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Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid – 16 Common Problems to Know

The legendary Subaru Crosstrek has always been considered the most reliable car since 2013. But a few Crosstrek models have some difficulties where the user has found poor performance after driving. But what Subaru Crosstrek years to avoid?

We discovered 2013 to 2014 and 2016 to 2019 models of Crosstrek are to be avoided since users are discontent and reported a lot of problems. In Particular, they found interior parts problems, electrical issues, wheel trouble, windscreen problem, gasket problem, transmission trouble, and some other difficulties. Where the latest model of the Subaru Crosstrek is a masterpiece made of premium features.

Today we will share what’s the problem with Crosstrek models along with the best Crosstrek year model that you should own. We would like to see you riding the best version of the Subaru. So, don’t miss the advice we have included in the last section of this article!

What Are The Problems With The Subaru Crosstrek?

According to user experience, engine, eyesight trouble, powertrain, and brake issues are the most common complaints reported. We also noticed that NHTSA received the highest number of complaints in the electrical category.

For example, we discovered 73 complaints about the Subaru XV Crosstrek across three model years. They have complained about brake switches, CVT, rodents, eyesight, oil consumption, and corroded situations.

Also Read: Why is my car leaking oil

Subaru Crosstrek Years To Avoid – 16 Common Problems

what year subaru crosstrek to avoid

What are the common problems you will encounter when you have a backdated model? Do you know why you should avoid some Crosstrek models? We found 16 problems that took the user’s hatred. So, let’s see why we should buy the best-year Subaru Car.

  1. Excessive use of oil
  2. Fractured head gasket
  3. Eyesight failure
  4. CVT problem
  5. PCV valve failure
  6. Limited power
  7. Rodent issue
  8. Lowered Control Arm
  9. Water leakage
  10. Defective brake switch with light
  11. Windscreen trouble
  12. Steering difficulties
  13. Corrosion of rust and paint
  14. Repair or replacement or transmission is required
  15. Failure of AC unit
  16. Reliability.

RELATED: How to reset transmission control module Chevy Silverado

What Year Crosstrek To Avoid?

crosstrek years to avoid

Unfortunately, some Subaru Crosstrek models fall behind in terms of modern technologies. So, if we separate the Subaru from other vehicles you’ll understand why some models have been on the complaint list. Anyway, the car models you should avoid are:

2013 Subaru Crosstrek

FWIW, the April 2020 concern of customer reviews includes a list of “Worst Used Cars.” The 2013 XV Subaru was included in the list. They have problems like – 

  • Several engine issues
  • The engine stalled caused of a faulty valve
  • Major steering problems
  • Failure of the transmission
  • Excessive oil use
  • Failure or wheel bearing
  • Management that is inefficient
  • Tire wear will be excessive.

2014 Subaru Crosstrek

The 2014 model has fewer faults but it should be avoided by people who are searching for the best Subaru model. Most importantly, you’ll notice – 

  • Problems with the transmission or engine
  • Wheel or wheel hubs problem
  • Trouble when shifting gears
  • Sudden acceleration issues
  • Repairing cost is too high.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek

Avoiding the first year of a new vehicle or the new version is a good recommendation. Subaru XV automobile was developed previously to 2016 and the Cross Trek models are introduced after 2016.

Subaru 16 model is another version to avoid since a lot of complaints were submitted through the National Highway Traffic Administration or NHTSA website. The complaints were like this:

  • Minor concerns with the cabin’s construction
  • Issues with interior
  • Battery failure
  • Power steering assist will be turned off
  • The engine isn’t starting
  • AC units are not working
  • Problem with the infotainment touchscreen
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • Speaker problem
  • The 9-volt power adapter is not working
  • Navigation might be inaccessible.

Also Read: Will the heater work without ac compressor in the car

2017 Subaru Crosstrek

If you haven’t looked at the 2017 Crosstrek model, you should know that it has certain issues and a lot of complaints from users. This version frequently showed issues such as:

  • The vehicle key becoming stuck in the ignition
  • Car windshield cracks far too quickly
  • Unintentional acceleration while driving
  • Your rear wheel hub bearings are deteriorating
  • The paint is peeling off.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

No car is flawless since there will be unsatisfactory comments from users for sure. Therefore, we discovered that the 2018 Crosstrek has some faults as well. Particularly, a user found the 2018 Premium Crosstrek head unit, power lock, and inside lights are not working. 

If you search “Subaru Crosstrek problems Reddit,” you’ll get clear information about the car trouble. Anyway, let’s see the common difficulties you will have when you drive the 2018 model.

  • The SUV 2018 has materials of poor quality and which is unacceptable
  • Windshield cracking or peeling from unexpected places
  • Radio, camera, or navigation system might fail
  • Suspension issue
  • Engine trouble
  • Your key is in trouble in the ignition
  • Subaru car engine is frequently stopping and shaking
  • The brake light is not lighting up.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Finally, we discovered that the 2019 version has similar problems related to the previous models. Unfortunately, when compared to Crosstrek, the Subaru Forester or Toyota Rav4 has better performance. Perhaps the Crosstrek 2019 reliability will make the model lose the battle with other vehicles.

On the other hand, some users are having a good time while driving the Subaru Crosstrek 19. However, let’s see what’s wrong with this edition so you can decide whether you should buy it or not.

  • The reliability problem
  • Problem with brake light switches (But they have declared to change 2.3 million car switches)
  • A fragile windscreen that could cost up to $1500 to fix it
  • Problem with the Starlink infotainment system
  • Sudden acceleration
  • Radio is lost
  • Battery life is reduced and the alternator may malfunction
  • The users rated it 3.9 out of 5 stars.

Subaru Crosstrek Year Comparison Chart

Subaru Crosstrek cars have a different level of value but a few models have some difficulties. So, we found user complaints and the problems they encountered. Below we have a chart related to the Subaru car model year and their problems.

Subaru Model YearComplaintsProblems
2022 Crosstrek26
2021 Crosstrek758
2020 Crosstrek148
2019 Crosstrek26267
2018 Crosstrek44188
2017 Crosstrek12114
2016 Crosstrek27119
2015 Crosstrek1289
2014 Crosstrek2787
2013 Crosstrek52117
2012 CrosstrekNA3

Consumer Ratings For The Best Years For Subaru Crosstrek

There is no doubt that Subaru Crosstrek models are amazing! But we should know the ratings given by the users.  Let’s have a look at the chart to know a clear review and rating according to some popular automobile websites.

Subaru Model And YearEdmundsRatingKelley Blue BookRatingJD PowerRating
2023 CrosstrekNA4.3 out of 5.083 out of 100
2022 Crosstrek4.8 out of  5.04.3 out of 5.083 out of 100
2021 Crosstrek4.4 out of 5.04.3 out of 5.082 out of100
2020 Crosstrek4.2 out of 5.04.3 out of 5.080 out of100
2015 Crosstrek4.3 out of 5.04.3 out of 5.080 out of 100
2014 Crosstrek3.4 out of 5.04.3 out of 5.080 out of100

Is Subaru Crosstrek Expensive To Maintain?

Yes, Subaru automobiles are more expensive to repair when compared to other car models. Basically, we noticed AWD cars require extra care and maintenance than FWD and RWD automobiles.

However, for the first 10 years of ownership, the Subaru Crosstrek will cost around $7,915 to maintain and repair. Also, the average annual cost for repair and maintenance will be $492 compared to $521 for small SUVs and  $652 for others.

What Year Subaru Crosstrek Is The Best?

subaru crosstrek best year

We are unsure about the best Subaru Crosstrek model after discovering poor evaluation on several-year models. We already talked about the worst case so this time we will let you know about the upgrades that made a great change in the Subaru Crosstrek best model list.

Consumers and other magazines show strong reliability ratings where the users are satisfied with the car. However, the best years of Crosstrek variants started in 2019 and continued in 2023. Also, the previous models have some upgrades that made them come into the list of best automobiles. Let’s talk about the goods in Subaru Crosstrek cars.

2015 to 2017 Crosstrek

With certain problems, 2014 also included an efficient and strong hybrid version. Then, Subaru’s improved Starlink infotainment in the 2015 model is more user-friendly nowadays.

The 2016 model sports redesigned headlights, land-change assist, chrome elements, and a new grille is the upgrade. We found the reliability rating is 84 out of 100. Additionally, we discovered that 51% of owners gave the 2016 Crosstrek a 5-star rating. On the other hand, the Subaru 2017 model offers almost the same features like good reliability and fuel efficiency with a decent suspension system.

