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The Aging Subaru Crosstrek Loses To New Outback, Drops To A 2nd Place Finish

Is the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek finally cooling off? The Crosstrek loses to the hot Outback but not by much. And what's next for the subcompact SUV? Should customers wait for the 2024 Crosstrek?


The Subaru Crosstrek is due for a remodel, but that isn't stopping new car shoppers from buying the subcompact SUV. But it comes in second to the hotter remodeled Outback midsize SUV. Even with the drop to second place in November, the Crosstrek remains the leader overall.

The Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV is up 20.1 percent for the year and leads all models in the lineup year to date. Crosstrek had the third largest percentage of sales increase (+100.7 percent) last month. Crosstrek had 12,672 sales in November compared with 6,314 in November 2021. Crosstrek leads the lineup with 141,651 sales for the year.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

The Subaru Outback midsize SUV is down 6.7 percent for the year but was up 44.2 percent in November, leading all models with 15,069 vehicles delivered to customers compared with 10,454 model sales in November 2021. The Outback remains second in the lineup behind the Crosstrek, with 132,465 models sold for the year.

But Outback is gaining on the hot Crosstrek going into the year's final month, now just 9,186 model sales behind.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek

What's next for the Crosstrek?

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek models arrived in October and will be available for U.S. customers until late summer or early fall. Subaru of America has yet to announce the all-new next-generation 2024 Crosstrek. When the third-generation model arrives, it will get significant upgrades. Check out the full model change details here.

Should customers wait for the 2024 Crosstrek or buy the 2023 model?

If you don't need a new vehicle now, the 2024 Crosstrek will be worth the wait. The Crosstrek gets a complete redesign from the ground up. It will come with improved ride quality, the next-generation EyeSight safety technology, new interior upgrades with more comfortable seats, and new exterior styling changes.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

What customers should know if they wait

The 2024 Crosstrek will come with a lower ride height. The redesigned Crosstrek will now have only 7.9 inches of ground clearance. The previous generation Crosstrek had an 8.7-inch of clearance. Subaru Corporation did this to improve the ride quality and improve fuel mileage.

The Crosstrek Wilderness is coming

Subaru of America will get a new 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness trim level. Subaru still needs to release information on the Wilderness specifications, but the more rugged Wilderness will likely have increased ground clearance over the standard model. But the Crosstrek Wilderness will arrive later, and the wait will be longer, possibly into early 2024.

Subaru will drop the 6-speed manual transmission

Another significant change is Subaru will drop the manual transmission in the new Crosstrek. We expect all 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. Subaru made the change so that all Crosstrek trim levels will come standard with EyeSight safety technology.

The Japanese specification 2024 Crosstrek will be offered in front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive trim levels. We would be surprised if Subaru of America brings anything other than the Crosstrek with all-wheel-drive.

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is still the best subcompact SUV available today for customers with more active lifestyles. When the all-new 2024 Crosstrek arrives, it will be even more capable of getting away from civilization and further off the grid. Stay tuned as Subaru of America will announce the next-generation Crosstrek soon.

You Might Also Like: The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Trim U.S. Customers Don’t Want And Won’t Buy

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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Photo credit: Schumacher Subaru