for the Crosstrek launch, as it depicted how the majority of Crosstrek devotees will actually use their vehicles – in the pursuit of enjoying the wonders and beauty of natural surroundings. Each Journalist was assigned their own tent, which proved to be waterproof but not heat and mountain lion proof. The accommodations were far from Spartan, making the experience more on the order of “Glamping” rather than camping. There was lots of hiking in between driving exercises and dining took place outdoors al picnic tables, with cuisine served buffet “chow-line” style.
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Actual driving took in some normal roads and freeway stints, but most was done on unpaved surfaces, with off-road exercises taking place at an active gravel quarry, illustrating the Crosstrek’s capability and prowess in ascending and descending challenging grades and obstacles.
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This newest iteration Crosstrek performed admirably both on and off-road. Acceleration was adequate despite the high altitude, although turbocharging would have been a major plus factor.

Ride quality was smooth and compliant, without being either too firm or too soft. Ruts and potholes were absorbed in good order with little or no discomfort. Handling characteristics proved to be quite agile and responsive for a crossover vehicle and the CVT’s 7-step gear arrangement eliminated any disdain for CVTs. Admittedly, there are those who can’t stand CVTs, but the Crosstrek’s system is certainly one of the best and is actually quite satisfying.
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The inventory of safety features and technology is most impressive as are connectivity and infotainment features.

In the final scheme of things, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is a best bet in the SUV/Crossover segment. It is much more contemporary in its styling than what most competitors have to offer. It is perfect for those who don’t want or need a full size SUV, but require off-road capability. It is extremely attractive and sporty in its appearance, displaying a low shoulder line and blacked out “B” and “C” pillars giving it an almost coupe-like persona with a low drag coefficient. It is also highly functional and fun to drive.

So, should you or someone you know happen to be in the market for an affordable, highly capable all-wheel drive vehicle that’s responsive with loads of versatility and that delivers pleasing fuel efficiency in its category (up to 33 mpg), with 8.7-inch ground clearance? Your search may well be over with the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited. Okay, perhaps the Crosstrek is not a vehicle suited for traversing the legendary Rubicon Trail or for serious rock-crawling, but it’s certainly up fording small streams and tackling snow-covered roads and muddy trails with gusto. So, pack up your surfboard, kayak or skis and hit the road or off-road for your favorite destination or explore new possibilities in style in a delightfully maneuverable and fun to drive CUV.

Subaru of America, a division of Fuji Heavy Industries, was founded in 1968 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in February, 2018.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

Base Price:                       $26,295.
Price as Tested:                  $30,655.

Engine Type and Size:             2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder with Dual Active Valve Control System, new Direct Fuel Injection and electronic throttle control.

Horsepower (bhp):                 152 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.):               145 @ 4,000 rpm

Transmission:                     6-speed manual with incline Start Assist or Lineratronic® CVT with X-Mode, Hill Descent Control and 7-speedmanual shift mode.

Drive Train:            Front flat mounted engine / Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with Active Torque Split and electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch.

Suspension:                   Front-MacPherson-type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar and Hydraulic engine mounts.
Rear-Double wishbone, coil springs and stabilizer bar.

Brakes:                          Power-assisted 4-wheel disc with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and 4-channel / 4-sensor ABS with Brake Assist and Brake Override safety systems and Active Torque Vectoring.

Tires:                           Falken Ziex 225/60 R18 98H A/S mounted on 5-“Geo Loop” machine face alloys with painted inners.

Wheelbase:                       104.9  inches
Length Overall:                  175.8  inches
Width:                            79.0  inches with mirrors / 71.0 without.
Height:                           63.6  inches with roof rails.
Curb Weight:                     3,230  lbs.
Turning Circle:                   35.4  ft.
Fuel Capacity:                    16.6  gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates:            27  mpg city / 33 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient:                 Not listed
0 – 60 mph:                       Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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