Subaru Crosstrek

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by HowlingMad, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. HowlingMad

    HowlingMad drags knuckles

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,362
    Location:
    Cranberry Country, MA
    Although it's mentioned in another underpopulated comparison about small SUV's, there doesn't seem to be much in here about the Crosstrek which seems to have caught Mrs. Mads attention.
    [​IMG]

    Never having owned a Subaru before I'm curious to hear others thoughts, especially on the newer models. There's a good thread on the head gasket thing, but I don't want to clutter up that thread and it seems to focus on a problem that appears to have been solved. But what are the issues with the newer Scoobys?

    Mrs Mad has a second generation CRV that has been the best car either of us has ever owned with absolutely no issues, tows well, lots of room, reasonable mileage, etc, so it's a tough act to follow. But it's also 11 years old and the Crosstrek is the first car to catch her eye.
    [​IMG]

    Manual transmission is a non-negotiable requirement which limits choices greatly in this country:dog I'd be open to other vehicles with similar capabilities, provided that it has three pedals.

    Based on some of the chatter in the head gasket thread I can't quite figure out exactly how the AWD works and if there is a difference between the CVT and the manual.

    So, thoughts, opinions, useless uninformed nescience simply to boost a post count? Let's hear it.:ear
    #1
  2. HowlingMad

    HowlingMad drags knuckles

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,362
    Location:
    Cranberry Country, MA
    I 'm really curious about everything from cupholders to viscous couplers, and don't want to get hung up on how off road capable this grocery getter is, but I'm not sure if the symmetrical turbo encabulator crap is just marketing or not.

    In that vein, please feel free to shoot some holes in this video since its impressive, but also from a Subaru dealer. I'm no longer sure if the AWD system is the same design here vs the Crosstrek.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0_MXK2nzt2Y?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" width="640" frameborder="0" height="480"></iframe>

    Although they quickly point out that comparing the Crossrek to a Land Rover is mildly comical, the video seems to present the Subaru well:
    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7NPq4kv9k7E?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" width="853" frameborder="0" height="480"></iframe>
    #2
  3. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    63,866
    Location:
    Collapsed in the Corner
    Unfortunately, it's a gutless wonder.

    Probably good for the Midwest and Northeast, but it will disappoint in the Mountain West.

    They need to offer it with the 2.0 turbo
    #3
  4. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    63,866
    Location:
    Collapsed in the Corner
    [​IMG]

    Not very quiet or quick, but it scoots over snow

    #4
  5. gatling

    gatling Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,466
    Those are great videos I had not seen before. I have a 2006 WRX and I am a Subaru believer. I've drunk the Kool Aid. My Subie is the best car I've ever owned and I can't see myself ever buying anything but another Subaru. I'd like to get the XV but my WRX is still running great and I see no reason to get rid of it.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    63,866
    Location:
    Collapsed in the Corner
    Beautiful. I have the 2007 2.5i that looks like yours. Love it. Unfortunately, I think our cars represent the zenith of Subaru vehicle design. With the possible exception of the Forester, there really isn't anything in their lineup that I find interesting or attractive.
    #6
  7. HowlingMad

    HowlingMad drags knuckles

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,362
    Location:
    Cranberry Country, MA
    A few requirements from the War Department: (in no particular order)
    -AWD
    -Manual transmission
    -ample cargo room for bicycles, camping gear ,etc (but don't need to as much as the CRV currently has)
    ->25mpg
    -Enough sack and stopping power to pull a small trailer with two dirt bikes or one supertanker. (total ~1200 max)
    -Balance of fun to drive but commutable without the maintenance issues of typical real driving cars.
    #7
  8. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704

    This car is tantamount to a jacked-up Impreza hatchback.


    If you actually go off road maybe the few inches of extra ground clearance
    matters, but otherwise an Impreza with conventional ride height is the car
    that makes more sense in most driving scenarios because it will handle better
    on most any paved road.


    The all wheel drive system in a Subaru is excellent and works better than
    many so-called AWD systems found in other vehicles. Unlike some vehicles
    which drive the front or rear wheels only until the ABS computer detects
    wheel speed differences and invokes the "AWD" system, the Subaru AWD
    system is true all wheel drive, all the time, and this makes a significant
    real-world difference in stability in tricky road conditions.


    Subaru builds a great car. The head gasket issues are behind them, and it sounds
    like you are ready to buy a new car so that should not be an issue in your case.



    I prefer the lower ride height Impreza because I like to drive in a "sporty" manner,
    but some folks are attracted to the added height of wannabe-SUVs like this one,
    and for them Subaru makes the car you are considering. I don't think you can go
    wrong if the Subaru in question has all the abilities you actually need and
    all the features you want.



    .
    #8
  9. It'sNotTheBike

    It'sNotTheBike Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    704


    I'd at least test drive the WRX hatchback.

