Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i-L: The crossover with true SUV capabilities

Despite the growing number of crossovers we see on the road, one remains true to its title: the Subaru Crosstrek i-L. It’s the epitome of versatility as it goes beyond the superficial and looks the part. In other words, it doesn’t just try to look like an SUV, but it actually performs like one. From the hustle and bustle of city driving down to the off-road adventures, the Crosstrek i-L puts its best foot forward. 

Exterior styling

The design cues of the Crosstrek i-L all point to a rugged physique. Refusing to hop on the large-grille bandwagon, it sports a handsome hexagonal design that is distinctly Subaru, which is paired with sleek LED headlights. The fascia makes it a headturning crossover in the city.

Other design elements that further boosted its athletic look are the roof rails, higher ground clearance, stylish 17-inch alloy wheels, black body cladding, and prominent wheel arches. You can tell that it’s made more modern for city dwellers, but at the same time, it possesses an aggressive and sporty design language for the adventurous, signaling its off-road capabilities.

Interior styling

Once you enter the cabin, you’ll notice instantly that Subaru took a different route for its interior design and opted for minimalism and practicality. And frankly, as a Gen Z who relates more with millennials, I gravitate towards things that strike a great balance between sophistication and function. 

It has a strong sense of familiarity, creating an ambiance that feels more inviting and less intimidating. Hence, drives feel comfortable for both the driver and the passenger. Contributing to this as well are cozy seats with cloth upholstery; as comfortable as it may seem, it might be a little difficult to clean and maintain compared to leather.

Long hours in traffic will be less of a pain thanks to the decently long wheelbase of 2,670 mm, providing adequate room for backseat passengers to stretch their legs. The abundance of cupholders and compartments is also much appreciated. 

Meanwhile, cargo volume is kept to a minimal 291 liters. If you want to maximize the cargo space, you can take advantage of the 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks.

Although for a car with a premium stature, I was slightly taken aback that it didn’t come with power-adjustable seats (and/or a sunroof and power tailgate). Not a dealbreaker for me, but these features would be nice to have. 

Tech features

The Crosstrek i-L doesn’t fall short in what it can offer in the tech department. In fact, despite embracing a simple interior layout, it boasts plenty of features that will please tech-savvy individuals.

First off, it has a sizeable 11.6-inch infotainment display in portrait orientation with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The size and layout make it easy for most users to navigate the screen and it feels highly intuitive. For added convenience, it’s equipped with wireless charging, as well as USB-C and USB-A ports, and 3.5mm audio jack. Additionally, it comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, power-folding side mirrors, and keyless access with push-button start. 

The instrument panel is pretty straightforward and has its own modern appeal. It provides all the necessary information to the driver without being too gimmicky. Again, this hints more to Subaru’s practicality.


Under the hood of the Crosstrek i-L is a 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine. Mated to a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with an eight-speed manual mode and paddle shifters, it puts out 154hp and 196Nm of torque. As far as fuel consumption is concerned, my week-long drive averaged 6.85km/l. 

Subaru puts so much emphasis on refinement and it shows given how extremely pleasant it is to drive in the city. On various surfaces and road conditions it guarantees a smooth and quiet ride. It absorbs bumps and potholes very well without the bouncy or rough feeling.

It also nailed the equation to delivering impressive handling. It’s very responsiveness to all the driver’s inputs, making it a convenient and nimble partner in various scenarios like stop-and-go traffic, occasional overtakes, and expressway drives. 

You can count with two fingers the number of carmakers that currently offer boxer engines: Porsche and Subaru. Having a shared trait with a performance car speaks volume. That in itself adds so much appeal to the Crosstrek i-L.

It’s wonderful to have an agile partner navigating through the busy roads of Manila, but knowing that it’s ready to conquer the outskirts is simply gratifying. Built with a Symmetrical All-wheel Drive System, it provides maximum stability and traction to take on various road conditions.

Safety features

If you had to choose one car to take you home safely every single day — no-brainer it’s got to be a Subaru. No one can argue that the carmaker nails it on the safety front. It comes packed with advanced driver assist technologies that they call Eyesight 4.0.

The safety features include pre-collision braking, autonomous emergency steering, adaptive cruise control, lane centering function, and lane departure prevention, among many others. 


The Subaru Crosstrek i-L ticks all the boxes of highly sophisticated urban drivers. It excels in style, comfort, utility, and safety; with its premium-factor being subtle yet distinctly felt in all aspects. The oomph lies in its impressive performance that goes beyond city driving, which all the more justifies its price tag of PHP1,998,000.

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