The Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i e-Boxer is actually a facelifted XV. But the changes are so absurd that we appreciate the eccentric Subaru even more.
News from Subaru is rare, so when a new model arrives, our hearts beat with anticipation. But the most exciting thing about the Subaru Crosstrek is its new name. Actually, it is an extensively facelifted Subaru XV.
As Subaru tradition dictates, the Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive. And a boxer engine is also one of the well-known ingredients. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder works - just like in the XV - together with a small electric motor. To reduce CO2 emissions, the power was reduced from 150 to 136 hp, but thanks to well-thought-out Japanese tricks you can now drive faster than in the XV. The top speed is 198 km/h instead of 193 km/h. Although it is a mild hybrid, you can still drive 2 kilometers completely electrically with the Crosstrek.
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In this turbulent world it is nice if some things remain the same. The Subaru Crosstrek is so ordinary that it becomes special. Don't expect a flashy Italian design from the brand, or an interior with the most modern screens or atmospheric ambient light.
The Crosstrek simply has an analog speedometer and tachometer. The center tunnel has a prominent lever and no fidgety lever or strange push button with which you select the gears. Next to the gear lever are two whoppers of buttons for the seat heating. You operate them by touch and don't have to plow through complicated menus in an illogical multimedia screen. Even more crazy details: bigger door handles, so your nails don't come into contact with the paint, and seats that are designed so that your head shakes 88 percent less than before - we're not making this up.
The exterior changes are also as insane as they are ingenious. The Crosstrek buyer gets three windshield washers instead of two, and a 4.5 centimeter larger rear window wiper. The luggage compartment has grown from 1310 to 1314 liters, an increase of 4 whole liters.
But it's not just the many details that make us happy. Subaru has worked hard to improve sound insulation and it shows. The Crosstrek is a wonderfully quiet and comfortably tuned car (much quieter than the XV), which steers surprisingly directly. And with its permanent 4WD, it is a rock in windy and wet winter weather. Our one-hour test drive on muddy polder roads around Lelystad was a pleasure.
Subaru is known for its boxer engines, four-wheel drive and pulling power. The latter in particular is a reason for many enthusiasts to buy a Subaru again and again. But it is precisely on that last part that the Crosstrek fails. It can tow a trailer of up to 1270 kilos, which is moderate. Subaru is actually obliged to pay at least 1500 kilos. Moreover, the EU consumption of 1 in 13.0 is not impressive.
We are also concerned about the future of Subaru: every reasonably powerful electric car nowadays has four-wheel drive and the boxer engine has had its day. So what does Subaru have left? Do you convince buyers with only a robust image, if the price is also high?
The Subaru Crosstrek will be available at dealers in early 2024. There is good news about the price of the 2.0 e-Boxer: it has been lower. The old XV 2.0 e-Boxer AWD cost 54,700 euros. But thanks to lower CO2 emissions, you pay 'only' 51,800 euros for the Crosstrek (Comfort version). Anyone who doubts Subaru's rock-solid image (probably not necessary) can still be convinced with an eight-year factory warranty. The 1.6 AWD with 114 hp, with which the V was still available, will disappear from the price list.
Subaru is one of those brands that wishes you every success. A brand that always goes its own way and is averse to trends that come as quickly as they disappear. In the robust Crosstrek you feel safe against all elements and Subaru is always among the most reliable car brands.
But Subaru's supply does not match Dutch demand. The brand managed to sell 64 cars in the Netherlands in the first 10 months of 2023. So less than seven per month... A new Crosstrek cannot turn the tide, no matter how much we wish the Japanese the success. The changes are not radical enough for that and the price is still too high. There is a bright spot: from 2026, the brand will build its own electric cars. The only electric Subaru you can buy right now, the singleis still largely the same as the Toyota bZ4X.
This post was last modified on November 23, 2023 3:31 pm
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