Preview: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

NEW YORK – Although the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek was officially unveiled in Geneva, it made its North American debut today at the New York Auto Show.

Not only more nimble and fun to drive, but also more stable during quick lane changes or obstacle avoidance

Completely redesigned for 2018, the Crosstrek is the second vehicle to feature Subaru’s new “Dynamic & Solid” design language, and it’s built on the new Global Platform, the architecture that will underpin every Subaru until 2025.

The new design features Subaru’s familial hexagon grille flanked by “hawk-eye” headlamps. The sheetmetal’s been sculpted into flowing lines and stronger wheel arches with contrasting black cladding and roof rails adding visual drama and utility.

While the 104.9 inch (2,664 mm) wheelbase is an inch and a half (38 mm) longer than the outgoing model’s, the Crosstrek – at only 0.6 inches (15 mm) longer and 0.9 (23 mm) wider – keeps its compact manoeuvrability. It retains its 8.7 inch (221 mm) ground clearance for modest off-road excursions.

Under the 2018 Crosstrek’s hood will be a 2.0L four-cylinder Boxer engine putting out 152 hp (up from 148 hp). A six-speed manual transmission is standard on both the Base and Premium trims, and there’s an optional CVT. Standard on range-topping Limited models is a CVT with seven-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. Like most of Subaru’s lineup, the Crosstrek comes with the firm’s symmetrical all-wheel drive. CVT-equipped vehicles will now come with an X-Mode function for better traction on ice and steep hills.

The stiffer platform and lower centre of gravity are said to greatly enhance the Crosstrek’s handling and composure. Its more rigid chassis promises reduced vibration and noise for a much quieter ride. Mounted directly to the body instead of the subframe, the rear sway bar reduces body roll. The end result is a vehicle that should not only be more nimble and fun to drive, but also more stable during quick lane changes or obstacle avoidance.

Subaru’s Eyesight safety suite (adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure, sway warning) is still available, as are blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.

New driver-assist tech this year is Reverse Automatic Braking, which adds directional line aids on the back-up system display, and can automatically apply brakes if it senses an object in the way. Steering-responsive headlamps follow the direction of the wheels for better visibility when cornering, and high-beam assist automatically switches on, or lowers, high beams when needed.

Available in base 2.0, Premium and top Limited trim levels, every Crosstrek comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 60/40-split rear seat with a wider rear tailgate opening, power windows and door locks, multi-function display, security system with engine immobilizer, and integrated roof rails.

Moving up the trim levels adds leather-wrapped steering wheel, Subaru Starlink connectivity, safety and security system, All Weather Package (heated seats, windshield, mirrors and auto headlights), LED running lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, exterior chrome trim, high-contrast leather with orange stitch, Harman Kardon audio, navigation, push-button start and exclusive instrument panel in range-topping Limited models.

The new Crosstrek arrives in Canada this summer. Pricing will be available closer to due date.

More tech, more room, (slightly) more power. 4/12/2017 9:15:00 PM