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Subaru Crosstrek boot space, practicality and safety

2023 onwards (change model)
Practicality rating: 2.5 out of 52.5

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

  • Enough space for four adults
  • Smaller boot than the old XV
  • Loads of active safety tech

How much space is there?

Like the XV, the Subaru Crosstrek straddles the car size classes, sitting somewhere between a Ford Puma and a Ford Kuga. Its cabin is wider and longer than the Puma’s, meaning there’s lots of elbow room and legroom for four adults, even if you’re sat in the back with taller occupants up front.

Subaru Crosstrek review (2024): rear seats, black upholstery
There’s plenty of space in the Crosstrek, even for four adults.

It can carry five at a pinch, but the middle seat is cramped. The central tunnel required for the driveshaft eats into foot space and the Crosstrek’s fashionably sloping roofline, teamed with the taller middle seat base, means headroom is at a premium, too. Tall passengers will grumble if they’re forced to spend a long journey there.

Boot space and storage

Somehow, Subaru has made the Crosstrek’s boot even smaller than the XV’s – and the old car didn’t exactly lead the way in the practicality stakes. 30 litres of space have vanished in the upgrade, dropping the car’s total storage capacity down to 315 litres. That’s 70 litres less than you get in the Volkswagen T-Cross and a whopping 141 litres less than the Ford Puma.

Subaru has at least given the Crosstrek a shallow loading lip, which makes it easy to throw stuff into the boot. The rear bench also folds in a 60:40 split allowing you to carry four passengers and loads of luggage, albeit at the expense of comfort for those in the back. Fold all the seats down and boot space expands to 922 litres.

Subaru Crosstrek review (2024): boot space, seats up, black upholstery
Boot space is poor. The Crosstrek trails the Puma by a long way.

Cabin storage is good. There’s a wide selection of cubbies dotted around the cabin, including a large centre armrest bin, bottle holders in the doors, deep door pockets and a tray in the centre console large enough to swallow a modern flagship smartphone. That’s a thoughtful touch considering the how quickly smartphones have grown since 2017.

Is it easy to park?

Like the XV, neither of the Crosstrek’s trim levels come with acoustic parking sensors. It’s an omission we wish Subaru had addressed for this update because it means you need to rely heavily on the rear-view camera to gauge your distance to the bollard you’re about to hit. At least the camera is fitted as standard.

Despite this, the Crosstrek is an easy car to park. It has huge windows and large door mirrors that help you spot everything from tall kerbs to rogue pedestrians – and standard reverse automatic braking should help prevent low-speed car park dings. The pillars are reasonably thin, too, which minimises your blind spots.


  • Safety is the Crosstrek’s selling point
  • Stacks of active assistance technology
  • Driver monitoring system is frustrating

Here’s where the Crosstrek gets into its stride. It has an extensive suite of driver assistance tech that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking and a traffic sign recognition system. You also get a blind spot monitoring system with cross traffic alert and a clever set of LED headlights that swivel with the wheel to improve your visibility around corners. And the best bit? It’s all standard.

The Crosstrek is also fitted with Subaru’s Eyesight driver monitoring system. It’s basically an electronic driving instructor that tracks your behaviour to determine whether you’re fatigued and need break. It sounds like a good idea in principle but, like almost every other driver monitoring system we’ve encountered thus far, it works poorly in practice.

Its problems are worsened by Subaru’s decision to ditch most of the XV’s physical controls. Eyesight is far too keen to scold you for shifting your focus away from the road, which you need to do to operate the touchscreen – even for routine actions such as switching on the demister or adjusting the fan speed.

It’s ridiculous for the car to bong at you because you’re too hot or you’re checking your navigation instructions. That encourages you to switch the technology off after just a few miles, which rather defeats its purpose. More calibration is needed.

Euro NCAP hasn’t yet crash tested the Subaru Crosstrek. The old XV achieved a five-star rating when it passed through the facility in 2017, but that score has now expired due to the car’s age. Despite this, we’re confident the Crosstrek’s strong crash structure and substantial level of standard safety equipment will net it a good score.

Euro NCAP rating

Ratings for this model not available

Equipment and options

Each trim level will have different equipment offerings.
Basic equipment (16)
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Alarm
  • Climate control
  • Front electric windows
  • Headlight washers
  • Heated seats
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • PAS
  • Rear electric windows
  • Remote locking
  • Roof rails
  • Side airbags
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment
  • Traction control
Standard Equipment
Optional Equipment
Limited Standard Equipment (2)
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
Limited Optional Equipment
  • n/a
Touring Standard Equipment (5)
  • Electric driver`s seat
  • Electric passenger`s seat
  • Electric sunroof
  • Lumbar support
  • Sat Nav
Touring Optional Equipment
  • n/a


Length 4495mm
Width 1800mm
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