TEST Subaru Crosstrek – For those who are not in a hurry

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The new Subaru Crosstrek has two huge advantages in the precisely tuned chassis and not only the first-class driving comfort and dynamic stability that stem from it. Unfortunately, this only highlights the e-Boxer’s lack of performance.

Design, interior


The new generation of Subaru XV has also adopted its global Crosstrek name in Europe. Her design also evolved; it will still be controversial, but at Subaru, looks have never been a priority for customers and fans. I’m one of those, and since I quite liked the last generation for its capabilities – and also because the new Impreza blew me away with its chassis for the first short ride – I’m really looking forward to the new week.

But let’s start from the outside – the controversial design. I quite like the lines from the front logo to the headlights; maybe they are supposed to be wings, but they look more like katanas to me. The heavy coating has perhaps more of a protective than an aesthetic function; the protection is particularly useful for the “chin” of the front bumper, because the approach angle is difficult due to the long overhang.

Isn’t it the same for a crossover that will be driven mainly in the city anyway? It is not – Subaru also thinks about driving off-road with the crosstrek, with a relatively generous ground clearance of 220 mm. Permanent all-wheel drive is a matter of course, after all, we are talking about a Subaru, but the behavior of the drive and various electronic assistants can be adjusted through two variants of the X-Mode mode for off-road driving.

The classic front fog lights and paired rear lights also indicate that it is being counted on. After all, every lumen is suitable outside the asphalt. The front headlights in particular, in addition to the welcome washers, also have a trick up their sleeve, which is invaluable on winding roads – the dipped beam lights turn with the steering wheel. In addition, they also have static cornering light, which is especially useful when turning or in serpentines.

Beautiful view if you are smaller

In order to get the best possible view from the vehicle – after all, it is one of the basic elements of active safety and Subaru has made safety a priority in the development of cars in recent years – the interior is also oriented, especially in the area of ​​the A-pillars of the body. At Subaru, these have been designed for the long term in such a way as to limit the view as little as possible.

Unfortunately – in terms of the view – as part of the generation change, the panel with the cameras of the EyeSight system around the interior mirror has increased, which is now a bit lower. And my height of 184 cm would need to move the seat a little lower than possible so that the interior mirror does not reflect in my view. Together with the cover of those cameras, they form a relatively large “box”, through which you also have a poor view of the traffic lights, if you are standing first in line.


Subaru Crosstrek

Of course, that’s basically the only big complaint I have about the interior, and besides, it won’t bother people of smaller stature at all. The cabin is airy, the front seats are nicely spacious, I can also fit “behind me” in the back. The analog instrument panel is nicely clear and the infotainment has a somewhat debatable design, but the central display is large enough to make everything pleasant to use, and the display can also be adjusted in all kinds of ways.

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The seats are especially elaborate

However, I will stop at the seats, which have a leather cover in the tested Executive top trim. They are spacious, relatively soft and comfortable, but their cover is quite cold compared to the leather of other brands. Even if it’s around 10°C outside, I turn on the heating every morning. The cradle, as if it were 1997, must be added. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

The car manufacturer covers seats more extensively not only in its press materials. Compared to the previous generation, their construction has been modified in such a way as to minimize unwanted body movements that cause fatigue and a feeling of brokenness.

“From a long-term perspective, these negative perceptions are mainly created by swaying from side to side, when the seat acts a bit like a spring against the body. This causes friction between the intervertebral discs and, at the same time, strain on the muscles, with the help of which the body tries to eliminate these movements.” writes the car company.

Subaru Crosstrek


Subaru Crosstrek

So, in an effort to improve, the seats better support the pelvis so that the sacrum is more upright when sitting, which ensures a more natural position of the spine. And also, the seats are fixed directly to the floor without intermediate pieces, which reduces the impression that the seat acts like a spring against the body.

Engine, driving characteristics


While the interior of the crosstrek scores points except for a few details, it is not so famous for the powertrain. That is, while in the United States, the main market for the Subaru brand, the crosstrek can have a two-liter with 113 kW and 197 Nm or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 136 kW and 241 Nm, the only thing you will get under its hood in Europe is a two-liter e- Boxer, offering only 100 kW (136 hp) and 182 Nm.

Technically, it is a non-supercharged flat four-cylinder with an electric motor with a power of 12.3 kW (16.7 hp) and a torque of 66 Nm, which is part of the gearbox and is in the axis of the vehicle in order to comply with the idea of ​​the Symmetrical AWD system, i.e. as for the components of laterally symmetrical drivetrain. However, while until now this device had a maximum output of 110 kW, due to the tightening of emission rules, it lost about a tenth of its output.

