If you’re okay—perhaps even happier—with a vehicle that’s more spartan and utilitarian than lavish, the feel of the Crosstrek’s interior will fit you well. On the flip side, however, the cabin appointments never really feel greater than the Crosstrek’s price tag.
Whether you're looking to travel in the front seat or pack the colleagues in the back seat for a short trip out to lunch, the Crosstrek does have well positioned seating for adults. The driver’s seat ratchets up and down for height, and this very tall driver found no problem getting into a comfortable position. Since the front passenger seat doesn't include height adjustability--leaving it in a sort of scooped-up position--some might actually be more comfortable in the back seat, which is contoured nicely for adults, and split 60/40, so with a lift of a small knob next to the outboard headrests you can flip the seatback forward; unless the front seats are at their farthest-back travel, you can do it with one arm.
Ride quality, ranging from choppy two-lane roads and some expressways, remained impressive—and seldom pitchy or jarring off-road. The front strut suspension is essentially carried over from the Impreza, while the rear double-wishbone setup comes with pillow-ball bushings, which Subaru says helps ride comfort, stability, and agility. There’s one exception to the Crosstrek's composure, and that’s when you step down on the brakes firmly, or even moderately; there’s noticeably more nosedive than you’ll find in nearly all normal cars—and even some other crossovers—and the body tends to ‘whip’ back to center when you reach a full stop, unless the driver has finessed the last few feet. Stops are very confident nevertheless (Subaru installed larger front discs versus the Impreza), and pedal feel is reassuring.
Subaru claims that the cargo space wasn’t designed for numerical claims but rather to be able to fit the kinds of larger pieces of gear that users might have—and after crawling around and folding the seats, we agree. The cargo space is surprisingly box-like, with a flat, straight-across cargo floor, and no confining strut towers, and for the main cargo area there’s a removable rubberized tray that would clean up (and hose off) very easily. Up on top there's a stout roof rack, capable of carrying 150 pounds, fitted to all 2013 XV Crosstrek models.
Materials are unspectacular, and they feel done to meet a low price point; although if you've shopped around in this category you won't find them inferior by any means. With the Crosstrek’s LCD trip meter and base audio readouts, and its generally pleasant but very basic-feeling interior trims and surfaces, the Crosstrek has appointments that aren’t all that much different than those that Subaru was using a decade or more ago. Its dash is topped with soft-touch surfaces, however, which helps bring better first impressions.