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Subaru brings back a bigger, bolder Crosstrek pseudo-crossover for 2018

Why it matters to you

The Crosstrek is an SUV alternative worth considering, and the new model promises significant upgrades over its predecessor.

With a redesigned Impreza sedan and hatchback rolling into showrooms, Subaru is updating a popular model based on the Impreza. No, we’re not talking about the WRX, but rather the Crosstrek pseudo-crossover.

Taking a standard all-wheel drive car and giving it some SUV-like styling cues worked pretty well with the Outback, so Subaru gave the Impreza the same treatment and launched the first-generation Crosstrek (also known as the XV Crosstrek) in 2012. Debuting at the 2017 New York Auto Show, the second-generation 2018 Crosstrek switches to the new Impreza platform, gaining some upgrades in the process.

The 2018 Crosstrek features standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a 6.5-inch display screen. A more elaborate infotainment system with an 8.0-inch screen and navigation is available on higher trim levels. Subaru’s EyeSight bundle of driver-assist features, including adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, and rear cross traffic alert is available as well, as are steering-guided headlights and rear autonomous braking.

Like the recently redesigned Impreza, the Crosstrek is slightly larger than before, but features more expressive styling in an attempt to jazz things up a bit. As before, the Crosstrek is differentiated from a standard Impreza hatchback by raised ride height, exterior body cladding, and model-specific wheels, in this case measuring 17 inches in diameter.

The sole available engine is a 2.0-liter boxer-four, which produces 152 horsepower (up from 148 hp before). This being a Subaru, all-wheel drive is standard. A six-speed manual transmission is standard as well, and a CVT automatic is optional. Thanks to the Impreza’s new Subaru Global Platform, the 2018 Crosstrek is 70 percent stiffer than before, and has a lower center of gravity, according to its maker. That should have a positive effect on handling.

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek hits showrooms this summer, with pricing to be revealed closer to the launch date. It should continue to be a sensible alternative to SUVs, giving buyers all-wheel drive traction and the practicality of a hatchback, without the bulk of a large, high-riding crossover or truck.