[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Crosstrek is a nice addition to the Subaru line of crossover-utility vehicles and it has been instrumental in boosting the brand’s overall sales figures.
The Crosstrek is versatile and fun-to-drive and combines a bold five-door design and a very capable chassis with excellent fuel economy and standard symmetrical All- Wheel Drive, high ground clearance, 17-inch alloy wheels and ample room for passengers and cargo. At 33-mpg on the highway, it is one of the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicles on the road today.
Two versions of the Crosstrek are offered — the 2.0 Premium model that is loaded with standard features and the 2.0i Limited model that comes with many additional luxury amenities and user technology.
All models are powered by a 148-hp 2.0- liter BOXER engine teamed with a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive via a five speed manual gearbox or an available second- generation Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The engine has an aluminum cylinder block and heads, and produces 148 hp at 6,200 rpm and 145 pound-feet of peak torque at 4,200 rpm, while electric power steering reduces the draw on engine power.
The Crosstrek incorporates numerous body and chassis enhancements, including black side- and wheel-arch cladding, rocker spoiler and roof rails. The higher ride height, body-color roof spoiler and unique design 17-inch wheels bolster the Crosstrek’s stance. Front and rear bumpers and the front grille are unique to the model and dark-tint privacy glass is standard.
The rugged styling is backed up by function, as the four-wheel independent suspension has a raised configuration with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, higher than most other crossovers and even some dedicated SUVs, yet the Crosstrek has a comfortably low step-in height. High-strength suspension components enhance the vehicle’s agility and liquid (hydraulic) engine mounts (with CVT) help eliminate vibration. The double-wishbone rear suspension has “pillow” ball bushings for better blend of ride comfort, straight-line stability, handling and vehicle response.
Both the standard five-speed manual transmission and the CVT include the Subaru Incline Start Assist feature, which can briefly hold the vehicle while the driver pulls away from a stop on a hill.
Available for the Crosstrek Premium and standard on the Limited, the Lineartronic CVT provides infinite variability between the highest and lowest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. With either transmission choice, a standard ECO gauge helps you operate the vehicle as economically as possible.
The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range. Asix-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters allows the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios. The transmission also allows “second gear” starts to limit wheel spin on slippery surfaces.
The MSRP on the 2014 Subaru Crosstrek is $25,620.
[author image=”http://www.samaonline.org/Ron.jpg” ]Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.[/author]