Big Change To A Small Package: The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited.
They tell us love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, and who are we to argue?  But ruggedness, reliability, safety, value and an attitude that change for change's sake isn't such a good thing also are a big part of the Subaru DNA.  So when a Subaru model is all-new, that's big news.

We loved the last-gen Crosstrek, which was new for 2013.  We love the 2018 even more.

Rear 3/4 view of 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited.
The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is built on Subaru's new global platform and sports a new design language.  Where the last-gen model was rounder and softer front and back,  the new one looks less like an Impreza hatch and more like its bigger brothers Forester and Outback (as well as what we've seen so far in pictures of the upcoming 2019 Ascent).

Changes under the hood, too...a revised two-liter, four-cylinder boxer with direct fuel injection now makes 152 horsepower, up slightly from the '13's 148.  And fuel economy improves slightly, from 25 city/33 highway to 27/33.  With a larger fuel tank (16.6 gallons to 15.9), the 2018 Crosstrek has the ability to cover a lot of interstate, city streets or backroads (paved or not) between fill-ups.

Also new is the Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission, which includes a manual mode and shift paddles.  Active torque vectoring is standard on all models.  It drives like it's on rails.  Hill descent control is standard and ground clearance remains the same as before at 8.7 inches.

Interior view of 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited
2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited interior.
The interior is all-new, too, with a vastly improved multimedia system featuring both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as AM/FM, SiriusXM, Aha and Pandora.  The top-of-the-line Limited, which we drove, has leather-trimmed upholstery with contrast stitching, an automatic climate control system, a sound insulation windshield, a six-way power driver's seat, LED headlights which are steering-responsive, outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, keyless access with pushbutton start, blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, power windows, locks and mirrors, a rear vision camera, roof rails and rear spoiler...all standard for $26,295. The base model  starts at $21,795 and the mid-range Premium model's base price is $22,595.

Our tester had only one option package, which bundles Subaru's EyeSight smart cruise control, navigation and an upgraded Harmon Kardon audio system for $3,445.   With $915 destination and delivery, the bottom line ended up at $30,655.   It would be hard to find a better blend of style, comfort, convenience and go-anywhere ability at that price.  The new 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is an absolute winner.