2018 Subaru Crosstrek Has New Global Platform

Published May 5, 2017 by Elizabeth Jeneault

Subaru has redesigned its Crosstrek for 2018. The all-new Crosstrek is the second Subaru model to be built on the new Subaru Global Platform which enhances the vehicle’s handling as well as its ride comfort. It also improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent. That helps make the 2018 Crosstrek even safer than the outgoing model, which was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick for six years straight (when equipped with available EyeSight Driver Assist Technology). The vehicle is not only safer, but also offers enhanced performance thanks to a revised version of its engine. Finally, changes were also made to the 2018 Crosstrek’s styling. It has a new look that carries from the exterior into the cabin. The vehicle will be available in three trim levels when it goes on sale this summer: 2.0i base, Premium, and Limited.

Exterior & Interior

Subaru describes its all-new Crosstrek’s design as being sporty yet rugged. While the design incorporates some of the brand’s signature elements like the hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights, it has a more sculptural body. Its rugged stance is said to be accentuated by the prominent wheel arches and flowing lines.

“Black side- and wheel-arch cladding, lower rocker panels and roof rails provide a sharp contrast to the body color,” added Subaru at a press release.

The all-new Crosstrek has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, comes with 17-in. alloy wheels and is said to offer excellent all-around visibility. The vehicle is just .6-in. longer and .9-in. wider than the outgoing model. That means it’s able to retain its nimble size while also adding an even roomier cabin. There’s also more room for passengers’ luggage thanks to 60/40 split flat-folding seats and a wider rear gate opening. 

Subaru says multimedia features for the 2018 Crosstrek include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Audio connectivity. The vehicle also comes with Near Field Communication to make Bluetooth pairing simpler.

New Global Platform

Of course, the new platform is a big part of the 2018 Crosstrek’s redesign. Again, the Crosstrek is only the second model to use the Subaru Global Platform and the brand is pretty proud of it.

“Crosstrek’s new platform integrates new framework with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between structures to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness to a degree not seen before in the small SUV class,” writes Subaru. “Specifically, the new platform increases rigidity of the unitized body structure by over 70 percent.”

Aside from the 2018 Crosstrek’s new platform, a lower center of gravity and revised suspension systems help improve vehicle handling.


Under the all-new Crosstrek’s hood, there’s a revised version of the 2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER 4-cylinder engine used in the outgoing model. It gains direct fuel injection and other enhancements to boost both performance and drivability. The engine is now able to produce 152 horsepower instead of 148.

The 2.0i base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and are available with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). The CVT, meanwhile, comes standard on the Limited trim and features a 7-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters. It may well be worth paying the extra money for the CVT, as all trim levels with it now come standard with driver-selectable X-Mode for off-road use. It provides better wheel control in less than ideal situations.

All trim levels, meanwhile, now come with Active Torque Vectoring as standard. Subaru says the system helps reduce understeer and keeps the vehicle on the driver’s intended cornering path.


All 2018 Crosstrek models get front seat side impact airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag as standard. If you opt for EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, you’ll get a number of systems including Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure and Sway Warning. Also available are Blind Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Also new are available Steering Responsive Headlights and High Beam Assist. Additional driver-assist technologies offered, meanwhile, include Reverse Automatic Braking and a new 4-way Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

As we mentioned before, the vehicle’s new platform also helps out with safety as it improves crash energy absorption by 40 percent over current models.

Trim Levels

When the all-new 2018 Crosstrek goes on sale this summer, there will be three trim levels to choose from: 2.0i base, Premium, and Limited. The 2.0i base gets a number of standard features including a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen, a multi-function display with fuel economy information, carpeted floor mats and privacy glass. It comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and is available with the CVT equipped with X-Mode.

If you choose the Premium trim level, you’ll get a leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter as well as heated front seats. By going with the Premium trim, you’re also able to add a power moonroof or driver assist technology systems. You’ll also receive SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security features.

The highest level trim, meanwhile, has a more upscale look thanks to LED headlights, 18-inch machine finished alloy wheels, chrome trim and turn signal side mirrors. The Limited gets leather seats over the Premium’s cloth interior. The highest level trim also comes standard with the CVT equipped with X-Mode. Other standard features for the Limited include an 8-inch color display, keyless entry and, for the first time ever in a Crosstrek, a 6-way power driver’s seat.

Our Take

While the engine revision for the 2018 Crosstrek doesn’t make that much of a difference in terms of power, the vehicle’s new platform is a big deal. The all-new Crosstrek offers enhanced performance, safety, capability and comfort as a result. The new exterior and interior design also helps make the vehicle more attractive. It will arrive at Subaru retailers this summer.

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