2022 Subaru Crosstrek
2022 Subaru Crosstrek
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is a five-seat compact SUV that looks the part of a rugged all-weather car. For 2022 it’s mostly unchanged, and looks basically the same as it has since it was introduced 10 model years ago.
Its base 152-hp flat-4 engine won’t take it anywhere quickly. The larger 182-hp flat-4 in Sport and Limited models is a bit quicker–but speed isn’t the point of the Crosstrek, traction is. With a standard all-wheel-drive system and a flexible CVT, the Crosstrek maneuvers over all kinds of surfaces with ease, moving over gravel trails as safely as it handles mid-speed sweepers.
Its EPA ratings are 28 mpg city, 33 highway, 30 combined for the base 152-hp flat-4. Sport and Limited models with the more powerful engine get 27/34/29 mpg. There is also a 6-speed manual, but we wonder why, with gas mileage of 23/29/25 mpg–and no automatic emergency braking, to boot. And there is an extremely rare plug-in hybrid Crosstrek that gets 36/34/35 mpg. It’s only available in a few states.
The NHTSA gives the Crosstrek five stars in safety. The IIHS gave the 2021 Crosstrek a Top Safety Pick rating, but not yet for 2022 because the headlights have not been tested. The IIHS award only applies to CVT-equipped models, which come with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control.
Outward vision is good.
Made in Japan, the base all-wheel-drive Crosstrek costs $23,570 but it’s saddled with the manual transmission and no emergency braking. It comes with 17-inch wheels, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The CVT version costs $24,920 and is well worth the difference. The Premium model, for a bit more, adds heated front seats and more speakers.
The $27,920 Crosstrek Sport gets the stronger engine, with hill descent control and an off-road mode, and adds synthetic leather upholstery and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The $30,420 Crosstrek Limited gets 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. With the optional sunroof, navigation, and Harmon Kardon sound, it’s $31,815.
Hybrids start at $36,770 and top out just short of $40,000 with a sunroof and navigation.
The Crosstrek carries an average 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and black body cladding, the rugged looks make a statement about the Crosstrek’s off-road abilities. The Sport wears even more blocky black cladding and gunmetal-gray accents.
The functional cabin has a straightforward instrument panel, ruggedly attractive cloth seats with manual adjustment, and sturdy trim. The USB ports are tucked deep into the center stack, and we wish they were easier to access, but there are big climate-control knobs and audio controls so you don’t have to rely only on the 6.5-inch touchscreen. The Limited gets power seats, leather upholstery, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. The Sport gets synthetic upholstery.
In the rear there’s a good 36.5 inches of leg room, but shoulder room is slim for three people. The flexible seat splits and folds 60/40, increasing cargo space from 20.8 to 55.3 cubic feet.
As befits its reputation, Subaru offers a wide variety of creative attachments for outdoor activity and cargo carrying, everything from pet barriers to rooftop storage.
The base Crosstrek has a 152-hp 2.0-liter flat-4 with 145 lb-ft of torque that is sent to all four wheels. It’s not very quick, as it takes 9.7 seconds to hit 60 mph. But the CVT is one of the best in the business, with simulated gears, eight steps that can be made with a flip of the paddle shifters. As we said before, forget the manual transmission.
The engine gets thrummy in the high end of its powerband, but it’s acceptably muted in the cabin.
The 182-hp 2.5-liter flat-4 in the Sport and Limited is better. Using its 176 lb-ft of torque, it can hit 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. And it only gets one less mile per gallon.
There’s a plug-in hybrid, available in a few western states, that uses a 118-hp electric motor mated to its 137-hp flat-4 engine, running off an 8.8-kwh battery pack that allows 17 miles of electric driving range. It’s quicker than the base Crosstrek, even with its extra weight of 500 pounds.
The Crosstrek handles well on its well-tuned independent suspension, although the steering tends to wander over the road crown.
The high ground clearance is helpful off-road, where the suspension swallows rugged trails with ease. An off-road mode comes with hill descent control that manages speeds on downward slopes; it’s very useful, and hugely improves safety, on steep descents on snow and ice.
What the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek lacks in excitement in daily commuting, it makes up for with its promise and delivery of adventure. The Sport is the model we’d go for, bringing more power with only a slight penalty in gas mileage.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection