Subaru Crosstrek Years To Avoid (5 Major Problems)

The Subaru Crosstrek is built ready for all kinds of adventures, including off-road tours. It is a true sturdy midsize crossover SUV equipped with a lot of technologies and driver-assistance systems to complement the SUV’s luxury standard.

Most newer Subaru Crosstrek models come standard with an AWD powertrain. However, regardless of all the good things we could say about the Crosstrek, there are some model years you should try to avoid.

In this article, we’d analyze the worst Subaru Crosstrek years to avoid and why you should do so. These indicated as “worst” model years are mainly linked with critical engine problems at low mileage.

Subaru Crosstrek Overview

Also called Subaru XV, the Subaru Crosstrek is a crossover SUV introduced in 2012 as the successor of the Subaru Outback Sport.

In appearance, the Crosstrek looks so much like an “upgraded” Subaru Impreza; however, the Crosstrek is really a good ride and performs well against other SUVs in its category.

This SUV comes with multiple engines and transmission options for you to choose from, and the interior is well-designed for comfort.

Equally, there is a plug-in hybrid model of the Subaru Crosstrek sold in specific states. The Crosstrek makes a good ride for the family and can seamlessly drive through any terrain.

Subaru Crosstrek Years To Avoid and Why

According to owners’ complaints, these Subaru Crosstrek model years listed below are the most problematic years of the SUV. Hence, it is advisable to skip these years when buying a used Subaru Crosstrek or a brand new one.

  • 2013 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2014 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Well, yes, only four Subaru Crosstrek model years seem to be “problematic,” as reported by their owners. The 2013 and 2014 models, which fell into the first generation, gave the owners quite several problems – majorly wheel and hub issues.

Common Subaru Crosstrek Problems

These problems explained below were reported by Subaru Crosstrek and Subaru XV Crosstrek owners on CarComplaints.

1. Cracked Windshield

Surprised? Quite a few of the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek owners allege that their SUV’s windshield started cracking after a few weeks of buying the car from dealerships.

There is no known reason why the cracks appear – it could be due to poor quality, and the only way to fix this is to replace the windshield, which costs around $1,200 or higher, depending on your location.

2. Wheels and Hubs Problems

A few 2013/2014 Subaru Crosstrek owners reported that the SUV’s wheels and wheel hubs are problematic.

Commonly reported issues are excessive tire wear at low mileage and wheel bearing failure. These problems are reported to occur below 80k miles, and the average repair cost is $860.

3. Interior Accessories and Electrical Problems

Another set of problems reported on specific Subaru Crosstrek model years is interior accessories malfunctioning and electrical problems.

The commonly reported issues include the faulty radio system, Starlink failure, battery dying off prematurely, and blind spot monitor not working. The average repair cost of these problems is $600.

4. Steering Problems

Problems with the steering system were mostly reported for the 2003 Subaru Crosstrek model. The most indicated issue was that the steering drifts to one side, and the car doesn’t steer/drive well on snowy/icy roads.

Well, some people were able to fix these issues by adding weight to the trunk and changing the tires. This costs an average of $300.

5. Engine and Transmission Problems

The 2013 and 2019 Subaru Crosstrek models seem to have a lot of engine and transmission problems, but the most common hesitation while accelerating is grinding noise, sudden acceleration, transmission failure, and excessive oil usage.

These problems typically occur after many miles; the average repair cost is $3,000.

Best Subaru Crosstrek Years To Buy

There are a few Subaru Crosstrek years recommended as the “Best” model years to buy. These years have low complaints reported about them, and they have higher reliability scores.

Hereunder are the best Subaru Crosstrek model years.

  • 2015 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2016 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2020 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Subaru Crosstrek and Subaru XV The Same?

Yes, they are both the same car; the Crosstrek was previously called Subaru XV or Subaru XV Crosstrek before officially becoming Subaru Crosstrek starting with the 2016 model year. So, both names refer to the same SUV built by the Japanese automaker, Subaru.

Is Subaru Discontinuing the Crosstrek?

Over the last few years, there have been reports about Subaru shutting down Crosstrek production; although the automaker did halt the production at some point, the Crosstrek line is still active, and there’s a 2023 model already.

What is The Life Expectancy of a Subaru Crosstrek?

A well-maintained Subaru Crosstrek can go over 200k miles before breaking down to the point of needing major parts replacement or serious repairs done. Subaru Crosstreks are actually reliable and can last up to 13 years.


Summarily, we have tried to cover the worst Subaru Crosstrek years to avoid and the reasons why you should avoid them. Also, it is important to note that Subaru Crosstrek and Subaru XV are both the same vehicle.

The models produced before 2016 were named Subaru XV, and the newer models after 2016 are called Subaru Crosstrek. Generally, Subaru Crosstreks are reliable and can be taken off-road, thanks to the high clearance and AWD powertrain.

Also, Subaru Crosstrek is relatively affordable – whether you’re buying it brand new or used.

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