Three significant changes are coming to the next-generation 2024 Subaru Crosstrek that customers in the U.S. won't like. Subaru Corporation announced pricing and the trim levels on the new Japanese specification next-generation 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. As Torque News reported last week, Subaru confirmed the all-new Crosstrek subcompact SUV will now come with a front-wheel-drive (FWD) trim level.
Subaru Corporation announced two new 2024 Crosstrek trim levels for Japanese customers. The all-new Crosstrek will be offered in Touring and Limited trims. Both models will come in front-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. That's the first, but not the only significant change.
Will U.S. customers buy a front-drive Crosstrek?
Subaru is trying to appeal to a broader audience of Japanese urban dwellers who use the vehicle for commuting and won't take the Crosstrek on a steep mountain trail. The Crosstrek with FWD will get better fuel mileage than the all-wheel-drive trim level. It gives buyers an option according to their lifestyle. Like, Impreza, the FWD Crosstrek will likely only be offered in Japan.
By offering a front-wheel-drive Crosstrek in Japan, the subcompact SUV will appeal to those with active lifestyles who will use the subcompact SUV for a commuter during the week and occasional "soft-road" (unpaved roads that are not challenging) excursions on the weekend.
The front-drive Crosstrek would not sell in the U.S. market. Crosstrek's appeal in the U.S. is its "go-anywhere" attitude. North American buyers want the Crosstrek for its utility as a commuter during the week and an off-road capable small SUV on the weekends. Customers use the Crosstrek to get away from the city and off the grid.
Subaru of America has to know the FWD models would not sell in North America. Look for Subaru to stay with the all-wheel-drive configuration and not offer a front-wheel-drive trim level to its U.S. customers.
The new Crosstrek comes with less ground clearance
Another significant change for the next-generation Crosstrek is the redesigned model will now have only 7.9 inches of ground clearance. The previous generation Crosstrek had an 8.7-inch of clearance.
Subaru took away nearly one inch of ground clearance on the new model. The new Crosstrek will be more aerodynamic, and the FWD trim level will get improved fuel mileage even though it's heavier than the outgoing model.
In the new era of electric and hybrid vehicles, Subaru had to improve the fuel mileage in the new Crosstrek, which is one way to improve efficiency. But Subaru sacrificed extra ground clearance in the redesigned Crosstrek to reach the goal.
Subaru will drop the manual transmission
The third significant change is Subaru will drop the manual transmission in the new Crosstrek. The Japanese specification Touring and Limited 2024 Crosstrek trim levels will come with a Lineartronic Continually Variable automatic Transmission (CVT). Subaru will drop the fully synchronized 6-speed manual gearbox in the next-generation model.
Why did Subaru drop the 6-speed manual?
Subaru aims to have zero fatal accidents by 2030, and they want every model and trim level in the lineup to be equipped with EyeSight safety technology. EyeSight is not offered on any Subaru model with a manual gearbox because it's incompatible with the safety system.
The new 2024 Crosstrek will now come with the latest generation EyeSight driver assist technology and Driver Monitoring System called Driver Focus to offer another level of safety and help reduce the chance of accidents.
So far, Subaru has yet to be willing to invest the resources needed to make its EyeSight driver assist safety technology compatible with a manual transmission.
Subaru wants the Crosstrek to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award across the entire lineup. Currently, the Crosstrek without EyeSight doesn't get the highest scores and can't be included with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) automatic models.
What engine will be offered for U.S. customers?
A report from Planet Subaru says they expect Subaru of America to drop the smaller 2.0-liter engine (with 152 horsepower), and it will "ride off into the sunset." They say all next-generation Crosstrek trim levels will get the 2.5-liter engine now offered in the Sport and Limited trims.
The report says most Crosstrek buyers find the power from the smaller engine sufficient. Still, the larger engine satisfies those who want the extra power, including customers who tow or live in mountainous terrain.
Giving all trim levels a 2.5-liter Boxer would make sense because the current generation Crosstrek Sport and Limited trim levels come with a 2.5-liter engine. The models are a big hit with North American customers who want more power.
The 2.5-liter Crosstrek is fuel efficient
Subaru gave the 2.5-liter engine 30 more horsepower than the 2.0-liter engine without sacrificing fuel mileage. The EPA estimated fuel mileage for the 2.5-liter Crosstrek Sport is 27/34 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. The Crosstrek with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine gets an EPA-estimated 28/33 mpg and 30 combined mpg. The 2.5-liter engine receives a one mpg improvement highway over the 2.0-liter engine.
Will the U.S. specification next-generation 2024 Subaru Crosstrek be offered with a front-drive trim level? Will it still come with a 6-speed manual transmission? Subaru of America will announce the all-new Crosstrek soon, and we'll find out. Stay tuned.
Do you like the changes coming to the all-new third-generation Crosstrek? Give Subaru your feedback in the comments below.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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