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2018 Subaru Crosstrek vs 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack: What to Buy?

Yep, another small crossover comparison! That’s understandable considering that these vehicles represent the hottest market segment in the auto industry right now. 

Last year, we offered you a head-to-head matchup featuring the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. More recently, following the launch of several new competitors, we pitted the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Qashqai against each other. The next few months will keep us excited with the arrival of the Hyundai Kona, Kia Stonic and Ford EcoSport in showrooms.

Will any of those manage to unseat the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, our Sub-Compact SUV of the Year and AJAC’s 2017 Canadian Car of the Year? The team at likes the chances of the second-generation 2018 Subaru Crosstrek, which debuted this spring in Geneva and further showcased its potential during a test drive at Subaru’s proving grounds in Japan late last month. Note that each model is available with a comprehensive active safety package.

Here’s a ton of information that hopefully will make your purchase decision easier!

By the numbers…

2018 Subaru Crosstrek – World premiereReviewPhoto gallery

  • Convenience - $23,695
  • Touring - $25,295
  • Sport - $27,795
  • Sport with EyeSight package - $30,595
  • Limited - $31,695
  • Limited with EyeSight package - $33,195

Strong points

  1. Significantly lower prices
  2. Sporty looks and versatile size
  3. Good road manners and more inspiring drive than before
  4. Excellent AWD system with X-mode function
  5. Reputation for solid, durable construction

Weak points

  1. Less power and gusto than the Golf Alltrack
  2. Manual gearbox carries a big penalty at the pump
  3. Some interior materials could be improved
  4. Return of the hybrid model would have been nice
  5. Limited vehicle warranty not as generous as Volkswagen’s

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack – Technical specificationsReviewPhoto gallery

  • Alltrack 4MOTION - $35,295

Strong points

  1. Superior performance
  2. Much more cargo room (rear seats up or down)
  3. Refined fit and finish
  4. Great 4MOTION AWD system with Off-Road mode
  5. Lower height makes it easier to lift a mountain bike or snowboard up on the roof

Weak points

  1. Conservative styling
  2. Hefty price in comparison
  3. No manual transmission
  4. Less fuel-efficient than automatic Crosstrek
  5. Not as much ground clearance (about 45 mm)

Choosing between a Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and the new Subaru Crosstrek is not easy, particularly when you consider the substantial price gap that favours the latter. In terms of performance and cargo capacity, VW wins the duel. However, we must admit that Subaru’s new global platform makes the Crosstrek way more inspiring to drive now. As for all-wheel drive, both models offer some of the best systems available. Clearly a road test is a must for any potential buyer.