    The non-STi version is what I mean.

    It has significantly more power and that will make towing a breeze. It also meets
    all your other requirements. Sure, the lowest-power Subaru will tow a couple
    of dirt bikes, but when you need to pass on an uphill you might wish for more
    power than the engine has, and that can be frustrating. I tow two dirt bikes with
    a hatchback which has 140hp so I know about this firsthand, and I have often
    wished for more power when towing, but rarely wished for more power otherwise.



    Your list of requirements makes it obvious ( to me anyway ) that some Subaru is
    the car for you, and the only question is "which Subaru". If you want to stuff
    bicycles inside the vehicle, a Forester might be worth a look, but I think roof racks
    for carrying bicycles make more sense than stuffing the bicycles inside a vehicle,
    especially if they are mountain bikes and covered with mud.


    It's hard to beat the all-around utility of a small hatchback. The hatchback body makes
    a lot of things easier, like pulling into a small parking spot, or making a trip to Home
    Depot when you don't want to hook up a trailer but need to carry a dozen sticks
    of lumber home.



    .
    #9
  10. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    I too have taken an interest in the Cross Trek. I am currently driving a Nissan Frontier and while it does a whole lot more than I actually need it to, the big downside for me is the mileage. That being said, I can't get away from a truck if it doesn't have some trailer pulling capacity. While the Cross Trek supposedly has a 1500 lb. capacity, I came from a 1st gen. Xterra prior to the Frontier and it had absolutely no guts when towing and that was with a V6 and more horsepower. It wasn't that it didn't have the grunt to pull a trailer, it was just that if you did much of your hauling on the interstate, it left you feeling like you were going 35 in a 100mph zone. Dirty looks and fist-shaking aside, you will feel like you are taking your life in your hands.
    #10
  11. seuadr

    seuadr Wee-stromer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    776
    Location:
    Eaton Rapids,mi
    i've got the impreza 2012 hatch. you will NOT be able to stuff a couple bikes in there, if the cross trek is similar sized. folded seats will leave lots of room for camping gear and dogs, though. I, personally, find that the 2.0 is peppy enough for us with the CVT. we got a combined 30-32 regularly with it, and unlike others have complained, i don't see any issue with the build quality in the interior. it replaced a 2006 forester (well, replaced it as my wife's daily driver), and replaced it well. I haven't towed with that motor at all, but it seems peppier than the 2.5L in the forester, and i can tow a trailer full of wood with that no problem. I imagine that a couple dirt bikes would be no problem.
    #11
  12. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Found:Gideon's Bible

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Oddometer:
    63,866
    Location:
    Collapsed in the Corner
    You might be happier with the new 2014 Forester. It's due out in March. It has a 2.5 liter engine and will get 27-30 mpg.
    #12
  13. bryantjt

    bryantjt Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,083
    Location:
    Far Upstate NY
    In a similar line are the Jeep Patriot and Compass. I liked my '10 Compass enough to replace it with a '12. I had the 5 speed 2.4L AWD both times. The '10 regularly returned 27 mpg once I got through the first few oil changes. The '12 I'm topping out at 25 mpg so far but I only have 3500 miles on it so far and it is winter so there is typically some warm up time every morning. It is primarily FWD and variably engages the rear wheels as needed. It is not a "smart" system in that it has open diffs front and rear but I haven't found it lacking in any commuting conditions up here in NY near the Canadian/VT boarder. I have a hitch on it but haven't towed yet but it has more HP and more torque than my Stratus had with the same size motor and I pulled a Kendon bike trailer and 2 KLX 250's from here to NJ and back on the interstate with no problem.

    A few weeks back we got hit with a nasty storm and had a total of 16" of snow dumped over 2 days and I had to pull out my landlord's plow truck when the front end let go in the neighbors drive way. He was able to push the snow back a ways and then the front drive went out on the short box Silverado. The snow was over top of the plow and he was totally buried and the wee little Compass pulled out.

    The seats fold completely flat and if you get a model above the Sport (I have the Sport) you get the fold flat front seat but even without it you can fit 8' long lumber in and close the hatch.

    It's not very sporty but dropping to 3rd or 4th when passing will get you by pretty quickly and about 80mph pretty easy.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. HowlingMad

    HowlingMad drags knuckles

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,362
    Location:
    Cranberry Country, MA
    Thanks, I had not seen this yet. It reflects today's test drive quite accurately. More on that soon.

    Thanks Gatling and ItsNotTheBike for your thoughts on this so far too.
    #14
  15. HelloKitty

    HelloKitty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Cranberry Country
    This is all great feedback so far, much appreciated!

    Interesting note on the '14 Forester, I will look that one up.

