Subaru Crosstrek Review 2020

6 min read

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek Review 2020. While the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek might look all rough and rugged with its black plastic cladding and lifted stance, it delivers a carlike driving experience that feels much like driving the Impreza hatchback.


While the 2020 Subaru Crosstrek might look all rough and rugged with its black plastic cladding and lifted stance, it delivers a carlike driving experience that feels much like driving the Impreza hatchback.

All-wheel drive is standard—just as it is on most other Subaru products—and the Crosstrek is offered with either a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine or an electrified plug-in-hybrid setup that can drive for up to 17 miles on electricity alone.

While we can’t imagine either model doing any off-roading more severe than driving on a dirt road, the Crosstrek offers all the trappings of a modern SUV in a value-loaded package.

What’s New for 2020 Subaru Crosstrek?

Subaru’s popular subcompact crossover gains a host of new features for 2020, starting with an auto stop-start system for models equipped with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Automatic climate control, Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) selectable driving modes, and a new collision-detection automated door-unlock system are also standard across the range.

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The mid-range Premium model now can be equipped with a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and keyless entry with push-button start.

Limited models get new LED fog lamps, and both the Limited and the hybrid come with rear-seat USB charging ports. Subaru also moved the Crosstrek’s front-seat USB and auxiliary input jack from the centre console to a bin at the bottom of the centre stack, and the doors now lock automatically when the vehicle reaches 13 mph.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • Base: $23,155
  • Premium: $24,205
  • Limited: $28,405
  • Hybrid: $36,155

Upgrading to the mid-range Premium model costs little and adds a lot, so it’s worth the cash. The Premium model adds fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors with body-colour caps, a windshield wiper de-icer, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic headlamps, SiriusXM satellite radio with live traffic and weather updates, and a six-speaker audio system.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Crosstrek’s base 152-hp four-cylinder engine makes a lot of noise but doesn’t offer a lot of motivation.

As with many of its competitors, it is getting up to highway speeds can be a bit painful, no matter whether you choose the standard manual transmission or the optional automatic.

In our testing, a mechanical model needed a leisurely 9.2 seconds to reach 60 mph. The plug-in hybrid model proved to be quicker and shaved 0.9 seconds off the gasoline-only model’s zero-to-60-mph time.

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With its well-weighted steering and composed ride, the Crosstrek feels stable and planted through corners. The suspension is tuned to be firm but not harsh and soaks up larger bumps with ease.

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

Charging the plug-in hybrid model will take up to five hours if connected to a standard household 120-volt outlet; using a 240-volt outlet does the job in as little as two hours.

With only 17 miles of electric-only range, buyers shouldn’t expect to complete the entirety of their commute without dipping into the gasoline.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

With not only high EPA ratings but also some of the best results in our real-world testing, this Subaru is among the most fuel-efficient of subcompact crossovers.

The EPA rates the Crosstrek with the CVT considerably higher than the manual-transmission version, with the CVT earning a 4-mpg bump in both city and highway tests. Out on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route, a Crosstrek with the CVT delivered an impressive 32 mpg while the manual model delivered 31 mpg.

The hybrid model is rated at up to 90 MPGe combined and 35 mpg on the highway, but we managed only 30 mpg in our testing.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

In typical Subaru fashion, the Crosstrek has a primary and durable-feeling interior that prioritizes function over form.

Its lack of flair is perfectly acceptable in the cheaper versions but starts to feel a bit drab in the Limited model, which can surpass $30,000 with options.

Feeble attempts to spice things up to include bits of faux carbon-fibre trim and orange stitching on the seats, but the overall atmosphere remains dark and a bit dull—opting for the lighter grey cloth or leather upholstery helps somewhat.

Folding the Crosstrek’s 60/40 split-folding rear seat expands the cargo hold considerably, but the folded seats don’t make for an entirely flat cargo floor.

The Honda HR-V and the Nissan Rogue Sport held more stuff in our testing despite their smaller exterior dimensions.

The Crosstrek managed to keep 19 of our carry-on suitcases with the rear seats folded; the HR-V fit 22, while the Rogue Sport held 20.

The hybrid model’s cargo floor is higher than the nonhybrid to accommodate the battery pack, and we were only able to fit 17 carry-ons with the seats folded.


All Crosstreks perform exceptionally well in IIHS safety testing. The model receives top marks in all six crashworthiness tests, and CVT-equipped examples with auto emergency braking earn a Superior front crash prevention score.

All models equipped with the CVT automatic include Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technologies, including adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, and lane-keep assist.

The Hybrid model, which include LED steering responsive headlights, earn the IIHS’ 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award. The nonhybrid model gets a regular 2020 Top Safety Pick designation (without the +) because trims below Limited get halogen headlights rated Poor. The Crosstrek also earns a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.


Every Crosstrek model features a centre touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The entry-level Crosstrek and the one-step-up Crosstrek Premium use a 6.5-inch screen, while Limited and Hybrid models get an 8.0-inch unit.

Base model cars use a four-speaker audio system, and all other trims have an upgraded six-speaker setup. An optional eight-speaker Harman Kardon system is offered on Limited and Hybrid models.

Trim Levels (Interior and Exterior Options)

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

The base Crosstrek is well-equipped but straightforward, offering a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission, all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring, 17-inch black alloy wheels, halogen headlights, a roof spoiler, black folding side mirrors, rear wiper, and black roof rails. Inside, you get manual front seats, cloth upholstery, a 2.4-inch instrument cluster display, a multifunction black and white dashboard display, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and four-speaker audio.

Models equipped with the optional CVT automatic also get auto start-stop, X-Mode off-road drive mode, hill descent control, and EyeSight active safety features including adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, and lane-keep assist.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Premium

One step up to the Crosstrek Premium earns front fog lights, heated body-colour folding side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, orange contrast stitching, automatic on/off headlights, dual front seat USB ports, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, rear cargo tray and cargo area cover, satellite radio, a CD player, and six-speaker audio.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Limited

Limited models are pretty loaded. Buyers are treated to a standard CVT automatic with paddle shifters, EyeSight active safety, 18-inch black alloy wheels, LED steering responsive headlights, LED fog lights, and body-colour folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators.

The interior features leather-trimmed upholstery, a power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped shift handle, a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display, keyless entry with push-button start, a 6.3-inch colour multifunction dashboard display, dual rear-seat USB charging ports, a folding rear seat armrest, and 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, plus driver-assist features including high auto beams, reverse automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

The Crosstrek Hybrid boasts the features of the Crosstrek Limited plus a plug-in hybrid powertrain, upgraded rear brakes, 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels, and blue contrast stitching.


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