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How Well Does A Subaru Crosstrek Drive In The Snow? (Answered)

On this blog, we’ve written extensively about Subaru’s and their capabilities in the snow. Today it’s up to the Crosstrek. How good is this car really in the snow? Let’s start with a quick answer!

The Subaru Crosstrek is a great car for driving in snowy conditions. It has a high ground clearance of 8.7 inches, a long wheelbase of 104.9 inches, and a 50:50 weight distribution. Furthermore, the car has 63.6 inches of height and owners are very positive about the AWD capabilities of this car in the snow.

Is the Subaru Crosstrek so good? Is it snow-worthy? Let’s put it this way. More than a million of these have been sold in North America alone, with sales spiking from August onwards, according to, clearly showing a winter trend of buyers. Let’s see what the owners have to say about that.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Subaru Crosstrek Last?

Experience Of Subaru Crosstrek Owners

This is a screamer in winters, which is the least that we can say about its snow and winter prowess as Subaru has been able to pull off sales figures in millions for the Subaru Crosstrek, some echo of feedback about the Crosstrek and its winter clothes. It has been able to put smiles on winter drivers’ faces—plenty of those.

A very well-known YouTuber who has been a great critic of cars and vehicles has put the Crosstrek to the test. He owns an S2000 Honda as well, which is the exact opposite of the Crosstrek. One is the mother and the other the step-mother of the winters. The S2000 being the step-mom hates winters. The Subaru Crosstrek, however, has been spoken about as:

“This thing has honestly just been a champ and it’s able to handle pretty much everything I have thrown at it……It has been an awesome vehicle in the snow……one of the interesting things that I have noticed while I have been driving is I have heard the ABS motor kicking on while I have been driving in snow.”


Another driver from Indiana faced with 9 inches of snow took a drive on the Crosstrek and said this:

“Overall I would say I am impressed with how it handles in the snow.” He goes on to say this when he was stuck in a pile of snow and the Crosstrek pulled out with ease. “I made it.”


After these reviews about the Subaru Crosstrek and its winter readiness, we aren’t left with much to say about how amazing the Crosstrek is when it comes to snow and winter handling. Let’s say that it’s like a hot butter knife gliding on the butter bar. Get the picture?

Also read: How Much Can A Subaru Crosstrek Tow?

Does Subaru Crosstrek Have Snow Tires?

When spending close to 23 grand on a vehicle, one should ask questions like what kind of tires will come pre-installed on the Subaru Crosstrek. Well, we hate to disappoint, but it is what it is. All variants of the Crosstrek come pre-installed with All-Season Tires. 225/60-R17.

With a width of 225 mm and 60% of that being the tire’s height, one can make peace with the fact that the Subaru Crosstrek has a decent tire size. Add to this a 17-inch wheel size, and the recipe tastes pretty good. But the gravy is still not as tasty as it would be with snow and winter tires.

The critical difference between all-seasons and winter tires is that of the rubber compound that goes into constructing the tires. All-seasons are far less resilient to temperature drops than winter tires. Usually, they are good until the temperature falls below 45 degrees. This is the breaking point for the all-season tires.

However, the winter tires offer more excellent immunity to tire-hardening that is a result of weather anomalies such as winters and snow where the temperatures are close to the freezing point. This characteristic allows the tires to stay softer even in extremely low temperatures. The whole set of variables equate to better grip and traction when using winter tires.

A considerable slice of the Crosstrek buyer pie-chart opts for winter tires and enables the drivers to have better grip and control over the vehicle than those who don’t.

What Drive System Does A Subaru Crosstrek Have?

Subaru Crosstrek is a vehicle designed to absorb mother nature’s hatred. Going for an All-wheel Drive system is the inevitable choice. It is ideal for the SUV genre of cars as it intelligently decides which wheel gets the maximum amount of torque and horsepower to keep the vehicle from getting stuck.

