Skip to main content
Cowland Goes Crosstrekking
TV Presenter and serial Subaru fan Paul Cowland recently had the new Crosstrek for a few days, and reckons it’s the perfect family package.
“Here we are at a very exciting automotive junction, my friends. As motorists, we’ve never had so much choice. To our left, the traditional petrol engine that can go for many hundreds of miles and be ‘charged’ in mere moments, and to our right, a shiny new electric future that boasts zero tailpipe emissions and silent running. You pays your money and you takes your choice - simply finding the one that works best for you.
But what if you’re a little bit indecisive, or dare I say, greedy, and want the best of all worlds? Well, I may have just driven the very car for you, the rather fetching new Subaru Crosstrek. As you can see, it’s a sharp looker, but what makes this car really interesting, sexy new styling and bristling tech aside, is its new generation of E-Boxer engine, which means you can keep a foot in both camps – but we’ll come to that later. 
I have a huge amount of time for this particular model, which traces its roots back to the epically conceived XV, which in itself, is, once peeled and boiled, a cleverly re-engineered Impreza hatchback. And, for those of us of a certain age, is about as cool as a car can get. While the new Crosstrek may be a luxurious mile apart from its rally forebears, it’s still got a flat four under the bonnet, and it still rides on permanent, symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive on a chassis that’s now 10 percent stiffer, so if you do find yourself late for work, and a winding country road unfolding before you, you’re still going to have plenty of fun.
So, that’s the purists happy, but what about those of you that enjoy hugging trees, turning down thermostats and generally looking ahead to doing your bit for the planet? Well, the good news is, the latest generation of E-Boxer engine will give you a Greta-friendly glow, too. The clever hybrid system sneaks seamlessly in and out of your daily drive, apportioning power either to or from the battery and motor, to not only give you a little spring in your accelerative step as you pull away, but also to ensure you’re running as frugally as possible on your daily drive. Unless you choose to bring up the fascinating power display as you’re driving, it’s never obvious which powertrain is whisking you along, until you come to fill up, that is, when you realise that the EV system on this latest incarnation is clearly doing a lot of the heavy lifting. I managed 48 mpg over 100 motorway miles. Not a figure I’ve ever had from a petrol-fed Subaru before!
It’s fun in the twisties, it’s frugal and smooth on the motorway, and inside, it’s a tech-fest for those that love gadgets and convenience. The simply enormous 11.6 inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto offers every set-up and multimedia option, but a heavy round of applause must go to the designers that decided essentials like the heated seats, cabin controls and basic audio are all ON BUTTONS! Bravo, guys, it’s all far more intuitive that way.
Where Subaru really has been scoring points over the last decade or so is in the world of passenger safety. While traditionally, it was always the Swedes that did (and still do) create wonderfully safe motor cars, these days Subaru is playing in the same leagues, and one might argue perhaps leading the way, with upgrades like the latest, fourth version of the ingenious Eyesight system, or driver aids like collision prevention, intelligent cruise, lane departure prevention and active braking. This is both a hard car to crash, but a very easy one to step out of, if you do. 
There’s plenty of legroom, a very decent boot with the usual hatchback practicality, and that’s before we mention this car’s epic ability to go off road. It’s worth doing a Youtube search to see just how ridiculously capable these things are when the tarmac finishes, with X-Mode basically taking all of the hard work out of where to apportion power, drive and braking, simply allowing you to go through terrain that would make a pick-up driver weep.
It would take a lot to tempt me out of my daily driver Outback, but the Crosstrek does offer a real breadth of appeal. From the rugged new styling and diamond turned wheels, through to the comfortable cabin and impressive economy, this is a car that does family life very well, being all things to all people, depending on who’s driving, what mood you’re in – and where you want to go. For me though, I think it represents a great way to straddle both electric and traditional technologies. No range anxiety, no queueing to charge up, but you still get the joy of cruising ‘free’ through low speed traffic on the motor, or watching it kick in on the over-run under 50mph. Like the very idea of its own enormous multimedia screen, but with easy-to-use buttons, the new Crosstrek is a clever car that combines the best of all thinking – and is an absolute honey to drive. Go and see your local Subaru dealer and take it for a spirited spin. I think you’ll love it.”

News & Stories


Reasons to consider buying an electric car

Considering buying an electric car but unsure how it will differ from a standard petrol car? Here is all the information you need about switching to electric.

A Day in the Life with a Subaru Solterra

Learn the impact that the Subaru Solterra can have on a busy lifestyle by following Niall Milners story.

Best Crossover of the Year 2024 from Overlander 4x4!

We are delighted to announce that the Subaru Outback has been crowned Best Crossover by Overlander 4x4 Magazine. An outstanding way to kick off 2024!

Subaru seen from space?!

Rally driver Louise Cook took on the challenge of trying to get her Subaru Impreza seen by the international space station!

100 Club Award Presentation

Subaru dealer has been presented with the Subaru 100 Club award in recognition of their outstanding performance.

Subaru Forester saves a family during storm Babet

Discover how Subaru safety helped Anthony and his family during a horrific natural disaster.