2020 Subaru Crosstrek Changes

Planet-exclusive Crosstrek Photo Gallery.  Click to enlarge.


Executive Summary

We expect the first 2020 Crosstrek to arrive at Planet in the late summer of 2019.

Subaru debuted the current generation Crosstrek in 2013, and introduced an all-new Crosstrek for the 2018 model year.  There were big changes...it grew slightly in size and now rides on an all-new platform with 40% better crash absorption capability. 

On its volume products, including Crosstrek, Subaru typically introduces all-new models on a five-year product cycle.  Take a look at the way this cycle would unfold on the Crosstrek if Subaru stays true to form:

 Model year (and sequence in product cycle):Change:
2018 (first year)
All new design from the ground up
2019 (second year)
Very similar to prior year
2020 (third year)
Very similar to prior year
2021 (fourth year)
"Refresh," including exterior and interior revisions
2022 (fifth year)
Very similar to prior year
2023 (first year)
Cycle repeats...all new design from ground up

Historically, Subaru makes very few changes in the three model years after introducing an all-new version. 

Looking down the road, the North American automotive press is reporting that an all-electric Subaru vehicle will likely appear in 2021, though Subaru has made no announcements about when/if such a vehicle will be built, or if it will even arrive as a Crosstrek.

More about changes to this generation of Crosstrek (2018 to now) compared to the prior generation (2013-2017):


  • All-new interior, roomier than before
  • All-new exterior, even cooler than before
  • 2.0-liter Boxer Engine with Direct Injection and more horsepower
  • Active Torque Vectoring for improved handling
  • Available X-Mode for off-road use
  • New Eyesight features
  • New Multimedia system adds Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring system now gives pressure readouts on individual tires

Crosstrek got Eyesight upgrades 

including the addition of High Beam Assist and Reverse Automatic Braking when an obstacle is detected backing up.  (Forward Automatic Braking has been standard on Eyesight since it was first introduced). 

 Eyesight cameras.

Steering responsive LED headlights

Blind spot detection

Now Crosstreks
get optional steering-responsive headlights which pivot in turns. 

Another technology, Blind Spot Detection, uses radar to detect vehicles in the blind spot and illuminate lights in the mirror housing to alert you.  BSD and Rear Cross Traffic Alert will come standard on the upper level trims without Eyesight, and all Eyesight models with have these features.  Both of these features were optional starting on the 2016 Crosstrek. 

Displacement remained at 2.0 liters but output improved.

...from 148 horsepower to 152.

Interior moves upscale.
New infotainment system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay that interface with Subaru's Starlink system.  Power seat now available for the first time on a Crosstrek, as is Harman Kardon audio. 


Infotainment system incorporates the Rear Vision Camera and integrates AM/FM stereo and HD Radio®; Radio Data Broadcast System; single-disc in-dash CD player; Subaru STARLINK smartphone integration with Aha Infotainment, Pandora® and iHeart® Radio; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming; iPod® control capability and iTunes® Tagging capability, USB port and aux. input jack.

New global architecture.

Crosstrek rides on Subaru's common platform which will eventually underpin nearly all of Subaru's vehicles. Using one platform reduces development time and cost. 

Also known as a "chassis," a platform is the basic architecture of a vehicle. Obviously an Outback or a Forester need a bigger frame than a Crosstrek, but many of the vehicles will share more modular components than in the past, when Subaru had to start from scratch to build a new vehicle. 


We expect pricing to increase only slightly.
See current Crosstrek Models and Pricing.


t's remarkable that Subaru can continue, year after year, to include more and more equipment with price increases that don't even match inflation. 

Crosstreks through the years:

Subaru technically introduced the XV Crosstrek name in 2013, but Subaru debuted its "mini-ute" as the Impreza Outback Sport in 1996.  Through four generations, the basic formula remains the same:  start with an Impreza hatchback, raise the suspension, and give it a rugged exterior. 


Subaru maintained maximum cool factor with this latest generation, but changed almost everything.  Built on an all-new platform that will ultimately underpin most Subaru models, crash absorption capability increases by a stunning 40%.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto debut, along with an optional power seat and Harmon Kardan audio.  New Eyesight features include rear automatic braking, steering responsive headlights, and high-beam assist.
2013 through 2017

Subaru became the compact SUV to beat with this recent generation.  Introducing a continuously variable transmission and new 2.0 liter engine lifted fuel economy to 33 mpg highway.  Other new features included the optional Eyesight driver assistance system. Subaru hit the styling bullseye, producing one of the coolest looking utility vehicles available.  Outward visibility remains outstanding.  Subaru's first hybrid powerplant appeared in the 2014 Crosstrek.

2008 through 2011

Subaru stretched the wheelbase on this generation, appealing to a much broader audience who required more room for people, dogs, and gear.    

2002 through 2007

The previous generation lacked refinement, so Subaru upped its game with a standard 2.5 liter engine, modern interior, and side airbags.  Exterior styling went from weird to handsome.   

1996 through 2001

Subaru introduced the Impreza Outback Sport in 1996 with a 2.2 liter
Boxer engine by adding a long-travel suspension and styling we call "rugged whizbang."  Added equipment included crossbars, hood scoop, two tone paint, and phat fog lights.  It looks a little goofy today, but this car really pioneered the mini-ute craze in the industry that is just now coming into full bloom.

  • Visit Planet's dedicated Crosstrek center.

Search our inventory for your Crosstrek or place a factory order:




If you live in the Boston area and need to know how the 2020 Crosstrek has been revised and when it's coming out (release date), then you've picked the right dealership on the South Shore of Massachusetts.
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