Sometimes, after a few days of driving, it’s a single, stand-out attribute relating to specifications or feature content that stands out and bops your writer square in the schnoz. A super-upscale cabin. A mighty wollop from the engine. A killer stereo system. Laser-beam LED headlights.

Whatever the standout attribute, it creates a focal point. A discussion topic. A starting line to the story.

I couldn’t find one on a recent test drive of the Subaru Crosstrek, which is a charming little machine, but not for any one smack-you-in-the-face sort of reason. Where specifications and feature content are concerned, Subaru’s smallest utility model doesn’t impress with any single feature or attribute. Instead, it’s just a machine that does everything it’s supposed to, really, really well.

Here’s the setup: provide your Subaru dealer with $26,995 for a Sport Package equipped Crosstrek like the tester (base pricing is $2,000 less), and you get a great AWD system, five-speed stick, reasonable fuel mileage, flexibility galore, room for four adults (five in a pinch), and a feature content list full of must-haves like HID lights, a sunroof, Bluetooth, heated seats and automatic climate control for fuss-free toasting of your tootsies at your favourite temperature.
Styling is cheeky and athletic: with updated styling, an eyeball-snatching blue paint-job, and a great stance and presence that screams Kayaking. Or skiing. Or snowboarding. Or taking the dog for a hike. Or doing things at a lake. Or driving smugly through a blizzard up to the slopes while Mother Nature tries to muck up your weekend travel plans.

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