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CR Says Toyota And Honda Fall Short Of The New Subaru Crosstrek

Which is the best small SUV you can buy now? According to an updated ranking by Consumer Reports, it's the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. Check out the seven top models and why the Crosstrek stands tall over all of them.

With affordability getting harder to find in new SUVs, especially under $30,000, which is the best small SUV you can buy now? Consumer Reports (by subscription) recommends eight small SUVs, but only one gets the top pick. The best affordable SUV under $30,000 is the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, says CR.

I cover all of Subaru's all-wheel-drive models, and the Crosstrek is Subaru of America's second-best-selling model for several reasons, which I will point out.

First, what does Consumer Reports say? 

CR says, "To assist bargain hunters, we've assembled a list of the best new SUVs under $30,000 based on their Overall Score, factoring in road-test performance, owner satisfaction, predicted reliability, and safety." 

The Crosstrek is the top performer in all categories and still costs less than the average new car, which was  $47,218 in March 2024, according to Kelley Blue Book transaction price data.

What makes the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek so great? 

  • Price Range:  $25,195 - $32,195
  • CR's MPG:  Overall 29 / City 20 / Hwy 41 mpg (better than EPA estimates)
  • Consumer Reports says it's the #1 of 13  Subcompact SUVs

Here is the 2024 Crosstrek pricing

In 2024, the Crosstrek is available in Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trim levels, with the Base trim level starting at $26,290.

The 2024 Crosstrek Premium has a starting price of $27,440, Sport ($30,290), and Limited ($32,190). Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).

The all-new Crosstrek Wilderness costs $33,290, including dealer destination and delivery fees ($1,295).

What Does CR Say About The Top Scoring Crosstrek?

"The Crosstrek got an evolutionary redesign for 2024. It's still a raised Impreza hatchback with a comfortable ride and standard all-wheel drive. Acceleration from the standard 2.0-liter engine is leisurely, and we got 29 mpg overall in our tests. The optional 2.5-liter has more power and better acceleration." 

NOTE: I'm afraid I have to disagree with CR. The Crosstrek is much more than a "raised Impreza." I would say it's sloppy reporting by Consumer Reports. I've listed Crosstrek's top characteristics below. 

CR says, "Engine noise is pronounced when full power is needed, but the sound isn't a deal breaker. Responsive handling, user-friendly controls, and a practical interior round out the package. Paddle shifters by the steering wheel allow convenient engine braking in mountainous environments." 

"The newly optional driver power seat with adjustable lumbar support is a major upgrade. The EyeSight driver assistance system is now standard. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, although blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings are available only on higher trims."

Here are the other top small SUVs that the Subaru Crosstrek stands above

  1. Subaru Crosstrek is ranked #1 by Consumer Reports with a score of 87
  2. Hyundai Tucson - 82 points
  3. Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid - 79 points
  4. Honda HR-V - 74 points
  5. Nissan Rogue - 70 points
  6. Toyota Corolla Cross - 69 points
  7. Kia Seltos - 68 points
  8. Mazda CX-30 - 67 points

There's More To The Crosstrek Than Meets The Eye

I've written extensively about the next-generation 2024 Crosstrek and why it is superior to all other small SUVs. Here's a quick summary.

I think these six things are essential for subcompact SUV shoppers to know:

1. All Crosstrek trims come with X-Mode. The feature optimizes engine output and transmission ratio, increases all-wheel drive system engagement, and uses enhanced control of the VDC system to reduce individual wheel spin, providing optimal traction on low-friction surfaces. This feature is not offered on the Subaru Impreza. 

2. The Crosstrek Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trim levels add dual-function X-Mode. They also have a Deep Snow/Mud setting for severe weather and extreme all-terrain performance, which is not offered on the Impreza.

3. The 2024 Crosstrek gets improved seats. I have sat and ridden in the new Crosstrek. The seats are vastly improved over the previous generation model, especially if you're taking a long road trip. Please read my full report here.

4. Crosstrek has a 10% stiffer chassis for improved dynamic performance and ride quality. A complete inner frame construction with more robust welding techniques and additional structural adhesive (26.2 feet to 88.5 feet) contributes to better body rigidity and less weight. Subaru says these improvements will deliver improved dynamic performance, a smoother ride, and a quieter cabin.

5. Subaru's EyeSight driver assist safety technology is now standard across all trim levels. As a result, all Crosstrek trim levels will now get the highest IIHS test scores. I would say the adaptive cruise control is one of the best features for heavy traffic and long road trips. It reduces driver fatigue. 

6. North American customers will get three Crosstrek trim levels sooner because they are now made in the U.S. factory. Crosstrek Sport, Limited, and Wilderness are now manufactured at Subaru of Indiana Automotive, and it takes less time to ship to retailers. The Base and Premium trims are still made in Japan.

Wait, There's More Coming

I recently reported that Subaru Corporation CEO Atsushi Osaki said this week that a new Crosstrek Hybrid trim will be available for customers

Osaki let the new Crosstrek Hybrid information slip in the recent fiscal year-end financial report meeting with reporters. "As a bridge to that new EV lineup, Subaru will deploy its next-generation hybrid system to the Crosstrek crossover in addition to the popular Forester," he said. 

Localized U.S. production of the next-generation hybrid system will start around 2026," the report said. From what I've heard, Subaru will launch the new Crosstrek Hybrid when it gets a refresh in the 2026 model year. I suspect Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) will also manufacture the Crosstrek Hybrid along with the Forester Hybrid.

This is the latest information on the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek. Crosstrek outscores all the top small SUVs under $30,000, including Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Mazda. 

Are you checking out the new Crosstrek or recently purchased one? Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know what you think.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru


Gulo (not verified)    May 19, 2024 - 5:52AM

The Crosstrek can also tow up to 3500lb (Wilderness), and comes with roof-rails.

Aftermarket support for the Crosstrek is better than competitors' support too. One can find winchmounts, skidplates, and even a rear differential-locker for Crosstreks.