2024 Subaru Crosstrek Limited2.5 EyeSight – The Finest XV

The 3rd generation Subaru Crosstrek (also known previously as the XV in our Philippine market and others) has been a worldwide hit since its debut in 2012 and has been particularly successful in the North American markets with steady sales increases every year making it one of the most important models for Subaru. We get essentially the same updated version for our Philippine market however sans two of the most important critical features; the excellent 10-speaker 432-watt Harman/Kardon audio system to support the 11.6-inch portrait infotainment system and the more powerful 2.5-liter Boxer engine in place of the current 2.0-liter.

With the pronounced interior trim and packaging upgrades which include substantial NVH improvements, the extra pair of speakers combined with the more full-range amplifier of the new system is significantly better than the system used in its predecessor using 8-speakers, and even better sounding than the current system applied to the current domestic Subaru WRX tS EyeSight.

Pictures: Isabel N. Delos Reyes

Extracting the most from the more potent naturally aspirated flat-4 is a recalibrated CVT that reacts much better than before and allows the Crosstrek Limited to perform closer to core characteristics loved by Subaristi. That extra 500 cc generates 30 bhp more power and 33 lb-ft more torque than the current 2.0-liter. It may not sound significant, but the revised 2.5-liter actually even makes an additional 2 lb-ft (2.7 Nm) compared to the previous 2.5-liter at 700 rpm less engine speed which makes the modest powerplant feel stronger and more purposeful. Our North American Subaru Crosstrek Limited test unit is essentially more powerful, more agile, and more alive than the larger locally-sold Outback 2.5i-T EyeSight model that uses the older engine and transmission tuning.

The design differences compared to the outgoing model may not look too obvious but once you put both crossovers next to each other, the lengthy updates are quite substantial and thorough. The new model looks a heck of a lot better and offers so much more character which was missing not just with the old XV/Crosstrek but even with the rest of the model range sadly. The updated chassis is 10 % more rigid than before but lighter. Subaru also claims that with the new engine mounts, revised components and cradles, the measures have reduced NVH entering the cabin by approximately 20 %, and we can certainly attest to this as our test unit felt lithe and more athletic while also being tangibly more refined with a much quieter interior.

The new Crosstrek model now stands with more pride and distinction rather than being regarded as the modest entry level crossover that it was in most other markets. The power upgrade combined with the more acute CVT are obvious as well as the more inviting cabin dressed with better materials, but other huge mechanical upgrades that are felt more than seen, are the much better and larger brakes (12.4-inch vented front brake discs are up from 11.6-inchers while the rear discs increased from solid 10.8-inches to vented 11.2-inches) and the new electronically assisted power steering sourced from the WRX.

In markets that offer it, Subaru also has a more off-road oriented variant called the Crosstrek Wilderness with unique design nuances, a raised suspension by 15 mm (so ground clearance is 9.3 inches instead of the standard 8.7 inches), a more robust roof rack rated to handle more outdoor equipment, a lower final drive ratio of 4.11 compared to the standard 3.7, and additional cooling for the model-specific revised CVT transmission that can manage better low-speed light off-road trailing. The Crosstrek Limited with the larger boxer engine accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds with a 210 km/h top speed and fuel economy of 12.54 kms. /L overall.

In many ways I think the new Subaru Crosstrek Limited with the 2.5-liter flat-4 (182 bhp @ 5800 rpm / 178 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm) is the best looking and most desirable model in the Subaru family. It is no longer small nor does it have an identity crisis. It is a practical and very purposeful crossover that is useful and entertaining to drive beyond the North American four seasons. The Crosstrek may not be the STi rally car that seasoned drivers like myself still pine for, but for the next generation of commuters and adventure seekers, it is a solid proposition with a long list of comprehensive safety equipment that will reward even the jaded amongst us. It is the finest version of the breed thus far, with a more purposeful powerplant, nicely updated, genuine all-terrain all-weather ability, and even more compelling than the current Forester.

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