Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid – Are you considering buying a Subaru Crosstrek, but want to ensure you make an informed decision? It’s important to be aware of any potential issues or concerns before making a significant investment in a vehicle. In this guide, we’ll provide valuable insights into the Subaru Crosstrek and highlight the years you may want to avoid.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned Subaru enthusiast, understanding the worst years of the Crosstrek can help you make a wise choice.

Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid

The Subaru Crosstrek has gained popularity for its ruggedness, versatility, and reliability.

However, like any vehicle model, there have been certain years that have experienced more problems than others.

By identifying these troublesome years, you can be better equipped to make a decision that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid

While Subaru has taken steps to address these concerns, it is advisable to exercise caution when considering a Crosstrek from this production year.

It’s important to note that these troubled years are not indicative of the overall reliability of the Subaru Crosstrek. Subaru has a reputation for producing durable and long-lasting vehicles.

However, it is always wise to be aware of any known issues that may exist for certain model years.

We will examine the Subaru Crosstrek years to avoid and shed light on the worst model years, such as the 2016 and 2018 versions.

Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid

By understanding these potential drawbacks, you can make a more confident decision and ensure a smooth driving experience with your chosen Crosstrek.

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek – A Few Cabin Quality Concerns

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, while not a “clunker” by any means, had a few cabin quality issues that might be worth considering.

Early model years of any car, including the Crosstrek, often present minor problems that manufacturers address in later versions.

For the 2016 model, some drivers reported faults in the infotainment touchscreen, uncomfortable seats, and speaker-related issues. While these complaints may not be deal-breakers for everyone, they are worth noting.

A couple of other issues worth keeping an eye out for in the 2016 Crosstrek are a non-functional 9-volt power adapter, which may indicate electrical system problems, and a backseat door that cannot be unlocked.

Additionally, there were some complaints about steering pulling to the left, which, while relatively uncommon, can be a safety concern, especially at higher speeds.

Despite these relatively minor problems, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is a generally reliable vehicle for most drivers.

Read Also: Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek – Safety Hazard Concerns

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek received more complaints compared to other model years in the short time since its introduction. While most owners have been satisfied with their cars, there are a few issues to consider.

Some minor complaints included radio malfunctions and paint chipping, which may not significantly impact the overall driving experience.

However, one serious concern with the 2018 model is multiple complaints about the rear wheels kicking out, leading to the car fishtailing. While still relatively uncommon, this is a severe safety hazard that has raised concerns among drivers.

Due to the potential risks associated with this issue, it might be best to avoid the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek if possible.

The 2013 Subaru Crosstrek – A Troubled Year

According to customer reviews and industry assessments, the 2013 Subaru Crosstrek was listed among the “Worst Used Cars.”

This model year faced various problems, including engine issues, stalling caused by faulty valves, major steering problems, transmission failures, excessive oil consumption, wheel bearing failures, inefficient management, and excessive tire wear.

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The 2014 Subaru Crosstrek – Fewer Faults but Still Cautionary

While the 2014 Subaru Crosstrek has fewer reported faults compared to the 2013 model, it’s still worth mentioning for potential buyers looking for the best Subaru model.

Some issues reported in the 2014 Crosstrek include problems with the transmission or engine, wheel or wheel hub issues, trouble when shifting gears, and sudden acceleration problems.

Additionally, some owners expressed concern over the high cost of repairs associated with these issues.

Though the Subaru Crosstrek is generally regarded as a reliable and well-liked vehicle, certain model years have faced specific issues that buyers should be aware of.

Subaru Crosstrek Best Year

If you’re considering a Subaru Crosstrek, it’s important to know which model years have stood out as the most reliable and feature-packed options.

Subaru Crosstrek Best Year

In this section, we will explore the best years of the Subaru Crosstrek, highlighting its notable features and strong reliability ratings.

