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Consumer Reports Says Avoid The VW Taos, Subaru Crosstrek Is Your Best Pick

Is the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek the best subcompact SUV you can buy? Consumer Reports says it’s one of the best picks for small SUV shoppers and that you should buy it and avoid the Volkswagen Taos. Check out the report here.

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What are the best subcompact SUVs for shoppers this winter? An updated Consumer Reports (by subscription) ranking of new subcompact SUVs says you should avoid buying the 2023 Volkswagen Taos and buy the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek instead. CR now ranks the Crosstrek as the best of sixteen new subcompact SUVs.

The Crosstrek performed well in CR’s road tests, has good reliability, comes with crucial advanced safety equipment, and performs well in crash tests from the IIHS.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Vs. 2023 VW Taos

Why should you avoid the 2023 Volkswagen Taos?

Consumer Reports says, “This small SUV suffers from a big initial delay when trying to accelerate from a stop, which is followed by an abrupt burst of power as it gets going. For instance, this can make you feel vulnerable if you need to accelerate out onto a busy road. Its 26 mpg overall is decent for a small AWD SUV but trails the Subaru Crosstrek by a few miles per gallon. While the infotainment system is easy to reach and use, the other controls are not intuitive to operate, and the capacitive touch “buttons” lack feedback.”

Consumer Reports says the 2023 Kia Seltos is an “under-the-radar” alternative to the Volkswagen Taos.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek Vs. 2023 VW Taos

What does CR say about the Crosstrek?

Consumer Reports says, “The Crosstrek delivers a good 29 mpg overall from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which is mated to a continuously variable transmission. Ride comfort is impressive, and the Crosstrek has competent and enjoyable handling. The infotainment system is easy to use.”

How could the Crosstrek be better?

CR says, “The Crosstrek isn’t very quick, and when drivers mash the throttle to accelerate, the engine gets very loud. The biggest knock against the Crosstrek is that the EyeSight driver assistance system isn’t standard on all trim levels and isn’t available with the manual transmission.”

Other models CR says to avoid and what to buy instead.

CR says the 2023 Ford Escape is a popular small SUV to avoid, and the 2023 Kia Sportage Hybrid is a better choice. The “under-the-radar” alternative to the Ford Escape is the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander.

Our take on the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru offers the Crosstrek Sport and Limited trim levels with a new 2.5-liter engine upgrade with 30 additional horsepower over the standard 2.0-liter Boxer engine. EyeSight is available on automatic transmission trim levels.

All Crosstrek trim levels come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. Crosstrek has 8.7 inches of ground clearance (exceeding the competition) for off-pavement performance.

The Base and Premium Crosstrek trims come with X-Mode for all-weather and all-terrain capability. The Sport and Limited trims feature a dual-function X-Mode for severe weather and extreme all-terrain ability.

What Crosstrek trim level is the best? Check out the Crosstrek Sport.

Check out the complete 2023 Subaru Crosstrek model and trim guide here.

What is the fuel mileage of the Crosstrek?

The Crosstrek with the larger 2.5-liter Boxer engine gets an EPA estimated fuel mileage of 27/34 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine gets an EPA-estimated 28/33 mpg and 30 combined mpg.

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek?

All 2023 Subaru Crosstrek trim levels get a $600 price increase, including destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek now comes in six trim levels for U.S. customers. The base trim is priced from $24,870, Premium ($26,020), Special Edition ($27,970), Sport ($29,220), Limited ($30,720), and Crosstrek Hybrid ($38,070). Prices include destination and delivery fees.

Customers who can wait should check out the 2024 Crosstrek, which will receive a complete remodel. The next-generation Crosstrek will arrive in late 2023.

Consumer Reports says to avoid the 2023 Volkswagen Taos and buy the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek instead. Crosstrek is ranked CR’s best subcompact SUV you can buy because it performed well in CR’s road tests, has good reliability, comes with crucial advanced safety equipment, and gets the highest crash scores.

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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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