Hey, Subaru, I'm available. To be in one of your commercials. Here's my pitch. I don't have an agent, yet, so you'll need to contact me directly to take advantage of this oh-so-great offer.
Lincoln has Matthew McConaughey. Subaru can have Brian Hines. Why? Because...
I'm a 70-something baby boomer who, until today, looked upon the Subaru Crosstrek with amusement. Perhaps even with some disdain.
Yeah, I saw them everywhere here in Salem, Oregon, along with Subaru Foresters, Outbacks, and other models with outdoorsy names. Sometimes the Lifesource Natural Foods parking lot has so many Subarus in it, I thought the store had become a used Subaru dealer.
But after my wife and I owned a suitably boring Legacy in the early 1990s, I turned to more exciting cars. Most recently, I spent five happy years with a Mini Cooper S, which turned into three years with my even more pleasurable VW GTI.
Today, though, I drove the GTI to Capitol Subaru to test drive a 2019 Crosstrek Limited. I adore small cars. I'd studied the Crosstrek because I liked its subcompact size and all-wheel-drive (it's just eight inches longer than the decidedly small GTI).
However, I couldn't get past the reviews that talked about the underpowered Crosstrek engine and lack of driving excitement. A few days ago something changed in my psyche, though.
I began thinking to myself, Maybe at the age of 71 I've had enough of fast cars that handle great. Perhaps it's time for a new phase in my car life.
So I took out a Crosstrek this afternoon with Capitol Subaru salesman Rafael Vargas in the passenger seat. He was appealingly low-key as I talked about how I'd read so much about the Crosstrek, and watched so many You Tube reviews of the car, I didn't need any convincing about the Crosstrek's many positive features.
What I needed to decide was whether I could make the jump from the quintessential "hot hatchback," my much-beloved GTI, to the decidedly cooler Crosstrek.
Bottom line was: I enjoyed driving the Subaru.
Yes, it won't win any drag races, but it had a decent amount of power. The Crosstrek could use more, so maybe Subaru could emulate the Hyundai Kona and put a turbocharged engine with a dual clutch transmission in an upcoming model.
But like I said, after eight years of driving the Mini Cooper S and VW GTI, there was something appealing about driving a solid, highly safe, comfortable car that offers the best all-wheel-drive system in its price range (and maybe any price range).
Since we live in rural south Salem where our road never gets any attention from the county when it is snowy or icy, a Crosstrek with winter tires would suit me just fine when the extremes of winter weather that will accompany global climate change hit, as they almost certainly will despite several mild recent winters.
Simple. Clean. Driver-oriented. I liked how the center main screen is set into the dashboard, rather than perching on top of it as in many new cars. That's how the GTI does it also, though in the GTI the screen is angled slightly toward the driver rather than facing straight out.
So I've asked Dan Penick, the Internet sales guy at Capitol Subaru who was my first contact, to let me know when the 2020 Crosstrek Limited is available in a suitable color. My first choice is the weirdly named "Cool Gray Khaki" -- since from what I can tell it is neither gray nor khaki, as shown above in a Reddit post I found.
There aren't many 2019 Crosstreks available, and the 2020 models wlll come with some improvements, so that's why I'm waiting for a 2020.
I also will be waiting to hear from the Subaru ad agency about when they want me to start filming. I'm not greedy. Giving me a 2020 Crosstrek Limited at no charge would be payment enough to start with, Subaru.