    Mr. Mad is just about to post some details on our test drive today. Off the cuff, it's really seems like a lot of car for the price. Definitely would be a lateral move from my CR-V... power and ride seem very similar. Of course there's a bit less cargo room, but that's not a deal breaker.

    Despite the sexy black wheels, the heated seats and the comfy ride, I am leaning away from it because I found it too noisy at 70. I spend 2 hours a day commuting for work and find my current car to be noisy. I would really like upgrade in that area so I am back to the drawing board for now.

    I should note that the XV has kick-butt braking and feels very nice to drive on narrow twisties. Relatively quiet at those speeds as well.

    So, its a great little car, just a shame it's not more quiet on the highway, where I really crave it :(
    #15
  16. urbancowboy

    urbancowboy Vicious Cycler

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Laughing at Jerks in NYC
    i think i'm in the same boat as y'all. put 20k miles on my 2012 golf TDI in a year. like it, but don't want to own it outside of warranty. now i'm spoiled bc of the quiet cabin, heated seats, and 6th gear (stick).

    i don't need all the performance of the WRX, nor do i want to pay for premium fuel for low mpg. but i'd love to see a more performance oriented cross tek (faster, quieter)

    also waiting to see what mazda does with the cx-5 for next year.

    right now i don't see anything better than what i have now, but i'm interested in hearing about your test drives.
    #16
  17. HowlingMad

    HowlingMad drags knuckles

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,362
    Location:
    Cranberry Country, MA
    Well that was quick. Took one for a test drive today and wanted to share our feedback before it faded.

    Good:

    • Great car for the money, lots of goodies (two fuel consumption gauges (vacuum style and electronic instant as well as average), bluetoof, heated seats.
    • Better appointed than I expected. Upholstery, plastics, fit and finish was better than I expected for a $21k car.
    • Fuel economy is supposedly much better than her current CRV without giving up too much space.
    • Handling was firm and fairly tight and fairly predictable. Body roll was less than the CRV and better than I had expected.
    • Brakes were impressive and considerably better than the CRV which is a bigger concern for me than power when towing.
    • Oil filter is mounted for easy access and the motor looks like it would be easy to work on with its uncluttered design.
    Bad:

    • LOUD, way too loud. We drove the manual, which does not included the noise suppression in the engine compartment that the CVT does as the NY Times article points out. We verified this at the showroom. The bean-counter that convinced Subaru to do this actually cost them the sale today. Mrs Mad could have looked past the other issues, but this was the deal breaker. At low speeds its not bad unless you are winding up the motor which is all the time since it has no power.
    • Power. Mousier Racoon hit the nail on the head: gutless wonder. For the fuel economy and size it's to be expected I suppose. Frankly we could have lived with it. It's not ideal but it's all about compromise, right? I don't think I'd want a couple of bikes on a trailer merging with traffic, but for the tradeoff in fuel economy the other 99% of the time it was acceptable.
    • Minor - There was a consistent vibration that could have been tire balance or alignment, maybe nothing, maybe not.
    Consensus:
    If were 10 years younger, weren't as spoiled, or had a more strict budget to work with we would have driven it home today. We both thought it was a good car (maybe even great) and seemed to be a great value. (Neither of us really like the look of the Forester so we didn't compare it but on paper it actually appears the Forester might even be a better value.)
    In the end, the noise was simply too much for us.
    #17
  18. muddyrabbit

    muddyrabbit Lost Boy

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,905
    Location:
    Fugawee Land.
    196,000 miles on our 2002 Impreza Outback Sport and going strong! We did have the notorious head gasket leak and took care of that at around 165,000 miles (it had been a very slow weeping leak for a long time). At the same time we did all the gaskets and seals that came in a kit, plus timing belt and water pump. We also just had the recall done for rusty a-arms. A-arms, sub frames, and a bunch of stuff replaced. If I recall correctly all the axles and wheel bearing have been done since 150,000 miles, and the radiator was replaced due to hitting a deer. Although this weekend a coolant leak developed in a hard line that supplies the heater core. $15 part, must remove intake to change, blah! The shocker is the lack of body rust considering where we live. One wheel well has some, rest of the car is solid. I expect to get 300,000 miles out of the car.
    #18
  19. padiii

    padiii Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    362
    HM, thanks for the review. That car is/was? on my short list to replace my 2009 Impreza Outback Sport. Actually took a showroom look at one a few weeks ago. Didn't test one as they didn't have any manuals in stock. The noise issue will be a big one for me though.
    #19
  20. NikonsAndVStroms

    NikonsAndVStroms Beastly Photographer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    41,521
    Location:
    The Hub of the Universe
    The 2.0 was a big issue for me (along with the lack of room on the footrest for those of us with huge feet) it feels more like a Civic than the older Subarus which had some torque. And that's with the standard.
    #20