Car Comparison: Test-Driving a Subaru Crosstrek

blue subaru crosstekWhen I was a senior in college, my dad passed down his Ford Taurus to me out of desperation. I needed a car so I could get to my internship, but the old, used Subaru Outback he intended to gift to me just happened to stall out the week I was leaving.

I knew I didn’t want his Outback based off the fact it was excessively old, purple and had side-paneling. However, I wasn’t quite pining after driving the boat that is the 2005 Ford Taurus either. However, when you’re poor and handed a Taurus, it’s best not to complain.

Comparing Car Options

taurus on the side of the roadNow that we’ve racked up more than 150,000 miles on the Taurus, and it’s stranded me on the side of the highway (as show on the right, and yes, it’s leaking) — as well as multiple parking lots — it’s time for me to consider my next car. When thinking about my next car, my needs are vague: affordable with good gas mileage. I’ve also prioritized a sunroof so much that I would classify it as a need.

As far as desired models, I like the idea of being higher off the ground in a small SUV, but then that might compromise good gas mileage, so I’ve settled on a sedan. I also live in the city and parallel park every day, so a car that is shorter than my Taurus will be excellent. That leaves me basically any modern car in the market.

Since I have no major criteria or brand I have an affinity for, I decided to listen to my mother and try out a new Subaru. I’m not well-versed in cars, so I went with a note in-hand that I should try the Crosstrek.

Test-Driving the Crosstrek

I didn’t know what to expect with the Crosstrek. My mom said it was a trendier Outback. My first impression was that it’s more of a low-sitting Forester, which gave it a sporty look. My general knowledge of Subaru’s are that they’re a safe, family car for people who enjoy the outdoors. While that might all be true, it doesn’t mean they don’t look good.The Crosstrek was sleek, especially in the black model I was test-driving.

subaru interiorUpon entering the car, I was taken aback by how luxurious the car was. The seats were made of a comfortable leather with seat-heaters, and boasted a full touch-screen console. Yes, I was in the top model, which the sales rep said would run about $26,000.

While I was driving the Crosstrek, I liked how it drove like a car with (almost) the clearance of an SUV. I was a bit higher off the ground than most cars, but not to the point where I was getting a bumpy ride like I would in an SUV. The mirrors were also enormous, which made me feel extra safe with the added visibility.

Would I Buy a Crosstrek?

I really liked the Crosstrek, but I don’t think buying one is in my future. The Crosstrek comes with all-wheel drive, which would be a major selling point if I still lived up North. However, down here in Virginia, we only get snow twice a year and no one expects me to brave leaving my house during those two storms a year. I would be paying extra to have a car with all-wheel drive, plus the strain that puts on gas mileage, for a feature I don’t really need.

My next car comparison will be the Mazda3 and the Mazda CX-5. My parents own a Mazda6, which I adored when they let me test-drive it, but I think I’d spring for the smaller Mazda3 to be more financially responsible.

Until then, here’s hoping my Taurus can continue to safely creep to 200,000 miles, which the woman at Jiffy Lube told me it very easily could. While the Taurus might be built like a tank, it has the reputation that it can also survive like a tank, which for someone as indecisive as me is turning out to be a good quality.

Next week we’ll be featuring a story from Deidre about her experience test-driving the Highlander, so be sure to come back for our next segment of #TestDriveThursday.

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