• Ride quality
    • Value for money
    • Build quality
    • Power folding mirrors not auto
    • Halogen DRLs
    • Small boot
    Not tested

    About the Subaru Crosstrek

    Nomad purchased this Subaru Crosstrek new with additional options for $39,000 (including all on-road costs). Nomad would buy this car again because: “I would buy this car again for the excellent ride quality in suburban Sydney and the effortless ability in racking up many kilometres of regional drives including areas with snow and when high ground clearance is useful. Additionally, the value for money is outstanding for the so-called base model.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    After recently ticking over 10,000km, I thought it was a good opportunity to provide thoughts for potential buyers. The reliability in the first 10k is (and should be) perfect of course.

    However, the build quality feels solid and given that this generation is based on an existing platform means, I do not expect any first-generation manufacturing gremlins. I don’t really feel comfortable buying a first-gen car unless it has been on sale for over a year, so this existing platform provides a level of reassurance.

    Subarus have had their fair share of issues over the years – especially with CVTs, oil consumption but much like most Japanese brands, they tend to stick with it through “continuous improvement”and methodically engineer themselves out of most of these problems.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    The ownership over the first 10,000km has been excellent and I am very pleased with the Crosstrek. The attention to detail is very good when you look closely in and around the car.

    The paint quality is superb in my colour. Such a luscious deep and glossy finish. The build quality also looks great. The panels, doors and tailgate fit and finish is five-star.

    The manual tailgate especially has a very gentle (manual) closing mechanism and does not require any effort and has a very nice closing sound – no rattles or resonances are heard of any type.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    The purchase experience was no better or worse than what I have had in the past.

    The sales team were satisfactory, were prepared to negotiate on price to close the sale but it’s one of those things that comes with the turf. I guess, I can understand why some people may prefer the fixed price approach being a smooth and faster process.

    I have low expectations of the aftercare experience when servicing the car and I will try and stick with the dealer while under warranty but maybe not exclusively for some things. Subarus need a little extra TLC being a boxer design and more prone to carbon deposits compared to other GDI engine styles, so proper regular upper engine cleaning is vital.

    I have already insisted on an early first oil change (oil is cheap, engines are not) and will definitely NOT be taking the view that CVTs are “filled for life” and do not need any service. Subaru servicing costs more and I knew that going in. Being AWD, their will be required diff fluid changes, and that’s fine – maybe not for everyone.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    The value for money equation is excellent. This is a base model and so along with AWD it naturally gets indpendent rear suspension whereas many brands offer 2WD torsion beam, it still comes with rain sensing wipers, dual zone climate control, rear parking sensors and camera, wireless CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, wireless phone charging, DAB radio, large 11.6″screen and the usual adaptive cruise control and complementary driving tech with their Eyesight system.

    Frankly, the only two real negatives are that while it has power folding mirrors, they are not automatically folding when you lock the car and in my basic model, the DRLs are halogen, even though headlights and tail lights are LED.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    The power is fine for what I need. It’s a 2.0L engine and the power is about the same as most other close competitors from Mazda, Hyundai, Toyota. It cruises effortlessly and quietly.

    The economy so far is better than I thought it would be for a 2.0L non-turbo engine and without any electrical assistance. I am currently averaging 7.7L/100kms and certainly better than my previous 1.8L Hyundai.

    As far the CTV goes, for the most part, I really like it, mainly when cruising on a highway with adaptive cruise and not having to feel and hear kick-downs in a regular auto when going up a hill, or aggressive downshifts on downhill runs. A regular auto probably would have been a more normal experience in and around the suburbs but it feels fine for most driving.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    The technology is excellent for the price and was a major part of my decision process with this. It has a large portrait shaped screen that is in easy reach and feels good to use. The climate controls are always there, so no digging around.

    There are no issues whatsoever with Wireless Mirroring via CarPlay. Music, navigation and phone calls are all perfect, regardless of how many functions are running at once.

    Wireless charging: I have also not had a single issue using my iPhone 13 with Apple silicone case, although some people may have complained the phone can move around.

    DAB radio: I find the volume setting is not consistent. The volume is always louder than where I left it when I start the car the next day. AM and FM are all fine, no issues. Sound quality is adequate – not audiophile grade by any means.

    I also really like that I can permanently change the top of the infotainment to show oil temperature and approach angles of the car – very handy.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    THIS is what sold the car. I drove several cars but none had the fine balance of supple ride and controlled steering and handling. My partner noticed it immediately also.

    I was not expecting this as many reviews did not make a big deal about it. It is a real pleasure to get around Sydney streets and even more impressive on long country drives.

    I would have preferred the drivers seat to be a little softer, however, and the bottom can get a little uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

    Do you have any additional comments about your car?

    The only other comments are that the boot is small, which would not bother me for my lifestyle but it is something you would need to look at if you have specific requirements. The rear seat room is excellent however, but there are no amenities back there in the base model, but we don’t use them at all.

    Finally there can be some wind noise coming off the large exterior mirrors when sitting on the max speed limit. However, the engine and road noise are relatively good, so no issues there.

    This car is not for everyone – it’s almost a bit “niche”, but for those that prioritise a quiet interior, exceptional ride comfort, high ground clearance and full time AWD in a smaller size car, I would highly recommend it.

    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling8.5
    Price & Features9
    Purchase & Aftercare6.5
    Performance & Economy7
    Ownership Experience8