The all-new, second-generation 2018 Subaru Crosstrek looks to further the company’s reputation for a small, efficient sport/utility with a dash of fun.

Subaru originally morphed the Crosstrek by lifting and dressing up an Impreza hatchback, making it look more like an SUV than an economy car. The new Crosstrek reflects the improvements already seen on the redesigned Impreza, which went on sale last year. Both received new safety features and enhanced handling and ride comfort.

The new model gets a longer wheelbase and wider cabin. The company also says the 2018 Crosstrek gets a more spacious cargo hold this time around—a good thing since the last version didn’t have as much hauling space as most competing small SUVs.

According to Subaru, the Crosstrek’s new platform is 70 percent stiffer, which they say translates to improved stability, cornering agility, and ride comfort. The new Crosstrek is also supposed to be quieter, with less noise, vibration, and harshness making its way into the cabin. We’re certainly looking forward to a quieter driving experience, since the previous Crosstrek had just mediocre noise suppression, highlighted by a gruff engine note and too much wind and tire noise at highway speeds.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek

The powertrain retains the signature Subaru “boxer” 2.0-liter four-cylinder configuration (now making 152 hp, up from 148). The 2.0i base and Premium versions get a standard six-speed manual transmission; a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. Limited trims come standard with the CVT. All-wheel drive is standard on all models.

We’re pleased to see that Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology safety gear will be available with the new Crosstrek. EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, and lane-departure warning. Blind-spot detection with lane-keeping assist and rear cross-traffic alert are also available.

Infotainment upgrades feature a 6.5-inch screen with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

The first-generation Crosstrek was quite competitive among subcompact SUVs, outpointing the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. That Crosstrek delivered decent fuel economy and typically good Subaru reliability. Weaknesses included a noisy cabin and stiff ride—both facets that have been tamed, according to Subaru.

We are testing the redesigned Impreza right now, and we’re finding it to be quiet and comfortable, making it a solid competitor in the subcompact field. (See our extensive Subaru Impreza first drive.)

Crosstrek deliveries start this summer.

2018 Subaru Crosstrek