Base Camp: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Entry-level Subie still offers all-weather value.

By Matthew Guy Wheels.ca

Aug 8, 2023 3 min. read

Article was updated 2 months ago

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Canadians looking for an affordable way to get all-wheel drive under their feet have often sought out Subaru dealerships in search of a new machine. These days, every model – save for the BRZ – has its power meted out to all four corners.

Towards the entry-level end of the Subaru menu, we find the 2024 Crosstrek which is priced at $28,995 when shod with its Convenience package. Under its hood is a 2.0L boxer-type four-cylinder engine making 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft of torque, all lashed to a continuously variable transmission marketed by Subaru under the Lineartronic name. There are a couple of drive modes and, of course, all-wheel drive is standard.

You’ll do without fog lamps in the entry-level Crosstrek, though at least Subaru has the decency to offer a couple of blue paint options instead of limiting choice to greyscale. Headlights are snazzy steering-responsive LED units as found on more expensive trims, a spoiler juts from the back hatch, and a rear wiper is present unlike base trims of some competitive models. Tires are 17 inches in diameter.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

At this price, the Crosstrek is saddled with twin 7.0-inch touchscreens in its centre stack instead of the jumbo 11.6-inch tablet-style slab found in costlier trims. However, given the latter only makes use of part of its screen for functions like the backup camera, this may not be a wholly bad thing – if you can get over the odd appearance. At least there are physical dials for radio volume and tuning, plus dedicated buttons for temperature and defroster controls. CarPlay is onboard, plus a USB port and satellite radio. The latter is notable since some competitors force upgrades to access that capability.

Air conditioning is present, as it is in just about every new car these days. Black interior trim is found on the dashboard and door handles, though a skiff of colour appears by way of silver stitching on the manually adjusted heated cloth seats. Analog gauges flank a small colour multi-information display ahead of the driver, serving up basic information and a digital speed readout if desired. Cost cutting for the base trim shows up in the lack of illumination in the glovebox and visor mirrors, absent armrest for rear seat urchins, and binned heated steering wheel.

What We'd Choose

Perhaps ironically, the least expensive Crosstrek shares several visual cues with the far more expensive Onyx trim, including blacked-out mirrors, grille, and similar wheels. The Onyx gets a power boost to 182 ponies, a sum which better fits the Crosstrek’s lot in life, but its $5,000 price walk is not to be trifled, generally representing $100 or more per month depending on terms of the loan. At that price, one could easily find themselves in the much larger Forester or Outback at entry-level trim, cars which also have 182 horses.

All of which leads us to what is probably our first dual Base Camp recommendation. If the base Crosstrek’s power levels are sufficient to yer tastes, jump on that trim. But if one desires a bit more grunt and wishes to stay in a Subaru showroom, the smart play would be to sample a Forester or Outback instead.

Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.



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