50 years ago, shopping for a new car meant looking for the vehicle that suited your needs, sacrificing aspects like performance for cargo space. Nowadays, the automotive industry has taken a turn towards versatility as sub-compact SUVs like the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek are designed to suit varied needs.

SUVs are designed to feature the best aspects from a wide range of automotive styles, boasting the maneuverability and sportiness of a family sedan combined with substantial cargo space and seating you could once only get in a minivan. Starting at $21,895, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek fulfills that requirement of versatility and benefits from heightened standard features over previous years.

Performance Specs

When you go shopping for an SUV, you’re looking for a vehicle with sporty maneuvering and acceleration that provides a fleeting thrill. With the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek, you can expect those standards to be fully met.

The Crosstrek comes standard with a 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine that, despite not having the power to truly satisfy the speed-minded, provides adequate acceleration for city travel. If you’re mostly using this SUV for your commute or relaxed driving, you should have no trouble with the Crosstrek’s engine. Trims below the Limited model feature a manual transmission, while the Limited uses a continuously shifting variable transmission that gives the vehicle notably better acceleration.

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel-drive and performs better than many competitors in off-roading pursuits. As with most members of the class, the handling is responsive and suitable for a variety of situations. You might have a little trouble staying competitive on the highway, but that’s to be expected with subcompact SUVs.

Fuel Efficiency

Subcompact SUVs often perform well in areas of fuel efficiency and the Crosstrek is no exception. 2019’s model is rated by the EPA for 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. That’s relatively high for the class and size, beating out large chunks of the competition and exemplifying the high standards that have made Subaru a household name.

A plug-in hybrid model will be available in late 2019 and expectations indicate that the hybrid variant will improve on the Crosstrek’s already impressive fuel economy. These hybrids work by combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine, using the built-up energy from the vehicle’s motor to maintain speed whilst the gasoline engine does the heavy lifting.

Safety and Infotainment Features

Annual reports from the NHTSA assemble and evaluate offerings from the automotive industry, rating vehicles on a scale from one to five stars based on their crash effectiveness. The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek shows the standards that have made Subaru a rising star with a five-star crash test rating.

Although the Crosstrek’s standard safety features are relatively limited and essentially boil down to rearview cameras, a wide suite of optional safety choices makes the Crosstrek safer. These features include automated braking and adaptive cruise control.

The Crosstrek has a roomy and upscale look augmented with soft materials that make travel a luxury. Plus, the engine’s relatively low power means that it stays quiet even while accelerating. Seating five comfortably, the Crosstrek truly shines when it comes to cargo space — this model has among the year’s roomiest cargo compartments. When the seats are folded down, the Crosstrek offers more than 50 cubic feet of storage.

Standard features for the Crosstrek’s cabin Infotainment systems include a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker system that ensures you’re surrounded by music while you’re riding in luxury. For the truly inspired, optional upgrades include satellite radio, a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, and a scaled-up eight-inch touchscreen. All these Infotainment systems are easy to use and responsive even with the smaller screen.

How It Stacks Up Against the Competition

The subcompact market is relatively crowded in comparison to other types of SUVs, so there’s a lot for the Crosstrek to compete against.

If you’re looking for something that bridges the gap between an SUV and a performance vehicle, the Mazda CX-3 can be a good point of comparison to evaluate the Crosstrek. The CX-3 has a more powerful engine that lets you navigate easily and efficiently even on the highway and transitions easily between speeds — pushing that concept of versatility to the next level. If your decision is purely dependent on performance, then the CX-3 is a great choice. But if you’re interested in a luxurious ride and a roomy cabin, the Crosstrek still has the edge.

In past years, the Crosstrek and the Honda HR-V have clashed with victories on both sides. In 2019, there are lots of areas where the HR-V shines. One of the main advantages of the HR-V comes from Honda’s unique Magic Seat systems, which allow the rear seats to be contorted into a wide range of shapes and arrangements for increased cargo space. That said, the Crosstrek still boasts an overall superior amount of cargo space with the rear seats down and it vastly performs the HR-V in any situation involving mud or snow.

The 2019 Crosstrek’s viability against the competition is largely a matter of taste, so you’ll need to use a discerning eye when you make your decision. It can help to make a list of your wants and needs before you ever visit the dealership, deciding what qualities you absolutely can’t live without and which you could drop.


  • Stellar Infotainment: The Crosstrek’s Infotainment offerings are some of the finest in the class, encouraging ease of use so you can focus on driving.
  • Comfortable Interior: The Crosstrek’s cabin is quiet and spacious, offering luxury materials arrayed in a layout that’s pleasing to the eye.
  • Plenty of Cargo Space: If you’re looking for an SUV, this is probably important to you and the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek blows the competition out of the water.


  • Unimpressive Performance: There are better performance SUVs on the market, but the advantages of the Crosstrek can outweigh that detriment.


This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.