By understanding the strengths of these particular model years, you can make an informed decision and enjoy a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

2015 to 2017 Subaru Crosstrek – Features and Reliability

The 2015 to 2017 Subaru Crosstrek models offer a range of appealing features and solid reliability. The 2014 model even introduced an efficient and powerful hybrid version.

Subaru Crosstrek Best Year

The 2015 model saw improvements with Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system, which has become more user-friendly over time.

The 2016 model received updates such as redesigned headlights, lane-change assist, chrome elements, and a new grille.

Read Also: Subaru Impreza Years to Avoid

These model years have a reliability rating of 84 out of 100, indicating their strong performance. Additionally, 51% of owners gave the 2016 Crosstrek a 5-star rating, highlighting its overall satisfaction among drivers.

The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek offers similar features with good reliability, fuel efficiency, and a comfortable suspension system.

2018 to 2020 Subaru Crosstrek – Excellence and Safety

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek has gained praise from automotive critics for its excellent features, including reliability and higher resale value. The 2020 model is another standout in the Subaru lineup.

It offers features such as auto start or stop, Subaru’s intelligent-drive technology, traction control, and safety settings, all while providing excellent fuel economy.

Subaru Crosstrek Best Year

The 2020 Crosstrek also comes with a blind spot detection system, adaptive cruise control, all-wheel drive, and lane departure warning.

It was recognized as a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, passing various crash safety tests with flying colors.

The 2020 Crosstrek is also cost-friendly, making it an attractive option in the market.

With features like a well-tuned suspension setup and automatic climate control, the 2020 Crosstrek is a reliable and comfortable choice, earning a rating of 81% out of 100.

Read Also: Why Are Subarus So Expensive?

2021 to 2023 Subaru Crosstrek – Fuel Efficiency and Modern Features

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek has been dominating the automotive market, offering impressive fuel efficiency of 33 mpg. With engine options including a base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, a hybrid variant, and a 2.5-liter engine, the 2021 Crosstrek provides a range of power outputs.

Additionally, the 2021 model offers five trim levels, allowing for customization options to suit individual preferences.

The 2022 model continues the trend of excellence with its powerful 182 horsepower engine and an upgraded infotainment system that enables hands-free calls and audio streaming.

The introduction of the Harmon Kardon sound system in the 2022 Crosstrek enhances the overall audio experience.

Furthermore, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek boasts an outstanding reliability rating of 81 out of 100. The 2023 model introduces an Edition variant with premium trim and features a redesigned exterior with a fresh front look and LED headlights.

Throughout the years, the Subaru Crosstrek has proven to be a reliable and feature-rich compact SUV.

By choosing any of these recommended model years, you can enjoy the confidence of owning a Subaru Crosstrek that combines reliability, performance, and innovative features.

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Subaru Crosstrek Problems

The Subaru Crosstrek is a popular choice among compact SUV enthusiasts, offering reliability and versatility. However, like any vehicle, it is important to be aware of potential issues that may arise.

In this, we will explore some common problems reported by Subaru Crosstrek owners.

Subaru Crosstrek Problems

By understanding these issues, you can make an informed decision and be prepared for any potential challenges that may arise.

1. Head Gasket Issue – A Significant Concern

One of the most notable problems reported with the Subaru Crosstrek, as well as other Subaru models, is the head gasket issue. This issue appears to be more prevalent in models equipped with a 2.5-liter engine.

The head gasket is susceptible to failure, leading to symptoms such as engine failure or overheating.

While not all Crosstreks are affected by this issue, it is a concern that potential buyers should be aware of and investigate further before making a purchase decision.

Read Also: Subaru Forester Years to Avoid

2. Excessive Oil Consumption – Keep an Eye on Oil Levels

Owners of Subaru Crosstrek models from 2012 to 2015 have reported problems with excessive oil consumption. This means that owners need to regularly monitor and top up their oil levels.

Persistent low oil levels can potentially lead to engine damage if not addressed promptly.

