When you’re from the Pacific Northwest, you know that all-wheel drive was meant for something beyond the pavement, something that can tackle some of the rough forest roads we have in the area and come out on top. To test whether or not the CUV has what it takes to do battle in the PNW, we took the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek to take on Walker Valley ORV Park.

Our test 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium was coated in Venetian Red Pearl paint and boasted dynamic and sporty 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The exterior has a very off-the-beaten-path look and offers a more athletic appearance than your average CUV. Roof rails and front fog lights offer an outdoorsy look even if you don’t go there.

The interior was nicely kitted. Heated front seats (part of the All Weather Package) covered in cloth offer a firm yet comfortable seat, with manual 4-way adjustment. The steering column is tilt and telescoping and sports a leather-wrapped steering wheel with all the normal buttons for audio, cruise control, and in-dash information.

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2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Pemium_12Of course, compared to the other things on the Walker Valley ORV Park’s roads, we were damn near plush.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Pemium_21While the base Crosstrek comes with a 6.2-inch touch screen with the STARLINK connectivity for smartphones, we had the Subaru STARLINK 7.0 system featuring Sirius XM with Travel Link and Traffic, Pandora and other radio apps were brilliant infotainment system apps while the 6-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo system offered a premium sound.

But, that’s not why we took it out to the Walker Valley ORV Park one dark and rainy day. No. We took it out to see how it was in the environs that many of us PNWers live and breathe: The Woods.

As a Subaru vehicle, it’s guaranteed that it can handle any of the roads we’d taken it on. No, seriously, they weren’t bad roads (I’d expected much worse). Instead, we found mildly potholed dirt roads with a bit of rock in places; nothing for the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek to be scared of.

As we ventured out onto the forest service roads, we enjoyed the bounce and pep in the Crosstrek’s ride. Several areas of potholes even lifted us off of our seats, temporarily giving us some air time, until the seats came back up to our rear-ends and we puttered past the potholes.

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Of course, Subaru has fitted the 2016 Crosstrek with one of their horizontally-opposed BOXER engines, this one a 2.0L capable of 148 horsepower and 145-lb.ft. of torque. The continuously variable transmission was more than capable of quickly getting the Crosstrek up to speed and offered a manual mode for more fun. Subaru’s Crosstrek can also tow up to 1,500 lbs., but I have nothing to tow so this went untested.

Safety features include traction and dynamic stability controls, 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with brake assist and brake override (for unintentional acceleration with brake and gas both depressed), and other standard safety features.

Our test model was equipped with the EyeSight driver assistive systems, featuring adaptive cruise control pre-collision braking, lane departure sway, blind spot monitoring, cross path detection, and more. Higher model levels also come with keyless access (our model actually had a key) and push-button start ignition.

The numbers for the car include a cargo volume of 22.3 cubic feet (rear seats usable) and 51.9 cu.ft. with the rear seats down. Subaru’s 2016 Crosstrek comes in with a wheelbase of 103.7 inches, a length of 175.2 inches, a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, and a curb weight of 3,186 lbs. (3,109 for models with a manual transmission). While the starting MSRP comes in at $21,595, our test model 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium with EyeSight came in at $26,240.

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2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Pemium_11

Our jaunt into the not-so-wildernesses of the Walker Valley ORV Park was uneventful yet was still a fun-filled event. Mud found its way to the underside of the hood and all-up on the firewall, so we call that a good day.

Overall, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek is a capable, sporty, and great looking all-wheel drive CUV that anyone would be happy to have in their garage. To check out more information about the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, please visit www.Subaru.com or call your local dealership for a test drive!