The entire auto industry owes Subaru a serious debt for introducing the original Crosstrek in 2012. This car arguably started the small crossover/SUV trend that continues to sweep through showrooms and drive big profits for just about any manufacturer that has such a vehicle in its lineup.
Subaru moved the Crosstrek into its second generation last year with a redesign that borrowed the sleek lines of the Impreza hatchback with which it shares its basic engineering and architecture.
The sole change for 2019 is new software for the car's infotainment system, which Subaru says lends that touchscreen-based setup smoother, more fluid operation. As before, it supports both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration platforms.
The Crosstrek is motivated by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. Convenience, Touring and Sport trims come with a six-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a continuously variable automatic, and the automatic is standard in the Limited model.
Subaru's EyeSight active safety suite is available, too, in Sport and Limited trims.
What we like about the Crosstrek is that while it is based on a car platform, as most small crossovers are, Subaru has dressed it up to look as capable as it is with its elevated ground clearance and full-time AWD system.
We actually like the Crosstrek better with the automatic transmission as it keeps engine speeds -- and noise -- lower in highway driving. The automatic also comes with a more sophisticated centre differential that makes the AWD system more efficient in how it shuttles power to the wheels with the most grip.
The entry-level Convenience trim includes a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, tilt-and-telescopic steering column, 17-inch alloy wheels and multi-function display with fuel economy information.
Move up to the Touring model for heated front seats, upgraded cloth seating, automatic climate control, fog lights, rear centre armrest with cupholders, larger colour multi-function display, automatic headlights, six-speaker sound system, cargo cover and leather-trimmed steering wheel and transmission shifter boot.
In Sport trim, Subaru piles on adaptive LED headlights, sunroof, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, power driver's seat, premium sport cloth upholstery, dual USB ports and an eight-inch infotainment system.
Atop the range is the Limited model, adding 18-inch wheels, leather seating, heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, eight-speaker stereo and GPS navigation.
Fuel consumption estimates are 8.8/7.2 L/100 km (city/highway) with the automatic transmission and 10.5/8.1 with the six-speed manual.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed