2018 Subaru Crosstrek – Almost 3 years

Back in 2018 when I was mentally recovering from my Z3 wreck, I decided to lease a new Subaru Crosstrek and this May will be the end of the lease. I’ve been hemming and hawing as to what I want to do with the Crosstrek, and it will depend a lot on what happens in the next few months at work. Current thinking is that I will refinance the car into a purchase and pay it off, but it hasn’t stopped me from browsing the 2021 models as well as what the competition is presenting.

Overall, I have been super happy with the Crosstrek. It has proven itself to be extremely comfortable and fun car to drive. The ride is comfortable and on several road trips driver (me) and the passengers have all given the car good marks. I do recommend upgrading to the leather heated seats with the larger display on the awful infotainment – it was well worth it. On the road, the Subaru is a bit underpowered when accelerating on the freeways, but it isn’t that big of an issue as I don’t do a lot of racing. For neighborhood jaunts and highway cruises, I did enjoy my time driving.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek interior (photo courtesy Subaru) – notice awful infotainment in the center stack.

The Crosstrek is not without issues and the one that annoys me the most is that the infotainment system is trash. I cannot express how much I dislike the OS on this thing. I am glad I can use bluetooth to stream my music or plug in and use CarPlay so I can deal with it as little as possible. I can’t believe someone would design a system where you can’t actually turn off the radio – you can only turn the volume to zero but it leaves the display on. So I have to manually go in and turn off the display when I just want peace and quiet and no big bright display inside. Even navigating the menus to turn off the display is a mess and don’t get me started on changing the time. Even set to automatic it never updates the time and I have to keep watching a YouTube video to figure out how to do it.

Another issue is the paint used on this car. I have had cars before that have gotten keyed or scratched, but this car is ridiculous. The chips on the hood from road rocks are astonishing to see. It appears they only used one flimsy layer of paint on the hood. Also, my hood has a ton of scratches that I do not know if they will ever buff out. I am going to try and see if a detailer can make them look better, but for the price of this car I was hoping for better.

As far as a replacement for the Crosstrek, I do want to check out the Outback. It’s roomier on the inside and they tend to have better deals on them, so i do want to take it for a spin to see how it compares. Looking outside Subaru, I’ve noticed one awful trend is the infotainment pop up displays where it looks like someone glued a tablet onto the dash or center console. A lot of cars from all over have this as a new standard (Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, BMW, etc) and it doesn’t look good to me at all. I get why car companies do it, but eww. Nothing out there has really stood out as a serious consideration to replace the Subaru, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

Another consideration is an electric car. Daniel is super enthused to get one and I will admit some FOMO, but at the same time I do worry about range anxiety – but its just a matter of changing driving habits. I do wish you could charge a car fully the same amount of time it takes to fill a tank with gas – someday! GM has the Bolt EUV coming out this summer – a bit late for me, so perhaps I’ll check it out on the next car cycle. Tesla is another contender, but I’ll wait until they come down in price or I get that big promotion.

For now, I think it will be the Subaru and I for a while. If you are looking for a compact crossover, I do recommend giving the Subarus a look.