Third-Generation Subaru Crosstrek Refines the Small Crossover Game

Subaru is going for evolution, not revolution with its next-gen Crosstrek.

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Photo: Subaru

Not to be outdone by the all-new Ford Mustang (and its beautiful blue paint), Subaru revealed to the world its third-generation Crosstrek.

Subaru says it has refined the driving dynamics of the small crossover and emphasized the uniqueness of the car’s design. It’s also got a slew of new and updated tech and creature comforts inside.

The vehicle we’re looking at here is a JDM model, which is set to be released in Japan in 2023. There’s no exact word on when it’ll be reaching our shores, but sometime in 2024 is probably a good guess.

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Inside the Subaru Crosstrek

Image for article titled Third-Generation Subaru Crosstrek Refines the Small Crossover Game
Photo: Subaru
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The interior of the third-generation Crosstrek is unmistakably a Subaru. It doesn’t look drastically different from the second-generation car’s, but Subaru’s latest big-ass, 11.6-inch infotainment screen is front and center. Odds are that lower trim models will have the dual screen set up found in current Subaru models

Everything else is fairly standard Subaru. Obviously we haven’t had a chance to poke around yet, but it will more than likely be moderately plush with an emphasis on ruggedness. This is a lifestyle vehicle after all. Fabric seats are standard, but Subaru says leather seats are available as a factory-installed option.

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The Crosstrek is all about utility, right? Well, Subaru has got that covered. It’s got a big ‘ol trunk and 60:40 split folding rear seats. That means you can fit even more of your adventure gear inside it. The trunk is covered with textured sill plates (inspired by mountains, apparently) that Subaru says will prevent slips and scratches.

Image for article titled Third-Generation Subaru Crosstrek Refines the Small Crossover Game
Photo: Subaru
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The Crosstrek’s Exterior

For its third generation, Subaru raised the roofline of the Crosstrek to give it a more commanding look from your car’s rear view mirror. It also shrunk down the LED headlights in keeping with the look of the new WRX and sharpened up the front grille.

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No surprise here: Subaru stuck plenty of black plastic cladding along the sides of the Crosstrek.

Perhaps the biggest difference is in the back, where Subaru decided to attenuate the rear fenders a bit. It definitely gives the car a beefier look. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, on the outside, and that’s okay. The Crosstrek is one of the company’s most popular models for a reason: the way it looks.

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In terms of paint, take this information with a grain of salt since what is coming to the U.S. hasn’t been confirmed yet. That being said, there are nine colors available, including a couple of new blues, called “Offshore Blue Metallic” and “Oasis Blue.”

Image for article titled Third-Generation Subaru Crosstrek Refines the Small Crossover Game
Photo: Subaru
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Eighteen-inch wheels will be an option for the car (17s are standard), and it’s got plenty of ground clearance for what the intended buyer will be doing with it. Subaru says the Crosstrek will have 200mm (7.88 inches) of ground clearance

Under the Crosstrek’s Hood

We’ve gotta take this with a grain of salt, because USDM engines haven’t been announced, but Subaru is sending just one engine to the Japanese market. It’s a 2-liter four popper mated to the company’s e-BOXER system. There aren’t any power numbers just yet.

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Right now, the outgoing Crosstrek has three engine options. A 2.0 or 2.5-liter four cylinder or a 2.0-liter plug-in hybrid.

Subaru says it is aiming to make the Crosstrek more of a driver’s car. The company says it has improved ride comfort, body rigidity, braking, steering and NVH.

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I don’t think I have to tell you this, but I will anyway. All Crosstreks will come standard with all-wheel drive.

The Crosstrek’s Safety Tech

For the next-generation Crosstrek, Subaru is adding a 360-degree, top-down camera system and a full-LED headlight system that’ll also feature LED cornering lights.

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The company says its new camera system has double the angles of the previous system. It can also apparently recognize objects at wider angles and from farther away. Its wide-angle “Mono Camera” can also recognize motorcycles and pedestrians at a wider angle at low speeds. It can even kick on the brakes in accordance with the EyeSight System.

All in all, the next-generation Crosstrek seems to be one of those “don’t mess with a good thing” vehicles. People like the Crosstrek the way it is, why change it too much?