There is a common misconception that Subaru models are equipped globally with all-wheel drive as standard, with the obvious exception of the BRZ. This is not actually the case because, back home in Japan, kei cars come with a front-wheel drive layout. The larger Rex crossover introduced in November also sends power to the front axle, as does the new Crosstrek launched in mid-September.
Formerly known as the XV in some markets, the small crossover is gaining a two-wheel drive base model in its domestic market. The JDM-spec Crosstrek went on sale this month in the Land of the Rising Sun in Touring and Limited trim levels, with both giving customers a choice between FWD and AWD.
The heart of the third generation model is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter petrol engine that develops 145 horsepower (107 kilowatts) at 6,000 rpm and 188 Newton-meters (139 pound-feet) of torque from 4,000 rpm. The electric motor adds 13 hp (10 kW) and 65 Nm (48 lb-ft) to the mix. Performance figures haven’t been disclosed yet, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the average customer.
Wherever the power goes, the 2023 Crosstrek has 200 mm (nearly eight inches) of ground clearance. Weight varies from 1,540 to 1,620 kilograms (3,395 to 3,571 pounds) depending on trim level, FWD or AWD, and optional equipment added. No other powertrains are available for now, but we wouldn’t be too surprised if the US-spec variant gets a fuel-only setup.
In typical JDM fashion, Subaru offers a bevy of accessories, including some STI-branded goodies such as wheels, mid-mounted dual exhaust tips, roof spoiler, strut bars, and red start/stop buttons.
Pricing starts at 2,662,000 yen (about $20,000) for the Touring model with FWD and goes up to 3,289,000 yen (about $25,000) for the Limited with AWD. Pricing includes local consumption tax (10 percent). Staying on FWD saves you 220,000 yen ($1,600) and you also get slightly better fuel economy.