When we are discussing winters and snow, the difficulties of driving come loaded with unexplored frontiers. To ascertain the vehicle stands on its own feet, there is simply no better choice than opt for the AWD system. Imagine a situation where an AWD is replaced with a rear or front-wheel drive system. We know you won’t be comfortable even imagining this.

So let’s keep it straightforward. The AWD system is the best fit for the Crosstrek, which Subaru gives its buyers.

What Electronics System Helps The Subaru Crosstrek In The Snow?

Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC)

The Subaru VDC is essentially a Vehicle Stability Control system that ensures vehicle stability in adverse conditions. An army of sensors is at work to constantly send information to the electronic stability control system, which makes instantaneous decisions to control the vehicle. This results in a stabilized driving operation.

Some factors that adversely affect the vehicle’s stability are wheel speed, yaw rate, lateral acceleration, and steering wheel position. It’s the constant jugglery of correction and auto-correction that takes place at all times to ensure vehicle stability. This, in return, allows the driver to have better control and feel of the vehicle.

Torque-split adjustment, brake force dispersion, intermittent allowance, and disallowance of power delivery to wheels, you name it. This constant show of trickery keeps the vehicle planted on all four wheels at all times, and the result is a car that keeps you away from severe and sudden palpitations that come about in the absence of VDC.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS):

Because of human instinct, we are built to respond to dangers and threats directed towards us. As soon as a driver senses danger ahead, his knee-jerk reaction is to apply the maximum amount of force to the brake pedal in an attempt to ensure that he stays out of danger. This reflex is counterproductive as it locks the wheels of the vehicle.

The Anti-lock braking system is designed to account for this instinct and prevents the wheels from locking, which results in the redemption of lost grip and traction caused by wheel lock. In equal short intervals, the ABS keeps cutting-and-allowing brake force, which allows for the wheels to keep rotating, and the driver can steer his way – away from danger.

Brake Override System (BOS):

The brake override system ensures that an erroneous press of both gas and brake pedal simultaneously favors the braking more than gas. So if one ends up mistakenly pressing both the brake and gas pedal, it will not experience acceleration and instead will be brought to a stop by the brake override system.

Therefore, no matter how complacent a drive may be, the Subaru Crosstrek is equipped with enough widgets to make sure the vehicle and the passengers are as safe as can be in winters and snow.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Subaru Crosstrek Takes (All Generations)

Weight Distribution

The weight of the Crosstrek is perfectly distributed between the two axles. 50:50 all across the line-up. The balance is so sweet; it puts sugar to shame with its perfection. Add to this the AWD system, and the blend is an absolute gem. What more can a driver want from a 23 grand SUV.

2021 ModelsWeight Distribution F/R

Ground Clearance: 8.7

Since the Subaru Crosstrek is an SUV, higher ground clearance is a feature that comes with it. The best part is that the 8.7-inch ground clearance makes it a clear winner on roads with as high as 9 inches of snow. Since we are talking snow capability, let’s not forget that the vehicle brings along a plethora of driver assists, which the competition finds hard to beat.

With this inclusion of AWD, ABS, DVC, and other alphabets in the car manufacturer’s arsenal, the ground clearance advantage gets even further amplified. There is not enough that can be said to delineate how well the Crosstrek performs in acute weather conditions with such finesse.


As we are talking of a Subcompact SUV, the wheelbase figure of 104.9 paints the picture with some clarity. With the vehicle stuffed to its skin with winter and snow potential, the longer wheelbase further cements its reputation while the Crosstrek is being pushed or pulled up and down the steeps.

The roads with an incline can undoubtedly become a testing situation that Subaru Crosstrek drivers need to worry less about compared to others. With the longer than average wheelbase, high ground clearance, and added benefits of AWD, ABS, DVC, opting for winter tires cooks a warm soup every driver would love to taste.

What Traction Device You Can Use On The Subaru Crosstrek?

Although the Subaru Crosstrek is an option that snow and winter drivers default to, other trims and tweaks can make the car even better in the snow. One of these is snow chains. If you’re wondering what size will fit, you can find that out here on the peerless chain.