Look, we get it: You want a big body-on-frame SUV. You've got fond memories of the K5 Blazers or full-size Jeeps from your childhood, and you want to act on them.
But let's be real. If your 4x4 duties don't involve towing a trailer or low-range crawling over a rock path, you don't need that big, heavy off-roader. And that's fine, because the Subaru Crosstrek just got its first redesign since the line was launched in 2012, and it's a compelling package.
Technically, the model you see here is the Japanese-market Subaru XV, which just debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. But aside from a few tiny market tweaks, this car is very representative of what will arrive in North American Subaru dealers later this year.
Based on the automaker's new Subaru Global Platform, the all-new Crosstrek offers big improvements in rigidity, handling, ride comfort, and crash safety over the outgoing model. Subaru's new "hawk-eye" headlight design appears here, as well as the utilitarian-looking raw plastic fender flares that have become a Crosstrek hallmark.
Under the hood, a revamped version of Subaru's FB 2.0-liter direct-injected flat-four returns, making 155 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. Subaru's Lineartronic CVT with "seven speed" manual mode returns, and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is standard, now with active torque vectoring and X-Mode with multi-terrain settings and hill-descent control.
Subaru also crammed the new Crosstrek with standard safety equipment, including EyeSight, the automaker's safety suite that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and pre-collision braking. In addition, the new Crosstrek will offer automatic high-beam headlights that turn with the steering wheel, blindspot detection, and reversing assistance.
Good ground clearance, all-wheel drive, decent cargo capacity, reasonable size. You know it's the sensible choice.