What Is The Best Subaru Crosstrek? We Drove Every Trim

If you’re in the market for a small crossover that ticks every box, look no further than the Subaru Crosstrek. Subaru’s smallest crossover is all-new for 2024, equipped with updated engines, a refreshed design, and now available in Subi’s rugged Wilderness trim.

But unless you’re a Crosstrek fanatic with unlimited funds, you’ll have to narrow in on a single trim. With that in mind, I spent a week driving each of the three 2024 Subaru Crosstrek models—the Sport, Wilderness, and Premium—to find the one most worth your hard-earned cash.

3. Subaru Crosstrek Sport

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Review

Quick Specs2024 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
Engine2.5-Liter Boxer Four-Cylinder
Output182 Horsepower / 178 Pound-Feet
Trim Base Price$30,935
As-Tested Price$32,210

This version of the Crosstrek makes the least sense for buyers. It’s still very good, but the Sport trim’s biggest draw is the more-powerful 2.5-liter Boxer four-cylinder making 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. That’s a decent 30 more hp and 33 additional lb-ft than the base car’s 2.0-liter engine.

There are some visual tweaks, too. The Sport’s wheels look sharper and are an inch bigger in diameter than the 17-inch shoes on the base model, and the neon yellow exterior accents make the Sport look more special. That embellishment carries over into the cabin, thanks to design touches like the “Sport” logos stitched into the headrests. The Sport does offer standard leather on the steering wheel and shifter, but the leather feels cheap, while the standard Crosstrek’s cloth seats feel thick and premium by contrast.

But you’re mostly paying for the engine at this trim level, and the extra oomph doesn’t feel worth the $4,000-plus Subaru asks for the Sport model. This version starts at $30,935 with destination included, while the base 2024 Crosstrek is $26,540. Add a few options to that—like the $1,920 Option package, which adds blind-spot detection, a moonroof, and 10-way power seats— and the Sport tested here costs $32,210. Not too pricey, but not the most affordable in the subcompact space.

2. Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness Review

Quick Specs2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness
Engine2.5-Liter Boxer Four-Cylinder
Output182 Horsepower / 178 Pound-Feet
Trim Base Price$33,540
As-Tested Price$35,560

If you’re going to pay for more power, you might as well spring for the Wilderness model. This Crosstrek trim is new for 2024, following the popular Outback and Forester Wilderness models before it. The Crosstrek Wilderness gets the Sport’s 2.5-liter Boxer engine with 182 hp and 178 lb-ft, plus a bevy of off-road upgrades.

The biggest upgrade is the suspension lift; The Crosstrek Wilderness has 9.3 inches of ground clearance compared to just 8.7 inches in all other Crosstrek models, plus underbody skid plates. That’s only half an inch shy of the Jeep Wrangler Sport. That extra clearance yields an improved approach angle of 20 degrees, a 33-degree departure angle, and a 21.1-degree breakover angle—genuinely excellent numbers when you look at the Crosstrek’s competition.

On top of that, you get a standard roof rack that can carry as much as 165 pounds while the Crosstrek is in motion, or 700 pounds when parked. Plus a 3,500-pound towing capacity (best among all Crosstreks), and a pretty stylish design. The best part is you don’t have to dig too deep into your pockets to get one; the Crosstrek Wilderness starts at $33,540. Our $35,560 test vehicle had a few options added on.

1. Subaru Crosstrek Premium

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Review

Quick Specs2024 Subaru Crosstrek Premium
Engine2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output152 Horsepower / 145 Pound-Feet
Trim Base Price$28,085
As-Tested Price$29,685

It’s hard to argue that the standard Crosstrek isn’t the best one to get, whether you go for the base model or the lightly upgraded Premium model. Starting at $26,540, it’s one of the most affordable crossovers in its class, and even the Premium trim I tested is just $28,085 before adding options.

What you get on the base Crosstrek and the Premium trim is the same 2.0-liter Boxer engine making 152 hp and 145 lb-ft, paired to a good-enough CVT. Even with less power than the Sport and Wilderness trims, the base Crosstrek’s engine never feels underpowered. It still produces decent shove off the line and enough torque for easy passing at highway speeds.

The Premium’s cabin is quiet and its ride feels refined. Even over broken pavement, the Crosstrek never feels harsh. All-wheel drive comes standard, as it does on all Subaru models outside the BRZ, and you still get up to 29 miles per gallon combined – as opposed to 27 mpg on the Wilderness model.

The cabin is unremarkable but pleasant, equipped with manually adjustable cloth seats that look and feel nice. The Premium trim adds optional heating and power adjustability to the driver’s seat, as well as the larger 11.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen, as opposed to the 7.0-inch screen that comes standard on the base model. The Premium model even has in-car Wi-Fi connectivity.

Here’s a better breakdown of some of the key differences between each of these trims:

Crosstrek PremiumCrosstrek SportCrosstrek Wilderness
Engine2.0L Four-Cylinder2.5L Four-Cylinder2.5L Four-Cylinder
Output152 HP / 145 LB-FT182 HP / 178 LB-FT182 HP / 178 LB-FT
Drive TypeAWDAWDAWD
Ground Clearance8.7 Inches8.7 Inches9.3 Inches
Towing Capacity1,500 Pounds1,500 Pounds3,500 Pounds
Fuel Economy34 Highway / 27 City / 29 Combined MPG33 Highway / 26 City / 29 Combined MPG29 Highway / 25 City / 27 Combined MPG
Base Price$28,085$30,935$33,540

All in all, the Crosstrek Sport simply doesn’t move the needle far enough for the added cost, and the Crosstrek Wilderness is great, but aimed at a more niche audience. That’s why the standard Crosstrek is my favorite; It has enough power for the majority of shoppers, a compliant ride, and a nice cabin, all for a pretty affordable price. Regardless of which Crosstrek trim you choose, Subaru has another winner on its hand – there’s a reason it was one of the best-selling vehicles in America last year.

Read Our Crosstrek Reviews

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness First Drive Review: Keep On Trekking
2024 Subaru Crosstrek Review: Still Pretty Much Perfect

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