Which Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

With the emergence of subcompact SUVs, which are more tough and adaptable hatchback cousins, more niches for new automobiles have opened up.

You have two alternatives if you want an off-road competent car that can parallel park easily: the Jeep Renegade or the Subaru Crosstrek.

Jeep was first to market with the Renegade for the 2015 model year, but Subaru rapidly followed with the 2016 Crosstrek.

The base model Crosstrek, on the other hand, will better fit an active, off-road lifestyle than the Renegade outside of the high-end Trailhawk option, thanks to the conventional all-wheel drive and a tough suspension with ample ground clearance.

Fortunately, the Crosstrek has had few troubles documented since it would be concerning if a six-year-old vehicle was already having issues.

While none of them are horrible, I’ll assist you in selecting the ideal Crosstrek for you and advise you on which Crosstrek years to avoid.

Subaru Crosstrek Years to Avoid (List of Year)

To be honest, you don’t have anything to worry about with any Subaru Crosstrek model year.

However, if you have a choice, you should avoid the 2016 and 2018 Crosstreks. Neither of these vehicles is a clunker, and you might easily locate one of them that is reliable.

However, in the short time since its release, the 2018 model has received the most complaints, followed by the very first model, both of which have far more than the 2019 Crosstrek, which is in the third position.

It may seem like picking hairs, but the Crosstrek model years 2016 and 2018 are the ones to avoid if you’re on the market for one.

But following years you want to avoid being on the safe side:

  • 2018 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2019 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2016 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2013 Subaru Crosstrek

What Makes These Subaru Crosstrek Years is Worth Avoiding?

Subaru vehicles, like the rest of the company’s cars, are noted for their dependability. The Subaru crosstrek receives a 3.5 out of 5.0 dependability rating from RepairPal, which puts it above average and cheaper than average in terms of ownership expenses.

The Subaru crosstrek seems far from ideal, as numerous versions had a variety of long-term issues that spanned decades. These issues would be carried over from one model to the next, making them highly frequent.

It’s sad to see how a large corporation like Toyota, despite being called out by numerous consumers and critics, was unable to resolve several recurring issues.

  • Surging and Motor Issues
  • Transmission Issues
  • Noise Issues
  • CPS and Differential Issues

Exterior accessories:

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is nearly universally regarded as the worst vehicle the company has ever produced, and with good reason.

This is owing to the model’s numerous issues, most of which are linked to the inside and external accessories. Other issues with the suspension and body are reported, and the NHSTA had a lot to say about the engine.

The radio was the source of most of the troubles on the inside.

It would frequently fail, and when it did, it would freeze up like a camera. The windshield was found to be back, cracking, and chipping for no obvious cause, according to many NHSTA complaints.

Windshield problem:

The 2019 Subaru Outback, like its predecessor, would come under fire from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) for a variety of issues, as ill as many recalls, seven in all, affecting over 400,000 vehicles.

The situation would only become worse as more people complained about their windshields cracking for no apparent cause, deeming it a safety threat. The same could be said about the internal radio, which was still in need of repair.

This issue has now spread to USB connection and Starlink failure, which was becoming increasingly regular.

Ignition problem:

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is arguably less ill-known than this model. This might be because it was introduced sooner than the 2019 model, giving it more opportunity to spread its infamous reputation.

Other factors might include the enormous recall that the model experienced, which impacted over 1.3 million vehicles.

The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek suffered a slew of minor issues, but it also racked up a slew of NHSTA complaints. The most common complaint was about the ignition key becoming trapped in the ignition.

You’d have to shift back and forth to release the key, which would be inconvenient.

The engine also tends to stall and exhibit strange behavior when driving, which is unsafe in high-speed scenarios. The big recall was prompted by the failure of the brake lights to illuminate.

Excessive Oil Consumption:

This issue is not exclusive to the Subaru Crosstrek; it affects a wide range of vehicles from many manufacturers, with some suffering from it more severely than others.

This bothersome condition has the side consequence of emptying your engine’s oil and forcing you to change it virtually often, which may quickly add up.

Subaru attempted to defend the engines that are exhibiting this issue, claiming that this was typical behavior.

It is, however, a real issue that has to be addressed.

Brake Lights Defective:

These are the criminals responsible for the recall of 1.3 million vehicles, which included a variety of makes and models. The brake lights are broken and didn’t operate when they ire supposed to.

This was particularly dangerous since others would be unaware that you ire braking, increasing the chances of a collision or accident.

The problem was caused by a build-up of chemicals from cleaning products that contained silicone, which caused millions of automobiles’ brake lights to become completely disabled.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

Four of the Crosstreks have performed admirably, with little to no cause for complaint. The 2017 model was panned for chipped paint and a lack of acceleration.

However, one issue to be aware of is unintentional acceleration, which has been documented.

Although this is a major problem, given how uncommon it is, you shouldn’t have to avoid the 2017 Crosstrek. The 2019 model has minimal issues as ill, however one major complaint is that the electrical system fails when driving.

While this is rare to occur while driving, it is something to keep in mind while looking for a secondhand vehicle.

However, the windshield breaking and the radio losing its presets are two of the most prevalent issues with the 2019 Crosstrek. Meanwhile, there have been no complaints about the 2020 and 2021 models so yet.

However, all of these figures for each of these model years should be taken with a grain of salt. These vehicles haven’t been on the road in almost six years.

Hopefully, those figures remain modest, but difficulties are unlikely to arise until a few years from now when more and more people drive automobiles with over 100,000 miles on them.

The most dependable crosstrek year models are:

  • 2014 Subaru Corsstrek
  • 2012 Subaru Corsstrek
  • 2015 Subaru Corsstrek
  • 2017 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2019 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2020 Subaru Crosstrek
  • 2021 Subaru Crosstrek


Ultimately, the Subaru crosstrek is a robust, dependable pickup truck with a variety of user-friendly characteristics that demonstrate how Subaru values its customers and consumers.

Subaru, in any event, has a long history of producing high-quality items at competitive prices.

Now that you know the best and worst years for Subaru crosstrek, you should be able to figure out which model is perfect for you and which model you should avoid at all costs.

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