If you’re considering buying a used Subaru Crosstrek, check for any recall documentation or common issues. The Crosstrek is famous for its recalls, and it wouldn’t be in your best interest to inherit some of these problems in your new car. Also, avoid any models with CVT transmissions, as they present many unreliability issues, which also goes for the infotainment systems; test them thoroughly before purchasing the car to ensure it works properly.
Table of Contents
- What’s the most reliable year for the Subaru Crosstrek?
- The First-Generation of Subaru Crosstreks
- The Second-Generation of Subaru Crosstreks
- Subaru Crosstrek Years To Avoid
- Common Subaru Crosstrek Issues Across All Generations
What’s the most reliable year for the Subaru Crosstrek?
The most reliable Subaru Crosstrek is perhaps the 2021 model. That year’s Crosstrek saw fewer issue-related reports, especially considering the first generation (2012- 2017). Not only that, but the 2021 Crosstrek is the best-selling Crosstrek of all time, selling more than 127,000 units in the US alone.
The 2018 model is perhaps the least reliable and arguably the worst Subaru Crosstrek yet.
However, this doesn’t mean that other models are not reliable. For example, the 2014, 2015, and 2020 models of the Crosstrek are also great and reliable cars.
Here’s a brief overview of the first and second generation of Subaru Crosstreks and which ones you should stay away from.
The First-Generation of Subaru Crosstreks
Subaru introduced the first generation of Crosstreks in 2012 and saw these cars run through 2017. These cars were notable for their decent performance and engine specs, which included a 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine with 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. Some of the most notable features of these cars included all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission, and off-road capabilities.
The first generation of Crosstreks was popular because of their many great features, including all-wheel drive, a rugged exterior design, and ample cargo space. These cars also feature all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission, and off-road capabilities.
However, these cars did also experience some common issues during this period. Some users reported issues with the car’s engine and transmission and problems with the electronics systems, including the famous brake light problems.
Many journalists and vehicle enthusiasts believe this generation of Crosstreks lacks enough power. Not only that, but the 2013 model is famous for its excessive oil consumption, making it hard to recommend to anyone.
Multiple reports, including the Edmunds Consumer Rating and the Kelley Blue Book Consumer Rating, rank the first generation as reasonably reliable.
The Second-Generation of Subaru Crosstreks
Subaru introduced the second generation of Crosstreks in 2018. This generation of cars continues until today, with the Crosstrek 2023 being the latest one. These models feature a much-improved 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine with 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. However, the biggest change for these cars included the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), a big selling point for these models.
Other popular features of the second generation of Crosstreks include larger cargo space, an updated infotainment system, and several new driver assistance and safety features.
Like the first generation, the second generation of Crosstreks has also been popular among car buyers and journalists. A couple of reports, including the Consumer Reports and Edmunds Consumer Rating, rank these cars as some of the most reliable on the market.
While the second generation of Crosstreks did improve on many of the issues present in the first generation, they introduced some new problems of their own.
One of the most significant issues is with the car’s infotainment system. Many users suggest the system is slow to respond and often freezes or crashes. Some users also have experienced issues with the car’s audio system, especially when using Bluetooth.
Another common issue users report is the car’s engine and transmission. Many users have also reported issues with the car’s engine, especially regarding excessive oil consumption.
Despite these issues, the second generation of Crosstreks is still a reliable one to consider if you’re in the market for a new vehicle. But before then, be sure to check out the most reliable Subaru.
Subaru Crosstrek Years To Avoid
Not all Subaru Crosstrek model years are created equal. Here are the ones you’ll want to avoid.
The 2018 Model
While the first and second generations of Subaru Crosstreks are generally reliable, there are a few years that you should avoid.
The 2018 model year is famous for its many issues, including the car’s infotainment system, the engine, and the transmission. The engine issues are especially concerning, as many users have reported excessive oil consumption.
The oil consumption issues were so bad that Subaru recalled the 2018 Crosstrek. So if you’re considering buying a used 2018 Crosstrek, check if it is part of the recall.
Also, avoid any CVT transmission models, as many users have reported issues with this transmission. These issues are so bad that Subaru extended the warranty on the CVT for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.
The 2019 Model
The 2019 Crosstrek is also a model year to avoid, as it shares many of the same issues as the 2018 model. In addition, the oil consumption issue was so bad that Subaru issued another recall for the 2019 Crosstrek.
Many users have also reported issues with the car’s infotainment system and problems with the engine and transmission. The CVT transmission is especially problematic, so avoid any models.
If you’re considering buying a used Subaru Crosstrek, avoid the 2018 and 2019 model years.
Common Subaru Crosstrek Issues Across All Generations
There are a few issues that all Subaru Crosstrek vehicles have that you should be aware of if you’re interested in purchasing one. These include the following:
Excessive Oil Consumption
One of the most common issues reported by owners of the second-generation Subaru Crosstrek is excessive oil consumption. Excessive oil consumption can damage the engine and lead to expensive repairs.
Subaru has issued two recalls for this issue, one for the 2018 Crosstrek and one for the 2019 Crosstrek. If you’re considering buying a used Crosstrek, check if it is part of either recall.
Auto Start/Stop Issues on Some Models
Some Subaru Crosstrek features an auto start/stop feature that turns off the engine when the car is idling. This feature improves fuel efficiency, but many users have found that it doesn’t improve fuel economy as intended.
Some of the most common issues include the engine starting and stopping randomly, the engine not starting (not in gear), and the engine shutting off while the car runs. Many users have also reported that the feature causes the car to vibrate excessively.
Brake Light Switches May Fail
Another common issue reported by Subaru Crosstrek owners is brake light switches failing, which can cause the brake lights to stay on even without engaging the brake pedals. It can also cause the car not to start if the brake pedal is not depressed when attempting to start the engine.
Rust and Corrosion
Unfortunately, some Subaru Crosstreks suffer from rust and corrosion issues, which is especially common in older models but can also affect newer ones.
The most common areas prone to rust and corrosion are the doors, the fenders, and the hood. However, many users have also reported rust and corrosion issues on the car’s underbody.
CVT Transmission Reliability Issues
Another common issue involves the car’s CVT transmission. Many users have found that the CVT is not as reliable as pitched by Subaru and often needs replacing. CVT Transmission issues can be expensive to fix, so avoid any models with this transmission.
Subaru has extended the warranty on the CVT for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, so if you’re considering buying a used Crosstrek, check if the warranty still covers it.
Subaru Eyesight System Issues
The Subaru Eyesight system is a driver-assist feature that makes driving safer. The optional EyeSight package adds blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.
However, many users have found that the system is not as good as others in the same market, which has and often causes false alarms. Additionally, the Eyesight system turns off randomly for some users, an issue that can be very dangerous.
Soy-Based Wiring Coatings Attract Rodents
Some models of the Subaru Crosstrek use soy-based wire coatings. Unfortunately, these coatings are very attractive to rodents, who will often chew on the wires and cause damage.
Soy-based wire coatings are cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional ones but are not as durable. If you live in an area with a lot of rodents, or if you frequently travel to areas with a lot of rodents (such as campsites), make sure to avoid models with soy-based wire coatings.
Infotainment System Glitches
The Crosstrek comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. This system lets you use your phone’s apps, maps, music, and more on the car’s touch screen.
The infotainment system also includes Bluetooth for hands-free calling and streaming audio. Standard safety features include automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Unfortunately, many users have found that the system is glitchy and often doesn’t work as intended. Some of the most common issues include the system freezing, the screen going blank, and the system crashing.
Additionally, many users have also reported that the touchscreen is unresponsive.