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CR's Used Subaru Crosstrek 6-Box Check, And More

What's the best used small SUV under $25,000? An updated report from Consumer Reports says the Subaru Crosstrek checks many boxes. See which ones and whether it's a model you'll want to buy. I'll give you even more to consider.


If you want a small SUV that's reliable, affordable, offers modern safety features, is quiet, has a smooth ride, and is fuel efficient, keep reading. An updated report from Consumer Reports (by subscription) says the 2019-2021 Subaru Crosstrek is the best choice for used model shoppers.

The Subaru Crosstrek stands out with its unique features and surpasses the standard criteria for a small SUV.

However, the Subaru Crosstrek checks more boxes than the six listed above, which impressed Consumer Reports. Keep reading, and I will explain its other best attributes. 

But first, Consumer Reports says the Crosstrek performed well in its road tests when it was new and had consistent above-average reliability for multiple years, according to our surveys of CR members. Read my Crosstrek reliability report here.

Reliability is job one.

Reliability is the cornerstone of the Subaru Crosstrek's performance, making it a top choice for discerning buyers.

Consumer Reports emphasizes the Crosstrek's reliability, stating that it is "Most likely to fulfill your needs without breaking down and soaking you with ­repair bills." This assurance of reliability is a key factor that can make you feel secure in your purchase.

CR ranks the 2019-2021  Subaru Crosstrek as the best used Small SUV between $20,000 and $25,000. 

What does CR say about the Subaru Crosstrek? 

In addition to Crosstrek's reliability, affordability, and modern safety features, CR says, "This generation of the Crosstrek is quiet, has a smooth ride, and got 29 mpg overall in our tests. Look for a model with the optional EyeSight suite of advanced safety systems."

Crosstrek is the "Best"; here are the next tier "Good" choices. 

  • BMW X3 2018
  • Buick Envision 2019-2020
  • Cadillac XT5 2019
  • Honda CR-V 2019-2020
  • Honda HR-V 2021-2022
  • Kia Sportage 2021-2022
  • Lexus NX 2016-2017
  • Lexus UX 2019
  • Mazda CX-30 2022-2023
  • Mazda CX-5 2021-2022
  • Toyota RAV4 2020
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 2018
  • Volvo XC40 2019-2020

Do you have more in your budget?

Consumer Reports says the 2022-2023 Subaru Crosstrek is among the best used small SUVs from $25,000-$30,000.

Crosstrek offers a lot more.

So, the Subaru Crosstrek checks more boxes than the six above, which impressed Consumer Reports. What are they?

Crosstrek has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and Subaru's excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, which is a good start.

But there's still more.

Those new to Subaru may not have heard about Crosstrek's X-Mode feature. It's one of the small SUV's best features for all-weather and severe-weather driving. Check my report for complete details on how it works here.

Many Subaru Crosstrek owners will take their vehicle off-road and use it for extreme off-pavement adventures. But even if you don't, X-Mode will help you in everyday driving. It's one of the small SUV's best features for all-weather and severe-weather driving, allowing you to maintain control and stability in slippery conditions. 

This is a significant advantage over other small SUVs, and it's one of the reasons why the Crosstrek is such a popular choice. 

All-Terrain and severe weather events

Crosstrek Sport, Wilderness, and Limited come with dual-function X-Mode. Crosstrek's dual-function X-Mode has Snow/Dirt or Deep Snow/Mud settings for all-terrain and the most severe weather events. Then there's the Hill Descent Control feature for steep grades at speeds up to 12 mph.

You should check out a new 2024 Crosstrek before you buy a used model. 

I recently wrote a new 2024 Crosstrek report based on Kelly Blue Book's data. KBB says the new Crosstrek is one of the ten best new family cars under $25,000. You can read my findings here

KBB says. "Also significantly updated for 2024, the Subaru Crosstrek is the most refined it has ever been, with a quiet interior and comfortable ride. But that doesn't come at the expense of the Crosstrek's aptitude in the great outdoors." 

If you can't find a clean, low-mileage 2019-2023 model, a new Crosstrek is a compelling choice for under $30,000.  

The 2024 Crosstrek base starts at $26,540, including destination and delivery fees ($1,345). 

Are you more apt to use your small SUV to escape the city?

For 2024, the Crosstrek comes in an all-new rugged Wilderness trim level. It has more ground clearance (9.3 inches) and all-terrain features for the most active customers. The Crosstrek Wilderness will get you further off the grid. Check out my Crosstrek Wilderness report here. 

Before you go.

For active customers and outdoor enthusiasts, the Crosstrek is the best choice. It's about affordability and versatility. The other small SUVs won't take you further off the grid, but the Crosstrek will. It's designed for city commuting and off-pavement use, making it a perfect fit for the most active lifestyles. 

Even if you have a limited budget, a used Subaru Crosstrek is a viable option. It offers affordability without compromising on quality.

Why are you considering the Subaru Crosstrek? 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: Subaru USA