COAL: #13 2015 Subaru Crosstrek – Much Welcomed Change

By this time, I was knee deep in P1800’s, with my parts cars, and restoring one. My girlfriend and I had been together at the time for 6 years, and were both at the University of Arkansas. As you might recall a while back, she was having some transmission issues with her 04 RX330. Well, her dad seeing no choice but to buy her one last car, asked her what she wanted. Anna is very humble, and does not like for people to spend any money on her. She went for used cars, but honestly told her dad to get her whatever. After he insisted on her picking out a new car, she found a few that she had always liked.

Anna is not the biggest car person. Try as she might, she just sees a car, as a car like most females. She said she had always had her eye on a Subaru Crosstrek, or a Honda Crosstour. Whether or not she chose these based on their similar names or she actually liked them I don’t know, but that is what they went looking for.

Her dad, knowing I was a car guy asked me what I thought of them, and to go look at them after class, since the closest dealers were in Fayetteville where we were both going to school. After looking at both, I was more keen on the Honda. I was a little unsure about how the Subaru would hold up especially after they had just come out of oil consumption issues a few years prior. When her dad called to ask if the local dealer had any issues with the 2015’s consuming oil, they responded “what oil consumption issue” even though it had made national news. He was not fond of that answer at all. After hearing that story I thought that the Honda would be the winner for sure. I also was not able to push a Volvo onto her, because I knew that if she got one and it gave her once ounce of trouble it would be my fault.

One day while I was at work, Anna and her dad went to look at the Subarus just to see them. Well, Anna came home with one. At first I was a little annoyed because after all this work, and trying to find a non-Subaru, and the problems behind them, they went with one. I knew though it was not my car, thus not my money so I just went along with it, and hoped that it would last her long enough.

The car Anna picked was a grey metallic Crosstrek, with black leather interior. They had to order one from another dealer as they did not have the leather option in stock. The car came equipped with a 2.0 boxer engine and a CVT. When I first drove the car I could not believe how smooth it had driven. I was used to older Volvos with a bit stiffer ride. The quality seemed to be there as well. No rattles or loose plastic pieces that I thought it would have. Nothing on the inside seemed to be cheap at first glance.

Well, the honeymoon was over about a week later. I started noticing cheap everything in the car. From the interior buttons, to the lagged touchscreen, and the hard seats. I was not impressed at all. I think the only thing that the car had going for it was the AWD which Subaru is known for, and it had a warranty.

The Crosstrek was introduced in 2013, and it was based on an Impreza with a Forester suspension. The Impreza is Subaru’s entry level car that can either be a hatch or a sedan, but the Crosstrek is only available in a hatch version. At the time they all came with a 2.0 boxer engine, and could be had with either a CVT or manual transmission. Anna got the top of the line limited which basically only offered leather, not even a sunroof.

This car is one I would grow to hate. Granted it was not my car, but we often drove this car everywhere we went. Mainly because it was new and the gas mileage was great. The more I drove it the more I hated it. I hated the seats, they were hard as a rock, and I often wondered if sitting on a milk crate would be more comfortable. The engine and CVT were the most gutless machines ever made. I think if it wasn’t paired with a CVT the 2.0 could’ve been more enjoyable to drive.

As far problems go, Anna never had any issues with the car. I think she had a check engine light come on one time, and it was for a stop lamp switch, which was eventually recalled later. The car had three free oil changes, and Subaru recommended changing the oil every 10,000 miles, so that was nice not having to pay for an oil change until 30,000 miles.

The car served her all through college, and all through graduate school. About a year after we got married, I got so fed up with the car. Anna was driving 30 minutes to work every day, and most of it was freeway driving. One day I was driving the car by myself and noticed how light it became in the rain, even with good tires on it. I got home and asked her if this was common, and she said it always felt that way when it rained. The following day I was on the hunt for a new car for her.

She hated to give up that Crosstrek so much. The car was 5 years old and had 55,000 miles on it. Since it was also my car now, I wanted something more comfortable, and felt safer for her. We scoped out a Volvo that was at a Buick lot locally, but after they wouldn’t tell me what our rate was on the loan I walked out. We, or more like she, found herself going to something more familiar, and by that time it had felt familiar to me as well.