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Buying

What should I be paying?

You'll need at least $26,290 to get into a Crosstrek, including $1,295 for destination. That gets you the 2.0-liter engine and 17-inch wheels, but again, all-wheel drive is standard, as are adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. The $27,440 Crosstrek Premium can be optioned with a $2,245 package that gives you blind-spot detection, a power driver's seat, sunroof, and more, but still locks you into the 2.0-liter engine and 17-inch wheels.

At $30,290, the Crosstrek Sport seems like the smartest buy, since it comes with stuff like heated cloth seats, 18-inch wheels, the 2.5-liter engine, and those nifty yellow exterior accents. Like the Premium, there's an option pack available that adds the missing driver-assistance tech and a sunroof, but here, it's only a $1,920 upcharge.

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The Crosstrek Limited costs $32,190, but it doesn't come fully loaded. If you want a sunroof and the Harman/Kardon stereo, you'll have to pay an extra $1,795, and if you want all that plus embedded navigation, be prepared to shell out $2,445.

What are the Crosstrek’s competitors?

The Crosstrek is kind of a ‘tweener in the automotive landscape. It competes with subcompact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Kia Seltos, and Volkswagen Taos, but has enough off-road capability to have it stand up to things like the Jeep Compass or Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. The Chevy Trailblazer and Mazda CX-30 are also in the Crosstrek’s crosshairs, the latter of which is significantly more upscale.

Which Crosstrek is best?

You really can’t go wrong with the mid-tier Crosstrek Sport. It gives you the more powerful 2.5-liter engine, larger wheels, additional creature comforts, and an enhanced version of Subaru’s X-Mode tech, making it even easier for this little billy goat to scramble up dirty hills. All Crosstreks are easy to use and pretty well-rounded, but the Sport really does it best.

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