Cruisin' Colorado in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Last month, I had the opportunity to drive a vehicle for review unlike any test drive auto I'd driven before: the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium.

Now, I have previously driven Subarus. And I've taken plenty of SUVs (small, large, crossover, mini and more) for spins for review. The novel aspect of this auto, though, was the color.

It was orange.

Sunshine Orange, to be exact.

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Which threw me a bit at first, I must admit. But the sunny, sporty hue quickly grew on me—and inspired me to seek a similarly novel destination to which I'd drive the vehicle for my review.

So one not-quite-but-almost-spring-like Saturday, my husband and I hopped into the Subaru Crosstrek and headed out for a spot we'd never been before: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Denver.

On the road in the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek proved comfy for our trek up Interstate 25, with plenty of space in the passenger seat for my 6'4" husband, while allowing 5'4" me to scoot the driver seat to a perfect position for the hour-plus drive. The power moonroof allowed lots of light, making the space seem even larger.

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The 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder, all-wheel-drive SUV rode smoothly, with no jerky shifting from the Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). I was thankful for the Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert as fellow folks on the road were especially erratic that day. Further assurance we'd be fine even if those manic motorists veered into us came by way of the numerous safety features: driver's side knee airbag; side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor; front seat side-impact airbags; whiplash protection front seats, to name a few.

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We were comfy, we were safe, we were connected to maps and apps via the 6.5' STARLINK Multimedia Audio System. (We weren't, though, entertained by Sirius or XM radio options as this vehicle unfortunately didn't have that option—which is typically one of my favorite features on the autos I test drive.)

Soon I was easily maneuvering the spunky Crosstrek into a parking space at the more-packed-than-I-expected Visitor Center of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge

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Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, located near downtown Denver, is a 15,000-acre refuge for a wide range of wildlife, from bald eagles to bison, owls to black-footed ferrets, coyotes, deer, myriad migrating songbirds, and more. One of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the country, the place is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and features all sorts of outdoorsy goodness: wildlife viewing from the 11-mile Wildlife Drive for motorized vehicles as well as the numerous 10 miles of grassland, wetland, and woodland trails for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

NWR is open year-round and free to visit! Full details on the refuge—including its history plus info on the many tours and programs offered—can be found on the NWR website.

(Want to see more photos from our visit to NWR? Click here.)

Grand gigs in the Subaru Crosstrek 

Romping around Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge was just one venture during my week with the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. The spunky SUV was super for conducting a few grandma-gig duties, too, including transporting James to football practice in style and stocking up on soil in the roomy rear of the Crosstrek for our seed-planting soiree

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The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Premium (in Sunshine Orange) I drove for the week gets 29 mpg (27 city/33 highway) and has an MSRP of $26,905, which includes $3,395 in option. Visit for info on specs, options—and colors available—for the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek.

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