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CR’s 10 Best SUVs, Subaru Crosstrek Is Now 2nd Best

Which are the best SUVs you can buy now? An updated Consumer Reports ranking says there are ten top models. See why the new Subaru Crosstrek is now second and which model is number one. I'll explore why Crosstrek is leading the pack.

Crosstrek is now second.

While the Subaru Crosstrek is now second, it's important to note that it's a close contender to the number one model, offering unique features and capabilities that set it apart. Keep reading, and I'll explain why. 

Which are the best mainstream (non-luxury) SUVs you can buy in 2024? An updated Consumer Reports (a highly respected and trusted source in the automotive industry, known for its rigorous testing and unbiased reviews) ranking says there are ten top models for new model shoppers to put on their list to consider. 

Consumer Reports says, "SUVs are the primary vehicle choice of new-car buyers in the U.S. for their commanding view of the road, available all-wheel drive, and mostly roomy and family-friendly interiors. Many of them, particularly hybrid versions, also get fuel economy that’s on a par with midsized sedans."

Where is the Forester?

The Subaru Forester, a top performer in a previous Consumer Reports ranking, is a close sibling to the Crosstrek. While the remodeled 2025 Forester was not evaluated in this scoring, it's worth noting that the next-generation Crosstrek has made significant strides to secure its position in the top two. 

I'll explain why the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek secures the second spot and why it's a must-consider for shoppers. But first, here are CR's ten best SUVs you can buy now. 

Consumer Reports says, "These high-scoring models do well in performance, reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction scores." 

All ten models have scored remarkably high in these areas, providing a wide range of reliable options. 

Consumer Reports' comprehensive evaluation criteria, which include road-test performance, owner satisfaction, predicted reliability, and safety, provide a deep understanding of each model's capabilities, ensuring you make an informed decision. 

I've listed CR's list of the Top 10 ranked by their overall scores, ranked from highest to lowest. 

  1. Toyota RAV4 Prime - 89
  2. Subaru Crosstrek - 87
  3. Kia Sportage Plug-In Hybrid - 87
  4. Honda CR-V - 85
  5. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid - 85
  6. Toyota Highlander Hybrid - 85
  7. Honda CR-V Hybrid - 84
  8. Kia Telluride - 84
  9. Hyundai Palisade - 83
  10. Mazda CX-90 - 82

What does CR say about the Subaru Crosstrek? 

  • Crosstrek's price range is $25,195 - $32,195
  • CR's MPG overall is 29 / City 20 / Highway 41 mpg
  • Crosstrek is ranked #1 of 11 Subcompact SUVs

CR says, "The Crosstrek got an evolutionary redesign for 2024. It's still essentially a raised Impreza hatchback with a very 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. When full power is needed, engine noise is pronounced, but the sound isn't a deal-breaker." 

"Responsive handling, user-friendly controls, and a practical interior round out the package. Paddle shifters behind the steering wheel allow convenient engine braking in mountainous environments." 

"The newly optional driver power seat with adjustable lumbar support is a major upgrade. Both BSW and RCTW are available only on higher trims."

While the Crosstrek does not yet offer a hybrid trim, one is in the pipeline and expected to be a game-changer. My report here has more details on the new model. 

Crosstrek Pricing

For 2024, the Crosstrek is available in Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Wilderness trim levels. The Base trim starts at $26,540. 

The 2024 Crosstrek Premium has a starting price of $28,085, Sport ($30,935), and Limited ($32,440). The all-new Crosstrek Wilderness costs $33,540. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,345).

Let's delve into the unique features that make the Crosstrek stand out from the rest.

Aside from Crosstrek's excellent road-test performance, owner satisfaction, predicted reliability, and safety, there's still more shoppers need to know.

  • Crosstrek has Subaru's excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system for all-weather performance.
  • Crosstrek has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, more than all other compact SUVs. 
  • Crosstrek has X-Mode for severe weather and dual function X-Mode on some trims for all-terrain capability. 
  • The rugged Wilderness trim level, with its 9.3 inches of ground clearance and numerous off-road upgrades, is a thrilling option for outdoor enthusiasts, offering more possibilities and igniting your spirit of adventure. Read my Crosstrek Wilderness model guide here.

I recommend the Crosstrek over the other models listed above if you have a more active lifestyle. If you regularly go camping, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, mountain climbing, kayaking, or surfing, Crosstrek is the best small SUV.

The Crosstrek is designed to get you out of the city and further away from civilization. 

What are your thoughts on the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek?

Will you have it on your list, or is there another model? We value your opinion, so click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News 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: Competition Subaru


Gilbert Bandry (not verified)    July 9, 2024 - 9:59AM

I bought yesterday (July 08, 2024) a 2024 Crosstrek base model. This makes (since 1996) my 20Th Subaru. As Denis explained so aptly, there is no comparison between this vehicle and any other in its class. I am embarking on a 4-week trip, so I will test it...and report!

Dot Sphlar (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 6:43PM

In reply to by Gilbert Bandry (not verified)

Well I guess you have never owned a Toyota.
My Dad had one 96' Subi oil burner and it turned out it was sold to him as new but was actually accidented, it is still running today but the dealership was obviously a stealership. My sister bought one in 2012 and had nothing but issues with it and the dealership ( a different one in a different province) was horrible too.

Dennis (not verified)    July 9, 2024 - 2:54PM

I love my 2019 Crosstrek Premium except for the uncomfortable drivers seat for my 6’2” 250 lb frame
I would like an electric lumbar seat if available to be installed or I will purchase new 2024 with upgraded seat?
I would appreciate any suggestions!

Joe Mensch (not verified)    July 10, 2024 - 7:39PM

In reply to by Dennis (not verified)

Had an 18 Limited. The ride was OK, seats got uncomfortable on longer trips over an hour. No optional seats that I know of. Had a few issues with, main one driver's side headlight swiveling headlight test feature failed, and it turned off the headlight. $1,500 to replace. Happened at only 40,000 miles, bought it new. Ended up selling after 6 years, and buying a used 16 Lexus RX. Wanted the regular automatic back and the V6. Smooth, quiet, and great seats. I don't do hard-core offroading so I didn't miss the Crosstrek, only the orange color.

Jt (not verified)    July 10, 2024 - 8:54AM

Aren’t these notorious for low horsepower, like 145 hp, and low torque?

Does the model come with a hitch option and is what is the tow weight for a small camper like teardrop?


Gulo (not verified)    July 10, 2024 - 2:32PM

The aftermarket support of the Crosstrek is better than most too. One can find a rear diff-locker, LSDs, winchmounts, skidplates, rocker armor, offroad-capable wheel/tire packages, hitches, intakes, a turbo, suspensions, etc.

Darryl (not verified)    July 10, 2024 - 10:08PM

I got the 2024 Crosstrek Wilderness. 1st Subaru and I love it. Great for towing, lots of power. Comfortable on a long road trip. And able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, or at least curbs. Lots of power to pass, even when towing. I really love that option to tow up to 3500lbs. Can pull the small camper or put the bike rack on and head off to the mountains.

Andy Duck (not verified)    July 11, 2024 - 9:02AM

We have a 2021 "outdoor" model with the 2.5l. In everyday driving we average 7.0 liters per 100k (winter jumps to 8.5) It's performed shockingly well in both winter and summer conditions. Great car!