It is advisable for potential buyers to inquire about the maintenance history and oil consumption patterns of a used Subaru Crosstrek before making a purchase.

3. Rust and Corrosion – A Challenge in Colder Climates

The issue of premature rust and corrosion has been a common complaint among Subaru owners, including those of the Crosstrek model.

This issue is particularly noticeable in regions with colder climates where road salt is used to combat icy conditions.

Exposure to road salt over time can lead to accelerated rust and corrosion on various parts of the vehicle, affecting its appearance and structural integrity.

Regular maintenance, including thorough cleaning and the application of rust protection, can help mitigate this issue.

Read Also: Subaru Legacy Years to Avoid

4. Defective Brake Light Switch – Safety Concerns

A notable safety concern reported with the Subaru Crosstrek is a defective brake light switch. This issue can prevent the brake lights from illuminating when the driver presses the pedal, potentially leading to accidents due to the lack of visibility to other drivers.

Subaru recognized the severity of this problem and issued a recall affecting approximately 2.3 million vehicles to rectify the defective brake light switch.

It is crucial for potential buyers to check if the specific Crosstrek they are considering has had this recall addressed.

While the Subaru Crosstrek is generally regarded as a reliable vehicle, it is important to be aware of common issues reported by owners.

Do Crosstreks hold their value?

Yes, Crosstreks are known for their strong resale value. In fact, they consistently rank among the top vehicles with the best resale value. This is one of the reasons why the Crosstrek is Subaru of America’s best-selling all-wheel-drive vehicle.

According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), the 2023 Crosstrek model guide provides valuable information on this aspect.

Checking KBB’s analysis and insights can provide more specific details on Crosstrek’s hold on its value.

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Why are used Crosstreks so expensive?

Used Crosstreks tend to maintain their value and command higher prices for a few reasons. Unlike many other automakers, Subaru sells the majority of its vehicles directly to private owners, rather than to fleet or bulk buyers.

This scarcity in the used car market contributes to the higher demand and subsequently higher prices for used Crosstreks.

Additionally, the Crosstrek’s reputation for reliability, all-wheel drive capability, and overall popularity also contribute to its higher resale value.

Are Subaru Crosstreks high maintenance?

Subaru Crosstreks are not considered high-maintenance vehicles. According to data, the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Subaru Crosstrek is $492.

This cost is lower than the average for compact SUVs and significantly lower than the average for all vehicle models.

Subaru’s reputation for reliability and durability helps to keep maintenance costs reasonable for Crosstrek owners.

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Are Subaru Crosstreks reliable?

Overall, Subaru Crosstreks are considered reliable vehicles. With each new model year, Subaru has made refinements and improvements to enhance the reliability of the Crosstrek.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek received a reliability rating of 81 out of 100. This indicates that the latest model years are generally a safe bet in terms of reliability.

Subaru’s commitment to continuous improvement and its reputation for producing dependable vehicles contribute to Crosstrek’s reliability.


The 2016 and 2018 Crosstrek models have had more complaints and reliability problems compared to others, making them the years to potentially avoid when considering a used Crosstrek.

On the other hand, the Subaru Crosstrek has seen improvements over the years, and recent models have garnered high praise for their reliability, fuel efficiency, and safety features.

2018, 2020, and 2023 Crosstrek models, in particular, have received positive reviews and recognition for their excellent features, reliability, and overall performance.

Furthermore, the Crosstrek has consistently held its value well in the used car market.

Its popularity, limited fleet sales, and reputation for durability contribute to its higher resale value, making it a wise investment for those looking for a reliable and valuable vehicle.

By considering the information provided, conducting thorough research, and making an informed decision, you can find a Subaru Crosstrek that meets your needs and provides a reliable and enjoyable ownership experience.

Remember, when exploring the Subaru Crosstrek, it is crucial to be mindful of the specific model years to avoid any potential issues and make a well-informed decision on your purchase.