Trucks and SUVs

2024 Best Subcompact SUV: Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru is going to need a bigger trophy rack! With the Subaru Crosstrek now in its third generation, it has once again been voted as the Best Compact SUV in the AutoTrader Awards, a repeat win for this practical crossover.

As a winning vehicle, it represents one that our jury of more than 20 experts from all over Canada feels confident recommending to our family and friends. It won last year as well, so this new-generation model gives Canadians more of what they love.

The latest Crosstrek earns our top praise for a variety of reasons. Primarily, Subaru’s signature standard all-wheel drive (AWD) and the inherent handling characteristics of boxer-powered models give the Crosstrek a performance edge in winter driving conditions. The X-Mode system offers drivers additional custom-tuned traction settings to tackle challenging scenarios with a simple tap, with above-average ground clearance and ruggedness encouraging even further exploration.

I’ve always held the Crosstrek in high regard for how it tackles challenges faced commonly by Canadian drivers. Performance is consistently reliable in winter driving, the AWD system demonstrates expert calibration across a wide range of surface and weather conditions, and the adaptive headlights provide added peace of mind on unlit highways for less strenuous driving at night. Further, ride quality on crumbling roads and bumpy trails is easily among the best in the segment, with the Crosstrek’s suspension demonstrating careful control over both interior noise levels and body motions, even while taking a beating.

These are traits that Subaru has carefully dialled into all three generations of the Crosstrek. It has a distinctive feel to the drive, steering, and handling that’s engaging and makes it feel more like a car than an SUV despite an excellent ride on rough surfaces.

Two engine options are available, with 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre four-cylinder options that crank out 152 or 182 horsepower, respectively. Both engines get about the same fuel economy, so don’t be shy to go with the more powerful unit because it’s an excellent match for the Crosstrek’s responsive drive.

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek isn’t the most powerful option for your dollar – though it does deliver about the best front seat legroom you’ll find in the segment, as well as the lowest fuel consumption figures you’ll find in a non-hybrid AWD subcompact SUV today. Add in the top-notch safety scores, the latest EyeSight system (now smoother in action than ever), and a user-friendly interface, and you’ve got a package that does everything it’s supposed to exceptionally well and across a wide range of conditions.