Feb 24, 2022
In its nine years on sale, the Crosstrek has uphold Subaru’s reputation for producing reliable, long-lasting vehicles. While 2018 and 2019 models are reportedly problematic, all other years are devoid of major issues and look to stand the test of time, with the compact sport utility expected to last up to 17 years and over 200,000 miles before requiring major repairs.
- The Subaru Crosstrek launched in 2013 as the XV Crosstrek, with the name simplified in 2016. The second-generation model launched in 2017, and is still on sale today.
- Recent studies have found 97 percent of all Crosstreks produced are still on the road today. It’s reasonable to expect them to last for up to 17 years before requiring major repairs, and over 200,000 miles before being run into the ground.
- The 2018 and 2019 Subaru Crosstrek models are the only troublesome years. ECM programming, PCV valve, and electric power steering system issues are common. The windshield is also prone to cracking on these models.
Subaru Crosstrek has Proven to Be Long-lasting, and Many will Reach 200,000 Miles
The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the Japanese brand’s newest nameplates. Introduced for 2013 as the XV Crosstrek and renamed simply as the Crosstrek from 2016, the subcompact crossover shares much of its DNA with the Impreza hatchback.
The current second-generation model has been around since 2017. So, even if buying a brand-new Crosstrek, you know it’s at least been around long enough for the kinks to be ironed out.
In fact, Subaru was named the number one automotive brand for both quality and dependability in the 2021 American Customer Satisfaction Index Survey’s Automobile Study, showing that the Japanese automaker’s reputation holds true to this day.
In the case of the Crosstrek specifically, Experian found 97 percent of all Crosstreks sold since it launched nine years ago are still on the road today.
Based off the reliability of other Subaru models and what’s known of the Crosstrek so far, it’s reasonable to expect 200,000 miles or even more out of one. That means you can easily expect it to last around 13 years or more before starting to get too problematic.
Given this long-lasting reputation, Kelley Blue Book has found the model to lead its segment for resale value the past two years, clearly showing its value even with some miles already on the clock.
Maintenance is Key to Ensuring Your Subaru Crosstrek Lasts, and it’s More Expensive to Run than Some Rivals
While Subarus have a reputation for lasting the test of time, maintenance is something crucial to ensure they do. While the Crosstrek is better than most Subarus in that regard, there are still things to be aware of with it.
For those with a model equipped with a continuously variable transmission, having the CVT oil regularly checked and changed is vital. Subaru recommends this every 30,000 miles, which is more frequent than for traditional automatic transmissions.
Manual transmission models will be less maintenance-heavy in this regard, though. Engine oil changes are recommended every 7,500 miles for the Crosstrek.
Maintaining it will cost more than for some rivals in the long run, though. Car Edge claims most Subaru Crosstreks will cost $791 per year in maintenance for the first 10 years, which is admittedly below average for most SUVs. Compare it to its subcompact SUV peers, however, and vehicles like the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR are cheaper long-term.
2018 and 2019 Subaru Crosstreks are Unusually Problematic Due to Recurring Engine Stalls and Windows that Crack Randomly
In the case of most Subaru Crosstreks, recalls and complaints have been incredibly limited. No model from 2013 to 2017 was subject to more than two recalls or 100 complaints with the NHTSA. A widespread brake light issue was the primary issue affecting these models.
However, things took a turn for the worse after that. The 2018 models were subject to five recalls and 135 complaints, and 2019 models saw that rise to seven recalls and 204 complaints. For both years, the issues were consistent.
The principal issue was the ignition coils short-circuiting due to incorrect engine control module programming. This caused the engine to run rough and feel hesitant under acceleration.
Although an initial recall to update the engine control module software and replace the ignition coils was issued in 2019, the problem persisted, prompting a second recall in 2021.
The Crosstrek’s 2019 models, in particular, were also affected by additional recalls for the electric power steering assist failing, and for improperly tempered rear door window glass that could unexpectedly shatter.
It’s clear Subaru figured out the Crosstrek’s problems by 2020, however, with models from then on not subject to any recalls or more than a mere 35 complaints.
The Subaru Crosstrek is a Solid Choice for Almost All Model Years, and Most will Last Past 200,000 Miles
It might not be the most storied model in Subaru’s arsenal, but the Crosstrek has rightfully earned a strong reputation for itself in the nine years since it launched.
With most years free of excessive recalls and common issues, anything from 2013-2017 or 2020 onward is a solid choice. Expect these years to last well over a decade and keep going past 200,000 miles – so long as you stay on top of maintenance, particularly CVT oil changes.
However, be weary of 2018 and 2019 models. With numerous engine issues, windows prone to breaking, and electric power steering problems, they are the one blemish on the Crosstrek’s name.
Arctic wolf on July 2, 2021
Subaru Crosstrek Is Not Safe For The Winter
During the first winter, the car went skidding on a turn and hit a curb and feels wobbly since even though I had Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3s installed I brought it to the garage 4 times and the mechanics can never find anything with the car sometimes when I hit the brakes I can feel the left front tire push up against the car.
