2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness

A compact crossover, the Crosstrek, shares similarities with the Impreza hatchback but offers greater ground clearance and rugged features, competing against models like the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, as well as the Jeep Renegade and Compass.

DESIGN

In 2024, Subaru introduces the Wilderness treatment for the Crosstrek, offering a notable increase in ground clearance to 9.3 inches, accompanied by matte-black 17-inch wheels and Yokohama “Geolandar” tires for a rugged appearance. The addition of numerous Subaru Wilderness badges and extensive cladding distinguishes its aesthetic from the standard model.

Subaru has enhanced the cladding on the Crosstrek Wilderness, exceeding standard levels for modern cars, resulting in a rugged look reminiscent of off-road expeditions. This modification gives the Crosstrek a unique rugged appearance, departing from its usual design.

PERFORMANCE

Constantly engaged, the Crosstrek’s all-wheel drive ensures stability, supported by 8.7 inches of ground clearance and a flat-4 engine. This setup, coupled with a lower center of gravity, enhances its agility on curvy roads.

Slight steering wander aside, the Crosstrek’s off-road prowess is amplified by features like X-Mode and hill descent control, allowing drivers to better navigate obstacles. These functions help maintain the driver’s attention on off-road challenges.

X-Mode enhances throttle response below 18 mph, enhancing traction and wheel control. In the Sport model, a Deep Snow/Mud function enables controlled wheel slip for navigating tough terrain.

The Wilderness edition enhances off-road capabilities by increasing ground clearance and improving approach and departure angles. It incorporates upgraded components like longer coil springs and a tuned CVT for better traction.

17-inch wheels feature Geolandar all-terrain tires, improving traction across diverse terrains, while enhancements like a transmission cooler and a more powerful radiator fan enable towing capacities of up to 3,500 pounds.

Balancing off-road prowess with on-road performance, the Crosstrek’s elevated ride height and all-terrain tires compromise its refinement on standard roads. With a 2.5-liter engine under the hood, it achieves heightened performance, boasting 182 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque.

Although not rapid from a standstill, the Crosstrek achieves a 0-60 mph time in the mid-seven-second range, providing sufficient passing ability and enhanced performance over the 2.0-liter model, while maintaining comparable quietness.

Employing a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to drive all four wheels, the Crosstrek undergoes refinements to reduce noise during aggressive acceleration, resulting in a more serene driving experience through structural enhancements and strategic sound insulation.

Benefitting from a strengthened chassis, the 2024 Crosstrek boasts softer spring rates, offering a notably smoother ride, albeit verging on excessive softness for the Subaru brand. Despite experiencing minor cabin movements over uneven terrain, the overall refinement exceeds that of its predecessors.

VERDICT

Priced at $31,995, the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness offers additional options worth $2,270, bringing the total cost to $35,560.

Competition

In the small crossover market, the Crosstrek contends with SUV capabilities, facing stiff competition. Honda’s HR-V, though impressive, has grown significantly, affecting its fuel efficiency.

Similarly positioned, Mazda’s CX-30 delivers an enjoyable driving experience but lacks the off-road capability of the Crosstrek. Meanwhile, the Jeep Renegade excels off-road but struggles with passenger space and won’t be returning in 2024.

On the pavement, the Jeep Compass lacks in several areas, focusing more on urban utility. Hyundai’s upcoming Kona, once a value choice, hasn’t stood out in off-road performance.

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