2016 Subaru Crosstrek Trims the Fat

A few years ago Subaru rolled out a new small utility vehicle dubbed XV Crosstrek. The little cute ute featured most everything Subaru was known for including Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a smooth Boxer four-cylinder engine. Trouble was that vehicle was overladen with one thing: its name. For 2016, Subaru introduces the Crosstrek.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek/Images courtesy Subaru

2016 Subaru Crosstrek/Images courtesy Subaru

During our first visit with the small Subie on the beautiful island of Maui we enjoyed the gracious on and offroad capabilities of the Crosstrek and during our recent week behind the wheel of the 2016 model, nothing in that department has changed. This is a surefooted vehicle that while residing in the small SUV class offers decent interior and cargo space and all of the creature comforts consumers have become spoiled on.


The powertrain is led by the aforementioned 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine that generates 148hp and 145 lb. ft. of torque. It is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or, as ours was outfitted, a Lineartronic CVT transmission. The CVT features steering wheel paddle shifters (a feature I feel was wasted on this model) that activate a six-speed manual shift mode in the gearbox.


Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system mated to the CVT features Active Torque Split allowing managed distribution of power based on acceleration, deceleration, and available traction at each wheel. Vehicle Dynamics Control works with some of these systems combining stability and traction control systems along with a rollover sensor to keep occupants as safe as possible at all times.

A few other changes have been made to the 2016 Crosstrek in the form of updated frontal styling along with enhanced Subaru Starlink safety and security features. These include automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance, diagnostic alerts, stolen vehicle recovery, remote unlock/lock, and much more. There is also the updated suite of Starlink Cloud apps. Our 2.0i Premium tester also arrived with new blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert with lane change assist technologies. This is on top of the Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology that features pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane sway warning.subarucrosstrek8

This Crosstrek featured the 7.0 Infotainment system consisting of a 7-inch color touchscreen/gesture display. The system includes SiriusXM TravelLink and satellite radio. It also features smartphone connectivity along with Bluetooth functionality and USB port inputs.


The Crosstrek is no rally racer, nor is it intended to be. It does provide safe and secure transportation with a “go anywhere” attitude and ground clearance. The driving experience is best described as “buttery” as I constantly felt like I was slicing through softened butter every time I was behind the wheel and the vehicle responds to all types of road conditions in a similar, predictable manner.


Pricing for the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek begins at $21,595 for a base 2.0i. Our Premium tester arrived with a final sticker of $26,240. Fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for gas models and Subaru does offer a hybrid variant of the Crosstrek that starts at just over 26 grand.


We like this 2016 Crosstrek just as much as when Subaru introduced it a few years ago. It is a solid small SUV with great ground clearance and such a smooth, simple, and safe driving experience. And as predicted, Subaru cut the fat, so to speak, in the form of deleting the XV designation from the moniker.

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.