Caleb T on December 8, 2021
My Review For The Subaru Crosstrek
It has always been very reliable in the past couple of years that I have owned it. One of my only complaints has been that the acceleration is a little slow. Subaru Crosstrek has been a decent vehicle and has recommended it to several of my friends and family.
Dan on February 24, 2022
The Subaru Crosstrek Has A Long Lifespan
I have had this car for 3 years and have around 520k miles on it. At 80-90 mph on a flat freeway is very good handling compared to some SUVs, but uphill hell slow. For some reason, my Crosstrek doesn’t do well in snow.
Jen H on December 5, 2021
My Subaru Crosstrek Is Not As Powerful As Expected
The vehicle has been reliable. The engine has low power, ac is terrible living in Florida. However, the quality of this vehicle compared to the forester is much lower in its aesthetic features and mechanics.
Paul B on August 5, 2021
Subaru Crosstrek: Problem With A Safety Feature
By far the worse car I have ever owned. Lane departure system unusable for causing the steering wheel to loosen control of the car only cost $2500, and Subaru can not acknowledge the problem.
John Loebig on September 28, 2021
Problems With My Subaru Crosstrek Extremely Early On
Subaru Crosstrek 5974 miles Cam carrier leaking oil dealer had to pull the engine to reseal 20 days later repaired and many calls to Subaru Also I have the 6-speed manual and clutch chatters
Rachel R on February 2, 2022
The Subaru Crosstrek Pales in Comparison to Other Vehicles
AC is busted already. Brakes were a mess 1.5 years in. In general, the car is fine, but I definitely do not love it. Would prefer something bigger next time and more reliable for snow.
Andy D on July 5, 2021
Transmission Failure: Subaru Crosstrek
Transmission went with less than 20k miles. It does not drive the same way it used to after they put a refurbished transmission in it. The CVT is not as smooth as other manufacturers.
Roger Foreman/Bruce Harkey on June 28, 2021
Lack Of Safety Features With The Subaru Crosstrek
Very disappointed that the limited edition did not come with auto door locks. It came with everything else practically. Safety is crucial especially when driving in unfamiliar places.
JIm on March 7, 2022
Great in snow, I run k02 tires and I drive a lot better than trucks and other cars on the snowy roads. Have 100k miles and have had no mechanical failures very reliable.
Amanda M on October 9, 2021
My Subaru Crosstrek Is The Most Reliable And Dependable
I have not had any problems with my vehicle. I drive about 10,000 miles per year. The vehicle is very reliable and dependable, I expect the vehicle to last a long time.
Erika K on July 22, 2021
Reliable And Suits All Of My Needs: Subaru Crosstrek
I had it for 14 years and it served me well. Living in CO, we like to be able to go up to the mountains or take road trips. It's great for all seasons - 4WD
Wendy M on February 11, 2022
Subaru Crosstrek Is Safe And Reliable
My Subaru is dependable, safe, and comfortable. I drive through ice and snow with complete confidence that I will make it to my destination with no issues.
Sara C on August 12, 2021
I Would Recommend The Subaru Crosstrek
My vehicle is very reliable. Manual transmission works great, although it could take off a little faster. Driving up the mountain is a little slower.
Josh C on January 10, 2022
Reliable and Safe: Subaru Crosstrek
I like the Lange change warning system and many of the safety features. All-wheel drive is a good feature. It has reliable safety features.
brandon c on July 2, 2021
Subaru Crosstrek: Reliable With A Good Reputation
A smooth driving vehicle with good handling in inclement weather, and good durability. Gas mileage is good too.
Julia R on October 18, 2021
Nothing But Reliable Because Of No Issues: Subaru Crosstrek
I have no complaints at all. I have had it for almost three years and have yet to encounter any major problems.
Barbara on September 25, 2021
I Love My Safe And Reliable Subaru Crosstrek
Reliable, easy handling on curves, heated seats, higher ground level, No other concerns Change oil and tires.
Mylaysia E on October 8, 2021
Electrical Problems With The Subaru Crosstrek
My car is a 2019 model and it has barely hit 30,000 miles. I needed a new starter and amongst other issues.
Madyson Y on July 13, 2021
No Major Complaints With My Subaru Crosstrek
The car is extremely reliable. I have yet to have a big issue. I would not have picked another car.
Patrick Jackson is a freelance journalist currently based in Adelaide, Australia, with over five years of experience in print, radio, and online media. Having road-tested and reviewed over 230 new and classic cars in that time, he has extensive first-hand experience with the most popular vehicles on the market along with desirable modern classics, particularly from the 1990s and early 2000s. Patrick has written for Drive Tribe Force GT, and Which Car, among other titles. He also runs his own website, Drive Section. He is a graduate of the University of South Australia with a degree in Communication and Media.
Subaru Crosstrek Reliability: How Long Will It Last?