Search CarGuide.PH

October 10, 2023

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek Is A Tito Car And That's Not Such A Bad Thing

On the surface, being labeled as a “Tito’s car” may seem insulting; after all, carmakers are always targeting the youth or youth-oriented demographic. However, in my experience with the all-new Subaru Crosstrek (the crossover formerly known as the Subaru XV), whether it’s by design or accident, its practical packaging and easy-to-drive demeanor make it the great car for those who’ve just hit their mid-forties. Let me explain.

See, like you proverbial Tito or Uncle (if you prefer the Chinese term), the Crosstrek is comfortable in its own skin. Its package is a constant evolution of something Subaru’s managed to nail right on the head since 2012. It’s also a sign of their ingenuity of working with limited ingredients because it’s basically a raised Impreza hatchback with added cladding. Subaru’s soc med bombards you with images of the fashionable Gen Z set posing with the Crosstrek, but it doesn’t jive nor will it please with fashionable Gen Z set. Instead, this crossover is all about pockets and cargo pants. Comfy? Yes. Presentable? Absolutely. Catwalk ready? Perhaps not.

Still, you’ve got to tip your hats over to the folks at Subaru because they’re sticking to their guns when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts. Like a Uniqlo shirt that doesn’t go out of style (not to mention, it happens to survive repeated wash cycles like a cockroach during a nuclear holocaust), the Crosstrek rides on a carryover platform. Still, the Subaru Global Platform’s been reworked extensively with more stiffeners ala the WRX. This gives it a feeling of solidity that you simply never got with previous Subarus before. You know that, “if it doesn’t rattle, it’s not a Subaru” joke? This doesn’t apply here. Pit it against a CX-30, Corolla Cross, or HR-V, and the Subbie will beat them down silly and take their lunch money. Believe me, it’s that good.

Subaru’s been slow to adopt to technology, but that’s not so much the case with the Crosstrek. Like other modern Subarus (sans the Forester), it gains a large portrait-style infotainment screen in the middle. It’s easy enough to use, but those with adversity with touchscreens won’t like the fact that driving functions such as engaging and disengaging vehicle functions including Auto Hold are all in the screen. Still, the learning curve isn’t that steep, even for tech-challenged Titos.

Sadly, this Uncle’s not been working on his cardio program and that 2.0-liter Boxer engine saps the life out of any straight line performance cred. Saddled with an increased curb weight over the previous XV, it’s slower to the century sprint compared to the outgoing model. Even on an subjective level, it’s painfully slow, especially when your drive companion has this beef about trucks finding themselves on the leftmost lane of NLEX. What’s worse, mashing the throttle does nothing; it’s lazy going in a straight line. As a result, the best way to drive the Crosstrek would be on a leisurely convoy such as this drive’s Manila Bay to Clark route via NAIAX, Skyway Stage 3, NLEX, and SCTEX.

But because it’s so relaxed, long stints on the highway is where the Crosstrek’s best experienced. Ultimately, this is where it shows its ace in the hole, its winning hand, its pièce de resistance: Subaru EyeSight. Having driven back and forth between Manila and Clark thrice in as many weeks, having a car do the acceleration and braking for you feels like a reprieve. Adaptive Cruise Control isn’t new, but here, it works from a standstill all the way to 180 km/h. Once it’s switched on, it’ll handle the acceleration and braking for you. When the car in front coasts to a standstill, say like on those stretches of construction on NLEX, it will stop completely. Once the car in front moves, it will resume without the driver having to do anything. Its magic, only it’s not an illusion; it’s technology, baby. It will even follow the car in front for as long as the steering angle doesn’t exceed 45 degrees.

With a wider field of view (almost twice that of EyeSight 3.0), the Crosstrek also happens to gain three additional features: Lane Centering Function, Lane Departure Prevention, and Autonomous Emergency Steering. The first will keep you centered in your lane for as long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel (a light touch is enough), while the second, will nudge you if start veering off your lane without signaling. Nothing groundbreaking, but it’s great Subaru’s got them now as standard.

The last one, Autonomous Emergency Steering is the most interesting one (and one you hopefully wouldn’t need to test) because it will automatically swerve around an obstacle if the vehicle thinks you won’t be able to avoid a collision in time. This is for as long as all safety conditions are met, and that the driver’s hands are on the wheel.

By and large, Subaru has managed to condense their formula and know-how into their smallest crossover. While they still insist that it’s a fashionable crossover, I beg to disagree. Go beyond the Skittles-like colorway, it’s a crossover that’s more substance over style; it’s a formula they’ve been serving for the last decade or so. And to be honest? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. This has appealed, is appealing, and will appeal to a certain demographic. Though Subaru thinks it’s the young-ones, it’s the comfort-loving, practical-minded Titos and Titas (including myself) who’d probably line up for one. And with a price tag of around P 2-million? Surely, it’s something only they could afford.

Read our full review of the 2024 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i-S here.


  1. It's more like a 'tita" car since everyone I see driving the XV/crosstrek are women. Certified soccer mom car.

  2. Better to have an Avanza than a Subaru. Horrible electrical and shitty PMS. Our forester xt had multiple failures engine and electrical and had to sell it at a loss

    1. You don't know how to take care of the car. Stop blaming Subaru.

    2. Of course you had to sell it at a loss, that's how it goes for first owners of all vehicles.

    3. I have seen too many people blame manufacturers for their negligence on maintaining their cars.

    4. I have to agree with his comment regarding electrical and shitty PMS though, although to be fair which brand has no shitty PMS?


Feel free to comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove comments.