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Thanks to the electric motor, the crosstrek is pleasantly nimble at low speeds in the city, but on wide state roads and especially highways, the lack of power is noticeable, and in the pursuit of decent dynamics, I familiarize the gas pedal with the floor very often. And at that moment, the disadvantage of the CVT becomes apparent again, which, when the driver’s request changes drastically, must first change the gear ratio, which takes a good second, if not a hair longer, before the car starts.

Subaru Crosstrek


Subaru Crosstrek

Despite the way I squeeze the car, I manage to finish the five hundred test kilometers with an average consumption one tenth of a liter lower than the catalog indicates. The average settled at 7.6 l/100 km.

Chiseled chassis

The chassis must also receive a lot of praise. Thanks to the flat engine, the crosstrek has a low center of gravity, which in turn can make the suspension softer than many other crossovers, which means a more comfortable ride. “Only” 18″ wheels – and these are the larger ones on offer, the basis is 17″ wheels – do not place too many demands on the suspension due to their weight, which perfectly monitors the movements of the wheels. And in addition, they have tires with decently high sidewalls.

The result of all this, together with the bodywork which is very stiff in the corner, is that no matter what surface you drive on, the ride is smooth and comfortable, the chassis perfectly filters the asphalt irregularities of a truly frightening quality, typical of many Central Bohemian districts. At the same time, thanks to the low center of gravity, the car does not lean significantly and has a huge reserve of mechanical grip, so you can go through corners a lot faster than the nearest competitors. Maintaining speed is really handy because it takes an awful long time to pick up.

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Thanks to the variable permanent all-wheel drive, the crosstrek doesn’t mind so much when the asphalt ends. It has two versions of X-Mode for mud and deep snow, or dry unpaved surface and normal snow. These control wheel slip and the transmission of power to the individual axles (in standard driving situations it is 60:40 in favor of the front axle) and are active even when reversing. If you would like to drive off-road with the crosstrek more often, know that in the size 225/55 R18, which this piece wears, all-terrain tires are commonly available.

Subaru Crosstrek


Subaru Crosstrek

Another advantage of the car is the precise and fast-reacting steering, which only requires a small amount of force to start moving the steering wheel. According to the automaker, this was achieved by separating the steering rod from the power steering electric motor shaft.

It is also worth mentioning the improved EyeSight system, which limits the view a bit, as I outlined above, but already in the basic equipment of the crosstrek it provides, for example, adaptive cruise control. Of the 14 functions in total, it is worth mentioning the front pre-collision braking, which can stop the car when it detects a vehicle approaching in front, e.g. at an intersection, lane guidance assistant or the driver’s attention monitoring system, which also serves to automatically select a user profile after a person gets on.

Conclusion


In fact, the Crosstrek has only one real flaw – a too weak powertrain. Its chassis can handle much more than the e-Boxer is able to offer, and I believe that a two and a half liter from America would really help it.

Perfect driving characteristics, especially on a poor surface when driving faster, nevertheless make the crosstrek an excellent country car. That is, at least if 315 liters of basic luggage volume and 650 kg for unbraked or 1,270 kg per braked trailer.

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And also, if you can afford to pay at least 880,000 crowns for a not particularly powerful car with a not-so-big trunk, or just over a million in the top Executive trim. But I personally don’t need it, because compared to the average Comfort for 955,000, it only offers navigation, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel and the cold leather on the seats. But I’m not sure if I’d actually shell out less than a million for the Crosstrek, despite all its advantages; 136 horsepower is simply too little.

The cheapest version of the model 880,000 CZK (Crosstrek e-Boxer, 100 kW, Active)
Base with tested engine 880,000 CZK (Crosstrek e-Boxer, 100 kW, Active)
Tested car without extra charges 1,020,000 CZK (Crosstrek e-Boxer, 100 kW, Executive)
Tested car with equipment CZK 1,024,000 (Crosstrek e-Boxer, 100 kW, Executive)

Pluses

  • Perfectly tuned chassis for a comfortable ride on any surface
  • Good view from the car in most directions
  • Rotating dipped headlights with washers

Cons

  • Low performance
  • The only motorization in the offer
  • Limited view through the interior rearview mirror


The article is in Czech

Tags: TEST Subaru Crosstrek hurry

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