Tested: 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx

The third generation of Subaru’s best-seller looks a lot like its predecessor. But beneath the subtly altered skin of the 2024 Crosstrek lies a raft of improvements. This evolutionary update includes everything from upgraded seats and added sound deadening, to a stiffer chassis and enhanced technology.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

All trim levels of the 2024 Crosstrek come with a new generation of the company’s award-winning EyeSight safety system.

Automatic climate control and steering responsive LED headlights have also been added across the board. A manual transmission is out, along with the Outdoor and Sport trim levels. The latter is replaced by a new Onyx trim. The 2024 Crosstrek lineup includes: Convenience, $28,995; Touring, $32,195; Onyx, $33,995; and Limited, $36,995.

The tester came in the new Onyx trim level. That brought a visual suite of yellow, aluminum and black trim accents.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

Onyx models also benefit from a dual function AWD system and the addition of reverse automatic braking to the already impressive portfolio of active and passive safety features.

 

Regardless of trim level, this latest Crosstrek remains a delightful blend of affordability, all-season security and space efficiency.

The boxy shape yields a spacious interior with more room for people and their stuff than low-roofed competitors. Large second row occupants might be a little cramped but this is, after all, a compact vehicle.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Subaru Canada

 

With both rear seatbacks folded down there is a truly impressive amount of useable cargo space, easily reached over a low lift-in level.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Subaru Canada

 

The centre of the dash holds dual 18-cm high-res touchscreen displays, atop one another. The top one deals with smartphone connectivity, infotainment features and the rear-view camera when in reverse. The lower one features vehicle and climate control settings.

Special mention here for the cupholder designer. The clever units are wide enough for a bulky, insulated mug, but contain inserts making them useful for smaller containers. Take them out for cleaning or to provide depth for taller containers.

 

The stiffer chassis complements the ability of every Subaru to provide a comfortable ride, all but ignoring poor road surfaces.

This is done without reverting to pillow-soft springs and shocks, providing an exemplary combination of ride and handling.

From behind the wheel, it feels more like a hatchback with a taller seating position and improved view. The 220-mm of ground clearance only becomes evident when venturing off the beaten path.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Garry Sowerby

 

Road and wind noise levels are notably lower than in previous models.

Then Crosstrek has a well-deserved reputation for its attention to safety. But I did find the lane keep feature over-active and thus intrusive. I had to shut it off.

The drivetrain of the 2024 Crosstrek is carried over from the outgoing model with the exception of dropping the manual transmission. The first two trim levels come with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 152-hp, and 145 lb.ft. of torque.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

The other two get an upgrade to a 2.5-litre engine putting out 182-hp and 178 lb. ft. of torque. All-wheel-drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission are standard across the board.

Subaru makes a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) more acceptable to enthusiasts by providing a manual mode with paddle shifter on the steering wheel of Touring, Onyx, and Limited trim levels. You can fool yourself into thinking you have a conventional automatic transmission with eight different ratios.

Neither engine provides much in the way of performance. The tester, with the more powerful of the two, took a leisurely 8.8 seconds to reach 100 km/hr from rest.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

Updates to the AWD system mean faster response time due to updated and more powerful software.

Hill start assist holds the vehicle on a steep incline until you get on the gas. Hill descent control acts like a low-speed cruise control, maintaining speed downhill through automatic braking.

Onyx and Limited models come with a dual-function version of Subaru’s X-mode which provides additional control on low grip conditions. There are specific settings for different conditions like, snow, mud and dirt.

 

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx
Photo: Lisa Calvi

 

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek builds on a well-established reputation for practicality and reliability, adding some refinement to the package.

 

Wheel Woman’s take on the Subaru Crosstrek here.

 

FACTS & FIGURES – 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Onyx

 

PRICE

Base: $33,995

As tested: $36,190 including freight

 

SAFETY

Steering responsive LED headlights, EyeSight system, (wide-angle camera, pre-collision braking, lane centering assist, lane keep assist and sway warning, automatic emergency braking, lead vehicle start assist), rear seat reminder, rear/side vehicle detection,  blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking

 

INFOTAINMENT

30-cm tablet style screen with GPS navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, satellite radio, wireless phone connectivity with voice-activation, wireless phone charger

 

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Power sunroof, 18-in alloy wheels, heated steering wheel and front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, power folding and heated mirrors, tilt & telescope steering wheel, power windows and locks, power driver’s seat, leather seats

 

SIGNIFICANT OPTIONS

None

MECHANICAL

2.5-litre four-cylinder, 182- horsepower, 178 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel, Continuously variable automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 8.9/7.2

 

DIMENSIONS

Length, 4,480; mm; width, 1,800 mm; wheelbase, 2,670 mm; weight, NA

 

COMPETITION

Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro & Soul, Mazda CX-30, VW Tiguan

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