11 Best & Worst Subaru Crosstrek Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Subaru Crosstrek is a subcompact crossover that was first introduced for the 2013 model year.

It’s well known for its affordability, ruggedness and carlike driving experience whilst offering a generous ground clearance.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at the Crosstrek’s best years and the years that you should steer clear of…

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Subaru Crosstrek Are:

The best Subaru Crosstrek model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2015, and 2014. The worst model years of the Crosstrek are 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Subaru Crosstrek?

Subaru has produced a lot of great Crosstreks over the years, detailed below are the top picks.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek

If you’re looking for the latest tech and most up-to-date safety features then the 2023 Crosstrek is a top pick.

2023 is the last model of the generation and we’d say it’s a safer choice than the upcoming 2024 model, simply because the first model of a new generation tends to be more problematic.

The 2023 Crosstrek introduces a Special Edition variant that is a beefed-up version of the Premium trim.

This model is also offered in a unique Desert Khaki paint job, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a dark gray exterior trim.

  • Edmunds: NA
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Kelley Blue Book review:

“First off if your looking for a drag car look elsewhere. That being said it’s priced extremely well for an AWD/off road capable/over-land excelling vehicle. Great comfort and style although seating lacks lower lumbar support so if you’re needing that you may want to look elsewhere…”

2022 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2022 Crosstrek had no reported upgrades or improvements compared to its 2021 model year counterpart although it has received marginally higher reviews.

The 2022 model stays true to the adventurous image and comes standard with all-wheel-drive.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain is a compelling choice also for those looking for enhanced fuel efficiency.

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 83 / 100

2022 Subaru Crosstrek, Edmunds review:

“I love the comfort, the ground clearance, all the safety features, the style and the maneuverability!”

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2021 Crosstrek was introduced with a little style refresh that involves a bolder grille and updated front bumper designs but still portrays a very outdoorsy image.

In addition to these minor changes, the vehicle line-up also includes a Sport edition that comes with a more powerful 2.5-liter engine. 

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 82 / 100

2021 Subaru Crosstrek, Kelley Blue Book review:

“This is a wonderful vehicle. It’s easy to drive and holds the road well. It’s great for a family with a lot of room for packages in the back. I wish the back had an automatic opener. I am short and it’s hard to reach.”

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek arrived with several great safety and entertainment features such as:

  • The auto stop-start system (for the CVT models)
  • Automatic climate control
  • Subaru’s patented Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE)
  • A collision-detection automatic door-unlock system

The 2020 Crosstrek is a top choice for those who want a reliable, newer model with great features but are on a tighter budget.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2020 Subaru Crosstrek, Kelley Blue Book review:

“This is my second Subaru. Previously I had an Outback. I got the Crosstrek because I wanted to downsize and get better gas mileage. And the Crosstrek does not disappoint. I usually get 27 to 30 mpg on regular gas, but if I just drive on the Interstate, I can get in the low to mid 30s…”

2015 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2015 Crosstrek sported similar features to that of the 2015 Impreza and offers a similar car-like driving experience albeit with an impressive 8.7-inch ground clearance.

An upgraded infotainment system called Starlink was integrated into all models to make the system more intuitive and user-friendly. 

2015 is a slightly older model although it has made our list due to the low number of reported problems.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2015 Subaru Crosstrek, Edmunds review:

“The car ride is smooth and it has a ‘pep’ to it. All of the buttons I need to use are available. The dash isn’t too busy or complicated. I wanted a car that was simple, yet gave me enough convenience. The sound system is good once I figured out how to make adjust the bass/treble/etc. It is very roomy…”

2014 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2014 Subaru Crosstrek may be the oldest on our best list but is considered one of the most reliable considering the low number of complaints it received.

The 2015 model is likely the better choice of the two based on owner reviews.

A unique aspect of this model year was the addition of a hybrid model, sporting a 2.0-liter engine. 

  • Edmunds: 3.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2014 Subaru Crosstrek, Edmunds review:

“I love my 2014 Plasma Green Crosstrek Hybrid. My one-word description: Awesome! The hybrid system works significantly better than any hybrid I test drove. It is used for power/torque augmentation more than fully powering the car most of the time. I think Subaru under-reported their MPG figures on purpose. The car is not even broken in, and I’m getting almost 38 MPG highway…”

Consumer Scores For Best Subaru Crosstrek Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Subaru Crosstrek model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Subaru CrosstrekNA4.3 / 5.083 / 100
2022 Subaru Crosstrek4.8 / 5.04.3 / 5.083 / 100
2021 Subaru Crosstrek4.4 / 5.04.3 / 5.082 / 100
2020 Subaru Crosstrek4.2 / 5.04.3 / 5.080 / 100
2015 Subaru Crosstrek4.3 / 5.04.3 / 5.080 / 100
2014 Subaru Crosstrek3.4 / 5.04.3 / 5.080 / 100

Related: How Long Do Subaru Crosstrek Last? (Solved & Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Subaru Crosstrek?

Like most vehicles, the Subaru Crosstrek has been on the receiving end of some complaints over the years.

The models listed below are the ones to be cautious of…

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek had hundreds of complaints, primarily due to how fragile the windshields were.

Multiple reports indicated that the windshield easily chipped and cracked, leading to several owners requiring one (or two) windshield replacements.

Although this problem has been reported on 2020 and 2021 model years it was far more widespread on the 2019 model.

