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Next-Gen Subaru Crosstrek Gets A New Feature Outback Wilderness Doesn’t Even Have

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek will get a new off-road upgrade that the Outback Wilderness doesn't have. Check out what's coming on the next-generation Crosstrek that will make the small SUV a better adventure vehicle for outdoor enthusiasts.


Subaru Corporation says the all-new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek will come with more off-road features than the 2023 Subaru Outback Wilderness. Subaru revealed that the next-generation Crosstrek would get the newly-updated X-Mode and will now feature a new upgrade that will give it more off-pavement capabilities than the Outback and Forester Wilderness trim levels.

Until now, the X-Mode feature has become an essential function of Subaru's Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and Ascent SUVs, but Subaru says it has evolved further, and the new X-Mode will be first introduced in the new Crosstrek.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru says in addition to forward control, the next-generation Crosstrek's X-Mode's motor assist management system also works when reversing. As a result, turning on the X-Mode improves controllability and escaping when the driver needs to back up when the vehicle is stuck on rough roads such as snow or muddy trails. Subaru says, "you can go out to play in various places with more peace of mind!"

Subaru says about 33 percent of Crosstrek owners will take their small SUV off-road. Now adventurous customers who get the new 2024 Crosstrek will be able to get further off the grid without getting stuck.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

X-Mode isn't just for off-pavement adventures. Here's how the current X-Mode works.

Only some people who own a Subaru vehicle use their vehicle to go off-road or use it for extreme off-pavement adventures. With the X-Mode system activated, the vehicle can better capitalize on the traction available and provides sure-footed-ness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's symmetrical full-time all-wheel-drive. Here is a brief explanation of how Crosstrek's current X-Mode system works and how to get the most from it in everyday use.

Crosstrek X-Mode

Keep safety in mind when thinking of Subaru X-Mode, especially when doing winter sports activities. The system controls the engine, transmission, all-wheel-drive torque split, and braking system when road conditions are challenging, and there is a need to capitalize on the grip. It uses the CVT transmission to better direct power to the wheels that need the most traction. This is useful in everyday driving where there is snow, ice, mud, or wet conditions on the road.

X-Mode also increases hill driving capability. The Hill Descent Control maintains a constant speed when traveling down steep declines. This can be useful when you are on a steep icy road or coming to a stop sign. The system reads the road conditions for you and automatically applies the needed traction to each wheel independently. X-Mode allows the driver to focus exclusively on steering, keep their foot off the brake, and concentrate on negotiating curves in the road.

The Crosstrek's new X-Mode can be used to negotiate steep slopes when backing up.

The new-generation Crosstrek's upgraded X-Mode can be used when backing out of a steep, icy driveway covered with snow. Because of the all-wheel-drive torque split, the uphill wheel will slip without X-Mode being engaged. As soon as you engage the system, it will direct power to the wheels that need the most traction, and you can quickly back the small SUV out of the slippery spot.

What if you won't take the Crosstrek off-pavement?

Many Subaru owners won't take their vehicle off-road or use it for extreme off-pavement adventures. X-Mode will help you in everyday driving to capitalize on the traction available and provide sure-footed-ness over and above what is afforded by Subaru's symmetrical full-time all-wheel-drive.

The 2023 Crosstrek's standard X-Mode is sufficient for most customers. There's also a dual-function X-Mode feature on Subaru's Wilderness trims and Crosstrek Sport and Limited trim levels that you won't find on other family SUVs.

How does Dual-function X-Mode work?

Dual-Function X-Mode changes the SUV's brakes by locking up one wheel if it senses it spinning. The system knows it needs extra grip instead of letting the wheel spin. Lastly, the Crosstrek comes with Hill Descent Control. It ensures the SUV's speed doesn't increase when descending a hill, managing the braking to provide a controlled, smooth and safe descent.

2024 Subaru Crosstrek

Is X-Mode easy to engage?

Dual-Function X-Mode is controlled by a knob on the vehicle's console, allowing you to switch from Snow and Dirt mode to the new Deep Snow and Deep Mud Mode. This mode lets the SUV maintain momentum when you get off the beaten path and in more extreme deep snow and mud situations.

For extra grip when backing up, the next-generation Crosstrek will now come with the newly-updated X-Mode reverse feature that will give it more rugged chops than the Outback and Forester Wilderness trim levels. Stay tuned for the U.S.-specification 2024 Crosstrek reveal from Subaru of America.

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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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Photo credit: Subaru


Sharon D'Amico (not verified)    February 4, 2023 - 7:10AM

Is the 2024 Crosstrek wilderness going to have a automatic liftgate. I am short and it's difficult without that feature.