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A green 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Sport is shown on a trail under a new car alert banner.

The All-New 2024 Subaru Crosstrek: Is Boring Bad?

With over 155,000 units sold in 2022, the Crosstrek is Subaru’s most popular model, but after six years on the market, it was time for a redesign. Normally, a ground-up redesign is a time to add new features and options, improve the vehicle’s performance, and generally bring it into the modern era. However, Subaru is a conservative brand, and the new 2024 Crosstrek stands out more for what it has lost than what it has gained. Traditionalists and technophiles alike will be dismayed to learn that after the redesign, the Crosstrek will no longer be available with its six-speed manual transmission or its plug-in hybrid powertrain. What has it gained in exchange? Not much––but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Once an Impreza, Always an Impreza

The Subaru Crosstrek launched in 2013 as what was effectively a Subaru Impreza hatch with higher ground clearance. Over the years, it has rarely wandered far from its roots, so when the redesigned 2024 Impreza was revealed in November, we had a pretty good idea of what was in store for the Crosstrek. Subaru did not decide to shake things up, and the 2024 Crosstrek brings no surprises. With the demise of the plug-in hybrid powertrain and the six-speed manual transmission, the Crosstrek now has two engine options, both paired with a CVT. The base engine remains the same 2.0L BOXER that it has offered since it debuted in 2013, and the available upgrade is the 2.5L BOXER that was introduced in 2018 for the second-generation Crosstrek.

We would have really liked to see Subaru unveil a trail-ready Wilderness version of the 2024 Crosstrek to match the very popular Outback Wilderness and Forester Wilderness, but that was unfortunately not to be. The good news is that the Crosstrek does continue to offer standard Symmetrical all-wheel drive and 8.7 inches of ground clearance, so it is one of the more adventurous options in the notoriously tame subcompact SUV segment. If off-roading is your goal, we would have difficulty justifying the Crosstrek over the Ford Bronco Sport, which offers similar ground clearance and significantly better performance. However, the Ford comes at a considerably higher price tag.

A green 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Sport is shown next to a person with a towel on the beach.

Affordability and Practicality Remain the Selling Point

Unless you absolutely love the Subaru brand (and there are plenty of drivers who do), the main selling point for the 2024 Crosstrek is its affordability. In fact, we were astounded to learn that the all-new model will start at just $23,645––the same price as the 2023 model when equipped with a CVT! In a world where car prices just keep climbing, that is truly incredible. While there are cheaper options, such as the Hyundai Kona and Chevy Trailblazer, it should be remembered that the Crosstrek comes with standard all-wheel drive. The Mazda CX-30 is the only competitor with standard all-wheel drive that comes in at a similar price point, but while the CX-30 is a much nicer car, it has less than seven inches of ground clearance.

While the 2024 Crosstrek is unlikely to truly excite very many drivers, it continues to fill the same niche that the model has occupied for the last decade. If you want an incredibly affordable subcompact SUV that can take bad weather and rough roads in stride, there continues to be no real competition. Subaru has even made a few small changes to make the new Crosstrek a bit more comfortable, such as adding an 11.6-inch infotainment display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. We just wish Subaru had gone a bit further and pushed the boundaries rather than playing it safe with a redesign that removed more features than it added.