Subaru Crosstrek is thirsty, but functional

One of the most unorthodox vehicles to grace my driveway, the Subaru Crosstrek is a car that makes heads turn, but in a very concerning fashion. It looks very different from most vehicles, but what I can say is that it’s quite the functional charmer.

On the interior, you are met by a large, vertical infotainment system screen that houses most of the vehicle’s functions and once you get the hang of it, it is very easy to use. You now have the option of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is a nifty feature to have. Being met by an AUX port was shocking – I did not know that cars still have these! Nonetheless, the interior is well laid out with a multifunction steering wheel, plenty of storage and cargo space and USB ports for rear passengers. The vehicle is relatively comfortable to be in, I had a brief run in the outgoing Subaru XV, and this just feels a little refined from the former.

The Crosstrek is powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated BOXER engine that produces 115kW and 196Nm. Miniscule figures, I know, but it performs wells on the open road. It does not feel underpowered at all, does manage to overtake easily and power retention is quite good. It does, however, make a lot of noise and sounds highly burdened, reminds me of the Honda HR-V. I at least was able to hear myself think in here. Subaru claims a consumption of 7.2l/100km and I found that to be far from the truth. I averaged between 8.5l-9.0l/100km mainly on highway driving. It handles very nicely and to be honest it is enjoyable to drive, notwithstanding the little drawbacks I have mentioned. 

Safety and tech seem to be a major priority with Subaru, and this car has a plethora of features that cannot go unnoticed. Subaru prides itself with their EyeSight feature, which allows the car to have adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and departure warning, pre-collision braking and gives way to systems that alert you if the car senses that you are getting tired or not focusing on the road. The vehicle is also equipped with 9 airbags and a sharp 360-degree camera.

Ultimately, the Crosstrek is a functional car that truly impressed me – even with its faults. It may be loud and heavy on fuel, but the build quality is amazing, it looks the part for the adventurous consumer and is coupled with all the functions you will need even when off the beaten path. Priced at R579 000, it proves to be a well-rounded offering, and Subarus are synonymous with longevity and reliability. With rivals such as the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona and 500X in its sights, it plays in an outlying field, but shines with its functionality and rugged appeal.

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