Behind the Wheel

2024 Subaru Crosstrek — A Northwest Favorite for Active Families

2024 Subaru Crosstrek WildernessModel tested: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness

Engine: 2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder

Transmission: CVT automatic, all-wheel drive

Horsepower: 182

Torque: 178 lb.-ft.

EPA ratings: 25/city, 29/highway, 27/combined

Base price: $31,995

As tested: $35,550

Overview: The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is a compact all-wheel-drive SUV that ideally suits many Pacific Northwest motorists. Subarus, in general, have always sold well here due to their practicality, versatility and affordability. Owners seem attracted to Subarus for what they can do more than who they impress. The new Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness model ups the active outdoor content while retaining all the base Crosstrek practicality.

Walkaround: The Subaru Crosstrek was redesigned for 2024, with the Wilderness Edition as the top model. The Wilderness has upgraded suspension; more ground clearance; additional off-road drive modes; a front skid plate; all-terrain tires; water-resistant upholstery; and higher approach, breakover and departure angles. The Wilderness Edition also has more aggressive visual cues. People who spend less time parked at trailheads or ski slopes and more time parked in traffic would do well with the standard Crosstrek Sport and save a few bucks in the process.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek WildernessInterior: The Wilderness package has water-resistant upholstery, which is great for Western Washington. Front legroom is stretch-out comfortable in the supportive heated seats. There is room and comfort in the back seat, although adults can brush the ceiling in the center position. The split folding seats offer variable cargo and passenger arrangements, but there is a slight rise from the cargo deck. The comfortably contoured steering wheel has good auxiliary controls.

Behind the wheel: The Subaru Crosstrek drives like a compact car, so it’s highly maneuverable and easy to park. The Subaru AWD system is legendary and seamless in everyday driving, which suits ever-changing Pacific Northwest weather conditions. The Wilderness Package off-road drive modes are great on trails and in mountain snow. Fuel economy was good for a nonhybrid — our best was 31.5 mpg on the highway, which exceeded EPA estimates. Daily city driving and freeway commuting chores were smooth and pleasant.

Bottom line: The redesigned 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is available in several trim levels. We tested both the Wilderness and the less aggressive Crosstrek Sport, which is still a very agile and sure-footed on- and off-road, family-adventure vehicle. Both the Wilderness and the Sport models come with the top 182-horsepower engine. The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness isn’t the toughest looking SUV in town, but it’s a highly capable compact SUV that does almost everything and goes almost anywhere the big rigs can — at a fraction of the cost. The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek is automotive sensibility with all-wheel drive.