Should you or someone you know happen to be in the market for an affordable, highly capable all-wheel drive vehicle that’s responsive and fun-to-drive with loads of versatility and that delivers the greatest fuel efficiency in its category (up to 33 mpg), with 8.7-inch ground clearance? Your search may well be over with the Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited that follows the 2013 introduction of their XV Crosstrek, which was an all-new vehicle unlike any other CUV in the Subaru stable, though some tended to compare it to their popular Impreza.
The visually enhanced 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is available in three trim levels: the 2.0i base Model; a 2.0I Premium trim; and a more upscale 2.0i Limited model. All models are powered by Subaru’s 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline, flat-opposed (Boxer®) 4-cylinder engine with Dual Active Valve Control System, sequential multi-port fuel injection and electronic throttle control. The engine produces 148 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, while generating 145 pound feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. The driving force is delivered to all four wheels through Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive systems via either a five-speed manual gearbox with incline start assist or a Lineartronic® CVT automatic with a driver-selectable 6-speed manual shift mode and steering wheel mounted shift paddles that also features incline start assist.
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.
Standard features for all trim levels include: 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels in a dark gray metallic painted surface and machined edges; raised suspension; roof rails with available cross rails; fog lights; cargo-area tray; touch-screen GPS navigation system with SMS text messaging capability, XM® satellite radio and XM® NavTraffic; 7 airbags including driver’s side knee airbag; and Whiplash protection front seats.
Visual enhancements consist of: a revised front end styling with a redesigned black grille and chrome accents, new headlights, front bumper and fog light covers with chrome accent trim. The interior benefits from refinements as well, including new STARLINK Cloud Applications to expand music and information sources.
My test 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i was in Limited trim with a Venetian Red Pearl metallic exterior finish and Charcoal and Bone two-tone interior. The base sticker price was set at $ 25,095., while the Option Package 23 and Destination and Delivery charge elevated the final tally to $28,840. The $2,895. Option Package 23 included: a Power Moonroof; Subaru’s STARLINK 7,0” Multimedia Navigation System; Sirius/XM satellite radio (subscription required); Subaru Map Update Program with 3 years of free updates; Sirius Travel Link and Sirius XM Traffic – 36 months free; Keyless Access with Push-button start; EyeSight Driver Assist System; ; Pre-collision Braking System; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Departure Warning and Lane Sway Warning; and Pre-Collision Throttle Management System.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited is perfect for those who don’t want or need a full size SUV, but with plenty of 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 0.35 drag coefficient. It is also highly functional and fun to drive. The seating seemed a little firm at first, which was soon offset by the support that they provided. Exterior mirrors have been moved from the “A” pillar to the door, improving outward visibility, which turns out to be very good.
Ride quality is most comfortable and compliant, even over rough terrain, and the handling characteristics deliver an athletic and sporty feel with good steering response and vehicle stability. The symmetrical All-Wheel drive system performs flawlessly on both slick wet and rough, dry surfaces.
The 2.0-liter engine is normally aspirated and does not have direct injection, which Subaru felt was an unnecessary expense, but it delivers an energetic acceleration response along with a pleasing fuel economy (26- mpg city / 34-mpg highway) The CVT, though not my personal first transmission choice, performs smoothly in either its fully automatic mode or when utilizing the paddle shifters giving the feel of a manual gearbox. The Crosstrek’s cruising range averages 524 miles – ideal for those extended trips.
Safety features are abundant and effective – especially the incline start assist, and versatility is key word with the 60/40 split rear seat backs that fold flat for a level load surface, plentiful storage nooks and crannies, and the roof rail system with a 150 pound load limit. Towing capacity is 1,500 pounds.
Bottom line, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i is ideally sized to serve as the ideal mode of transport for individuals and families with an active lifestyle that seek adventure without compromise. The five-door design provides both functionality and versatility, where practicality also delivers comfort.
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.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
|Price as Tested:||$28,840.|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve, flat horizontally opposed four-cylinder with Dual Active Valve Control System, sequential multi-port fuel injection and electronic throttle control.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||148 @ 6,200 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||145 @ 4,200 rpm|
|Transmission:||Lineartronic® CVT with driver-selectable 6-speed manual shift mode and steering wheel shift paddles and incline start assist.|
|Drive Train:||Front mounted flat horizontally opposed Boxer engine / Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive – Active Torque Split AWD with electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch.|
Front – MacPherson type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar with hydraulic engine mounts on CVT models.
Rear – Double wishbone, coil springs and stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted 4-wheel discs (vented front) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and 4-channel / 4-sensor ABS with Brake Assist and Brake Override safety systems. Vehicle Dynamics Control with all-wheel, all-speed traction control and rollover sensor.|
|Tires:||Yokohama Geolander G95 P225/55 R17 95H mounted on 5-double-staff “Y”-spoke alloy wheels with machine faced outer and Black metallic painted inners.|
|Length Overall:||175.2 inches|
|Width:||78.2 inches – with mirrors (70.1” without)|
|Height:||63.6 inches – with roof rails|
|Curb Weight:||3,208 lbs. Approach angle18.0 degrees / Departure angle 27.7 degrees / Ramp breakover angle 21.1 degrees.|
|Fuel Capacity:||15.9 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||26-mpg city / 34-mpg highway|
|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.