Despite an appearance that more closely resembles an SUV, the Subaru Crosstrek actually began its life (in a way) as a four-door sedan. The oldest used Subaru Crosstrek you will find only goes back to 2013 – though the Subaru Impreza line dates back to the early 1990s. The original Imprezas were four-door sedans with certain trim levels and models that had a “Sports Wagon” design with a hatchback.
Over the years, that hatchback design remained a fairly popular option, especially as SUVs began to take a larger share of the market. The first three generations of the Subaru Impreza did not feature the Crosstrek name, even when hatchback designs were available. With the fourth generation of the Impreza, first introduced in 2011, the Crosstrek began to take shape. It would be a couple more years before it reached the US, however, where it was first introduced in 2013.
The earliest used Subaru Crosstrek models you find will be referred to as a “Subaru XV Crosstrek.” This name was used from 2013, when it was introduced, through 2015. The introduction of the 2016 model, however, dropped the “XV” and simplified the name to the much cleaner “Subaru Crosstrek.” As with other types of vehicles, the further back you go in used models, you will typically find fewer modern options available, but just know that the “XV” in the name purely relates to the year of release and not a particular trim level.
Choosing the inaugural year for any vehicle can be a tricky prospect since new models have not always had time to have all the bugs worked out in them. Fortunately, however, a used 2013 Subaru Crosstrek is still a great investment that can run just as beautifully today as it did a few years ago when it was brand new. This first year of Crosstreks, more than perhaps any other really shows the legacy of the Subaru Impreza in its design – as it feels a lot like a sporty hatchback that has been lifted a bit higher from the ground.
Early drivers and reviewers, however, were quickly impressed with the handling and maneuverability of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. If you want a used Subaru Crosstrek that really shows how well an SUV-type vehicle can handle, then a 2013 model is a great choice. Standard all-wheel drive makes 2013 used Subaru Crosstreks a particularly good option if you like to go off-road with your vehicle since the greater clearance and excellent approach and departure angles make this the ideal hatchback for hitting a trail.
Since this model is going to be more than half a dozen years old, you might find it lacking some niceties that you are looking for. Depending on the trim level you find, features can include keyless entry, automatic climate control, cruise control, and leather upholstery with leather details on the steering wheel and shift knob. Some models also included a 4-inch display with a rearview camera, which was not yet standard in 2013.
The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek
2014 was the second year the XV Crosstrek was available, so you will find a lot of used Subaru Crosstreks from this model year. Since it had only been around for one year prior, you should not expect any huge overhauls to the design or features available in 2014 models. With that in mind, however, there were still some impressive additions that became available in 2014, so you might want to keep an eye out for certain versions from this year.
Perhaps the most important change from 2013 to 2014 was the addition of a new drivetrain option for these used Subaru Crosstreks. That would be noteworthy by itself, but even more importantly is the fact that it was a hybrid engine available on it. Standard models in 2014 came with a 2.0L engine that offered up to 148 hp. The available hybrid powertrain included an electric motor with the engine to assist with acceleration and help boost fuel economy at low speeds.
Standard features for the 2014 XV Crosstrek included a roof rack, keyless entry, and power accessories. Certain trim levels could include features such as automatic climate control, HD radio, and a rearview camera with a 4-inch display, and voice control with text-messaging functionality. Overall, if you are not interested in looking for a hybrid engine, then either a 2013 or 2014 used Subaru Crosstrek will function about the same for you.
The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek
Once again, there was no major overhaul for 2015 models, but some significant improvements and added features can make a used Subaru Crosstrek from 2015 a very attractive prospect. In general, the performance and handling of the 2015 XV Crosstrek is much like the 2013 and 2014 models. The hybrid engine from 2014 remained available in 2015 – in fact, its popularity from the previous year resulted in higher production, so if you are looking for a hybrid model then you might be able to find one more easily in a 2015 rather than 2014.
The biggest improvements for 2015 models can be found inside a used Subaru Crosstrek, with numerous upgrades throughout the interior. A 6-inch touchscreen became the new standard for the Crosstrek in 2015, with an available 7-inch screen found at higher trim levels. Also worth noting is that Subaru offered enhanced safety features on some Crosstreks, including lane departure and collision warnings for the driver. In other words, if you want a hybrid Crosstrek with great safety features, then the 2015 model is a good place to start.
The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek
A used Subaru Crosstrek from 2016 has many things going for, including the fact that Subaru finally dropped the XV, so look for these to be labeled as “Crosstrek” at a dealership. The outside of the Crosstrek received a bit of a facelift in 2016, though not a full overhaul. The grille, fascia, and front bumper and headlights were redesigned for 2016 to give it a more impressive overall look and feel.
New features were introduced inside the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, particularly at middle and higher trim levels. These include things like heated front seats, heated side mirrors, and a windshield de-icer for greater convenience. Safety features are much improved in 2016 models, as the safety package for Subaru gets better every year. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert became standard at certain trim levels for the 2016 Crosstrek, while lane change assist was included in the safety features for all but the lowest trim level.
The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
To be honest, very little was added to the Crosstrek overall in 2017, though one thing in particular was taken away. If you choose a 2017 used Subaru Crosstrek you will only find it with the standard 2.0L engine available in all of these vehicles since 2013. That is because Subaru removed the hybrid engine as an option in 2017, so if you want a hybrid model, then you will need to choose one from 2014 to 2016.
One particular improvement for 2017 models is in the safety package that was available on them. From year to year, Subaru has offered more and better safety options on the Crosstrek, and 2017 was no exception. Rearview cameras were standard on all 2017 models, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert return, along with available adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and a lane-departure warning system. All-in-all, a 2017 used Subaru Crosstrek is one of the safest models available.
In 2018, the Subaru Crosstrek received a full overhaul on the outside with new tires and a sleek modern design, though it still feels like the Crosstrek many people have come to love. The engine in 2018 models is ever-so-slightly more powerful, but you really will not notice much difference in how it performs. It still comes with all-wheel drive standard and has the same transmissions available as previous years. The interior received an overhaul too, making it more comfortable and luxurious overall, especially at higher trim levels.
Safety features are generally the same from 2017, though that is not a bad thing since 2017 had great available options. The 6-inch Infotainment screen in a 2018 used Subaru Crosstrek includes support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth streaming from a compatible device, and there is a standard 3-inch driver information display. Certain trim levels included a larger Infotainment screen and a moonroof, along with an available Harmon Kardon premium sound system and an improved driver information display.