2018 to 2020 Crosstrek

According to certain automotive critics, the 2018 model is a worthy car for its excellent features, particularly its reliability and higher resale value.

The 2020 model is another Subaru masterpiece that took place in the market. This model included auto start or stop features, Subaru special intelligent-drive technology, traction control, and safety settings with ideal fuel economy. This model also added a blind spot detection system, adaptive cruise maintenance, all-wheel driving, lane departure sign, and some other new features.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2020 model Crosstrek as the top safety pick. This car already passed the crash safety testing such as front overlapping, rear or side accidents top crashes. Also, it’s a cost-friendly car in the automobile market.

Suspension setup and automatic climate control are two other unique features you’ll have in this 2020 model. The car is marketed as an all-rounder performer with an SUV rating of 81% out of 100. So, you can leave the criticism behind!

2021 to 2023 Crosstrek

Recently the 2021 model is dominating the automotive market for having a fuel efficiency of 33 mpg. Then, the base 2.0 Liter 4-cylinder engine produces 152 hp while the hybrid produces 148 hp and the 2.5 liter generates 182 hp. Furthermore, the 5 trim levels included a lot of customization options.

On the other hand, the 2022 model can generate 182 HP with an excellent infotainment system to connect the phone for hands-free calls or audio streams.

The Harmon Kardon sound system has featured in the 2022 Subaru where it offers a decent sound without any damage. The 8.7″ of ground clearance is another plus point.

The latest model 2023 Crosstrek has the best reliability with a score of 81 out of 100. Crosstrek 2023 introduced the edition variant which has a form-like Premium trim.

In addition, the redesigned version has some attractive features and they will also upgrade the exterior with a new front look and LED headlights.

What To Know Before Buying A Crosstrek?

is the subaru crosstrek a good car

Subaru Crosstrek has various year models. Whether they have upgraded their old cars or maybe manufactured a new model. So, if you are willing to buy a Crosstrek, you should know a few facts about the car. 

  1. Subaru’s latest Crosstrek model has the best modern features but you shouldn’t buy this one since there are some issues like engine noise, bad lower back support, and little cargo.
  2. The car was improved slightly between the 2021 to 2023 model years with the addition of more strong engines, hybrid powertrains, and modernized ADAS suites.
  3. Proper maintenance of Subaru cars will ensure rust-free performance.
  4. Following the scheduled maintenance enhances the lifespan of the automobile.
  5. Make sure you avoid heavy acceleration and braking since it increases the stress inside your car.

Also Read: GMC Yukon making noise when accelerating


In every article, frequently asked questions are the game-changing part, where the user’s common queries have been answered. So, let’s see what we can find in the Q&A section!

1. Why is Subaru discontinuing the Crosstrek?

Subaru of America discontinued selling Crosstrek models due to a lack of sales and negative ratings on previous, outdated models. In the US, they only sold 2,600 Crosstrek Hybrids in 2017 but the 2022 model has some popularity as well.

2. Should I buy a Subaru Crosstrek 2017 or wait for the newer 2018 version?

We suggest you not purchase the new model’s first year since there might be bugs or recalls. In general, both the 2017 and the latest models will be great. But if you prefer the latest technology or features, make sure you wait for the new model with upgrades.

3. What is the lifespan of a Subaru Crosstrek?

The Subaru is a reliable, mid-size, or small SUV that can stay more than 15 years. If you maintain it properly, you can drive the car around 200,000 to 250,000 km.

4. Which is more reliable, Outback or Crosstrek?

The Subaru Crosstrek is a reliable vehicle model name whereas the Outback has only a 3.5 rating out of 5. On the other hand, Consumer Reports says, the 2022 Subaru Forester has taken the place in the best reliable vehicle list.

Wrapping Up

So, have you decided to purchase the Subaru Crosstrek model? Just before that, make sure you understand what Subaru Crosstrek years to avoid since they have outdated features, especially the 2013 model. And it would be much better to get the best model of the year from all over the automobile market.

Additionally, you should identify what are the problems you’ll face when driving Subaru Crosstrek past models with no upgrades. If you are still perplexed due to not having enough knowledge of Subaru Crosstreks, check the given chart to understand the value of the vehicle in its present condition. We hope this article has benefited you to choose the right car for your house.

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