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Subaru Crosstrek interior, tech and comfort

2023 onwards (change model)
Comfort rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Luke Wilkinson Published: 5 March 2024 Updated: 12 March 2024

  • Feels old despite the update
  • Durable rather than luxurious
  • New infotainment looks dated

How is the quality and layout?

The Subaru Crosstrek champions form over function. That means its interior isn’t as chic as the Audi Q3’s or as funky as the all-new Toyota C-HR’s, but it compensates for that by being hardy. Like the XV, the Crosstrek’s trims and upholstery feel like they’ll hide abuse well, which means its cabin should stand up well to the punishment of family life.

Ergonomically, though, the Crosstrek is a step backwards over the XV. Unfortunately, Subaru has caved under the pressure from its rivals and moved all the car’s controls onto its central screen. This is a shame because we rather liked the XV’s physical climate control panel. It was easier to operate on the move.

Subaru Crosstrek review (2024): dashboard and infotainment system, black upholstery
It’s a shame the Crosstrek has lost it’s physical climate controls.

Also, despite Subaru’s revisions, the Crosstrek’s interior still looks dated. The dash panel and the infotainment system are new, but they’re surrounded by components from the XV, most of which are already approaching seven years old. The infotainment screen graphics also wouldn’t look out of place on a TomTom sat-nav from the 2010s.

Infotainment and tech

The touchscreen is the biggest difference between the XV and Crosstrek’’s interiors. It’s a new 11.6-inch portrait unit that occupies the same space in the dashboard as the as the old car’s infotainment system and climate control panel.

As a result, the Crosstrek is more difficult to live with. The screen isn’t the most responsive or sharply resolved unit, which means it takes a couple of pokes at the panel to make it do what you want. At least there’s a fixed climate control menu at the bottom of the screen and proper buttons on the surround to adjust the temperature.

Subaru Crosstrek review (2024): infotainment system on main menu
The new infotainment system isn’t particularly user-friendly.

However, that decision limits the amount of space on the screen for other content, such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. The phone-mirroring display is a joke because it only occupies a letterbox-sized space in the middle of screen. That means you need to divert your full attention away from the road to read the tiny navigation instructions, which will send Subaru’s driver monitoring system into a meltdown. It’s not a very user-friendly setup.


  • Accommodating seats
  • Strange driving position
  • Refinement is lacking

The Crosstrek’s seats are broad and have shallow bolsters which means they fit drivers of all shapes and sizes. Taller owners might not get on with the driving position, though, because the steering wheel doesn’t telescope out of the dashboard far enough. If you’re over six feet tall, you need to choose between having scrunched-up legs or over-extended arms.

Subaru Crosstrek review (2024): driver's seat and steering wheel, black upholstery
The Crosstrek’s seats are comfortable, but we’d have liked more adjustment in the steering wheel.

Refinement isn’t fantastic, either. Lots of road and wind noise penetrates the cabin on the motorway – and we found ourselves cranking up the stereo to drown it out. The engine is coarse, too, especially when you accelerate. The SEAT Ateca is far more composed.