Subaru of America (SOA) answered one question about the all-new next-generation 2024 Crosstrek subcompact SUV; now, two questions remain. SOA announced the third-generation 2024 Subaru Crosstrek would make its North America reveal at the Chicago Auto Show on February 9, 2023. The first question of when the new Crosstrek would be revealed for U.S. customers has been answered.
Crosstrek enthusiasts had waited since September last year when Subaru Corporation first announced the next-generation Japanese-specification Crosstrek. Subaru of America chose to wait and uncover the new U.S.-spec Crosstrek until this year at a major auto show. Now fans must wait two more weeks before seeing the new subcompact SUV.
Two questions remain about the 2024 Crosstrek for North Americans. Subaru Corporation said the new Japanese model would only come with 200 mm of ground clearance (7.9 inches). The current Crosstrek subcompact SUV has 8.7 inches of clearance like the Outback, Forester, Outback, and Ascent SUVs. The extra ground clearance allows the small SUV to clear rocks, sand, deep snow, and mud when traveling off the pavement.
Why did Subaru lower the ride height?
The next-generation Crosstrek will be more aerodynamic and likely get improved fuel mileage even though it's heavier than the outgoing model. But Subaru sacrificed extra ground clearance in the new Crosstrek to reach the goal.
It's good that the new Crosstrek's ride comfort, body rigidity, braking, steering, and noise reduction are all improved. Subaru's goal is to increase the new model's appeal by making the next generation more of a driver's vehicle.
In Japan, the 2024 Crosstrek will increase its appeal to those who will use the subcompact SUV for a commuter during the week and occasional soft off-road excursions on the weekend. But North American customers are different. The first question is, will the U.S. spec Crosstrek also come with only 7.9 inches of ground clearance?
The second question is, will the new U.S.-spec Crosstrek come in front-wheel-drive like the Japanese specification model? Subaru Corporation announced last year that the 2024 Crosstrek would be offered in two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive options. Subaru is trying to appeal to a broader audience of urban dwellers who use the vehicle for commuting and won't take the Crosstrek on a steep mountain trail.
The Crosstrek with front-wheel-drive only will get better fuel mileage than the all-wheel-drive trim level. It gives Japanese buyers an option according to their lifestyle.
Will Subaru offer the two-wheel-drive trim level to its U.S. customers? We would be surprised if Subaru of America brought the front-drive Crosstrek to North America. The Crosstrek is the number one selling model in SOA's lineup, and the automaker will want to maintain its appeal with outdoor enthusiasts.
Subaru of America says the new 2024 Subaru Crosstrek will come with more power than the second-generation subcompact SUV and will have enhanced safety and advanced technology. Will it have less ground clearance and a two-wheel-drive trim level in North America? Those two questions remain. Stay tuned.
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