The 2019 Crosstrek had a total of 26 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 267 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Cracked windshield
  • Radio loses presets
  • Starlink failure

Note: Subaru recalled a whopping 466,000 Crosstreks from 2018 and 2019 because the engines can stall or a rear suspension part can easily fall off.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Much like the entry above, the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek had several issues stemming from the fragility of the windshields.

Reports have indicated that, even without any cause, the windshield suddenly started cracking in random spots.

The 2018 model has received the most complaints on the CarProblemZoo website, second only to the 2019 model.

Here’s one owners account:

“A very, very small pebble hit the windshield while driving and caused a ~9-inch fracture in the windshield. I see that Subaru has had a class action lawsuit for defective windshields, but for some reason did not include the 2018 Crosstrek — but I can assure you, it’s the same glass on these vehicles and the smallest pebble caused a nearly foot long crack.”

The 2018 Crosstrek had a total of 44 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 188 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Cracked windshield
  • Radio doesn’t work
  • Rear end slides easily

2017 Subaru Crosstrek

Aside from the cracked windshield issues that the successors of this model year had, another prominent issue was the key getting stuck in the ignition.

Multiple reports indicate that the key refused to budge after having turned off the engine, despite several attempts. 

Apparently, this is a common issue on other Subaru models after a certain mileage.

The 2017 Crosstrek had a total of 12 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 114 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Windshield chips easily
  • Key stuck in ignition
  • Paint flaking off
  • Unintended acceleration
  • Rear wheel hub bearings fail

2016 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek encountered various mechanical and electronic failures, according to several reports.

One owner specifically stated that while driving, and without any warning, the vehicle lights began to dim, power steering failed, and brakes were malfunctioning.

Not only was this very hazardous it also required significant repairs.

The 2016 Crosstrek had a total of 27 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 119 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Pulls to one side
  • Cracked windshield
  • Seats uncomfortable

2013 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2013 Subaru Crosstrek had a lot of engine stalling issues that led to some owners being involved in a collision.

This was caused by a valve spring problem that led to the recall of 411,000 vehicles including Crosstreks made between 2012 and 2013.

Some owners reported that after the recall was fixed they experienced even more engine problems than before.

The 2013 Crosstrek had a total of 52 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 117 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Engine stalling
  • Dangerous steering in slush, snow, and ice
  • Excessive oil use

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Subaru Crosstrek model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the Crosstrek below

Model YearComplaints
2022 Subaru Crosstrek26
2021 Subaru Crosstrek758
2020 Subaru Crosstrek148
2019 Subaru Crosstrek26267
2018 Subaru Crosstrek44188
2017 Subaru Crosstrek12114
2016 Subaru Crosstrek27119
2015 Subaru Crosstrek1289
2014 Subaru Crosstrek2787
2013 Subaru Crosstrek52117
2012 Subaru CrosstrekNA3

What Problems Do Subaru Crosstreks Have?

  • Cracked windshield
  • Radio doesn’t work
  • Mediocre acceleration
  • Rear end slides easily
  • Cramped cargo area

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Subaru Crosstrek?

The Subaru Crosstrek is considered one of the best subcompact SUVs in the market. T

The Crosstrek secured the 6th spot (tied with the Buick Encore GX, Hyundai Venue, and Mini Cooper Countryman), with a great score of 7.8 out of 10. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Hyundai Kona8.5$21,300 – $34,200City: 20 – 30 /Highway: 27 – 35
Kia Soul8.5$19,790 – $24,090 City: 28 – 29 /Highway: 33 – 34
Mazda CX-308.5$22,200 – $34,400City: 22 – 24 /Highway: 30 – 31
Kia Seltos8.2$22,840 – $28,340City: 25 – 29 /Highway: 30 – 35
Honda HR-V7.9$23,650 – $28,950City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 32
Buick Encore GX7.8$24,400 – $30,600City: 26 – 29 /Highway: 29 – 32
Hyundai Venue7.8$19,000 – $22,250City: 29 /Highway: 33
Mini Cooper Countryman7.8$29,100 – $41,500City: 23 – 26 / Highway: 30 – 33
Subaru Crosstrek7.8$23,645 – $29,495City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 29 – 34
Chevrolet Trailblazer7.7$21,800 – 27,400City: 26 – 29 /Highway: 30 – 33
Jeep Renegade7.5$24,195 – $30,595City: 22 – 24 /Highway: 27 – 32
Buick Encore7.4$24,600 – $25,220City: 23 – 24 /Highway: 30 – 32
Chevrolet Trax6.9 $21,400 – $23,820City: 23 – 24 /Highway: 30 – 32
Toyota CH-R6.7$24,820 – $27,300City: 27 /Highway: 31
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport6.6$21,445 – $28,045City: NA /Highway: NA
Fiat 500XNA$27,300 – $29,290City: 24 /Highway: 30
Ford EcoSportNA$22,040 – $28,395 City: 23 /Highway: 29
Nissan KicksNA$19,990 – $22,550City: 31 /Highway: 36
Nissan Rogue SportNA$24,460 – $30,590City: 24 – 25 /Highway: 30 – 32
Toyota Corolla CrossNA$22,195 – $27,625City: 29 – 31 /Highway: 32 – 33
Volkswagen TaosNA$23,495 – $33,645City: NA /Highway: NA

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: Subaru Crosstrek In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...