Sacramento, California – There are a lot of good reasons to buy a Subaru, and most of them can be found on the tested 2016 Crosstrek 2.0i Limited sport-utility vehicle.
You have your all-wheel drive, excellent off-roading capabilities, strong fuel mileage (26 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway) and dare I say that the exterior styling looks downright cute.
Yes, I said cute.
And the starting price is pretty reasonable at $25,095. Mine was dressed up with extras (a multimedia/navigation system and power moonroof were part of the deal) that brought the bottom line to a still-reasonable $28,840 for this five-passenger model.
Over the years, Subaru has mastered the art of driving dynamics. I thought it was my imagination for a long time, but seriously, you can FEEL the strength of Subaru’s engineering right away.
Road manners are solid and smooth. Off-road manners can be downright aggressive, when needed.
Auto-reviewing colleagues have taken some shots at this Crosstrek, noting that its flat-4 engine configuration is lacking in power, at around 150 horsepower.
Well, OK, maybe if you’re racing that Corvette to the exit ramp you'll find reason to complain. Otherwise, I found this crossover SUV quite capable in most conditions, certainly capable enough to keep me happy.
Subarus aren’t necessarily known as luxury liners, but the tester was nicely equipped with goodies that included leather upholstery, an all-weather package with heated front seats and multiple connectivity perks.
Standard safety features are plentiful, including a helpful blind spot-detection system. Also noteworthy: top safety ratings, including a max five-star overall vehicle score from the feds.
The five-door design is functional, and while the Crosstrek looks small at first glance from the outside, it is surprisingly roomy on the inside.
In sum, this Crosstrek can do a lot -- on the pavement or off it -- and not crush your bank account. It might shape up as that multitasker you been hunting for, a versatile commuter/suburan/wilderness warrior available at a nice price.