How To Lift Your 2013-2017 Crosstrek The Right way, the first time

(With Links To Get All The Parts You Need)

The first gen Subaru Crosstrek XV took the US market by storm when it hit dealerships in September of 2012. The sporty styling and rugged features put the Subaru brand in front of a new market that had never considered owning one before. In fact, between 2012-2017 the Crosstrek sold 427,105 units.

If you’re one of those proud owners, you may be looking to get just a little more utility out of the car by lifting it. Even though the Crosstrek comes with a stock ground clearance of 8.7 inches, sometimes it can be really helpful to have just a bit more height.

This article is designed to help point you in the right direction as you begin sorting out the idea of having a lift and bigger tires installed. We’ve outlined our favorite 5 kits that we think you should consider as you shop. 

How do you lift a Subaru Crosstrek?

This is a common question and there are various ways to do it. The most common way people choose to lift their Crosstrek is by using strut top spacers, and lift springs. Some people prefer to use one or the other, while some folks use a combination of the two. Either way will work great, but there are pros and cons.

Using just strut spacers is affordable and easiest to install. However, there is nothing there to stiffen your suspension up to keep the rear from sagging when the vehicle is loaded up with off-road, or camping gear. 

If you choose to use only springs for a lift, you will be limited to about .5″-1″ inches of lift and the install will take more time that doing strut spacers. However, this is a great option for someone who wants a little lift that still handles well on the pavement.

Using a combination of spacers and springs is a great way to lift your Crosstrek. It is ideal for anyone who routinely loads up their Subaru with heavy camping gear, or anyone who tows a small trailer. But there are drawbacks. First, it costs more than most other ways of lifting. Second, the installation process is longer. And third, any time you use stiffer springs, it will make rough roads slightly less comfortable.

How big of a tire can I fit on a lifted 1st gen Crosstrek?

If you ask anyone in the lifted Subaru groups this question, they will reply with something like “how big of a hammer do you have?” And while this is true, you can fit 30″+ tires if you’re ambitious and have a saw. But you’re likely wondering how big of a tire you can fit WITHOUT chopping and banging on your car. 

For lifted 2013-2017 Crosstreks, we suggest the 215/75R15 size. It fits without any additional modifications. Depending on the tire tread and design, you may have a little rubbing on the splash guards. But many people are running this size with no issues. You would need to purchase a rally style 15 inch wheel if you go with this size. However, the 225/65R17 is another common size that fits stock Crosstrek wheels.

 

Our Top Picks For 2013-2017 Crosstrek XV Lift Kits:

  • LP Aventure (Affordable, fully equipped, no surprises)
  • Primitive Racing (Best strut spacer & spring kit)
  • Anderson Design & Fabrication (Highest quality 1.5″ economy kit)
  • ReadyLift (Affordable strut spacers)
  • Rough Country (Best budget spacer kit under $280)

Most Comprehensive Spacer Kit - No Hidden Headaches

(photo: LP Aventure)

If you own a 2013-2017 Crosstrek, the LP Aventure kits are very comprehensive and have a solid construction. We routinely hear from people in various lifted Subaru groups things like “wow. I know I paid a little extra for this kit, but the build quality is 110%.” 

They have multiple fit and finish options for each each model and the kits come with every piece of geometry correction needed. These are awesome setups.

LP Aventure is a company out of Canada that has years of authority in the off-road and over-landing industry. They pride themselves on maintaining NHTSA and FMVSS126 motor vehicle safety standards. This means that their kits allow your Crosstrek to retain full factory safety features while providing extra all terrain capabilities.

Their extensive R&D means your Crosstrek will handle as closely to stock as possible!

Highlights:

This kit has literally everything you’ll need to ensure proper alignment after install including:

  • Gives a true 1.5″ inch lift
  • Allows to easily fit 215/75R15 tires
  • Brake line spacers
  • Extended exhaust hangers
  • Sub-frame (multi-link) spacers to keep the rear wheels in their original position
  • TIG welded 304 stainless steel construction
  • All hardware needed for a full installation
  • Starts at around $599

Primitive Racing Lift Kits:

Build a lifted Crosstrek the right way using springs and spacers

When it comes to a proper off-road set up, one of the best ways to improve the capability is with upgraded suspension. The Primitive Racing kits offer an upgraded spring system in addition to strut spacers and sub frame spacers.

These kits are great for anyone who wants to load the car up with camping gear, or trail gear without losing suspension performance.

This kit helps eliminate “butt-sag” and keeps the rear wheels in their proper place. Getting an alignment is a breeze with this kit.

They have multiple options available, but most will arrive with brake line extensions, subframe spacers, and even sway bar link spacers. Their kits are designed to help reduce the accelerated wear that comes with lifting Subarus.

Check out their site and pick your next lift kit.

2013-crosstrek-lift-kit-king-springs and strut spacers

Highlights:

This kit has everything you’ll need to ensure a good ride after install including:

  • Includes heavy duty King springs to eliminate sag
  • Subframe spacer kit
  • Longer brake line spacers to maintain safety
  • Hand brake spacers to avoid cable stretch
  • Longer exhaust hangers

Anderson Design & Fabrication

Best quality economy 1.5" lift spacers

The ADF 1.5″ lift spacers are the perfect option for someone who is budget conscious but doesn’t want to sacrifice quality. We have personally used Anderson Design kits on multiple vehicles and really trust their quality.

Installing this kit is easily done by almost any shop, or in the garage for those with basic mechanical knowledge.

Anderson design subaru crosstrek xv lift kit spacers (1)

Highlights:

This kit has everything you’ll need to ensure a good ride after install including:

  • Easy installation
  • High quality hardware and welds
  • Allows for 225/65/17 or 215/75R15 tires with no issues
  • Very affordable – typically under $300
  • Made in the USA right in Oregon state

Well-designed budget strut spacers to get you lifted quickly

ReadyLift offers the SST 2013-2017 Crosstrek lift kit with offset spacers to help with camber/caster results.

According to the Ready Lift site, the 2 inch Crosstrek kit allows for 215/75/15 All-Terrain tires with zero rub, or 235/75/15 with slight plastic trimming. It also delivers 12 inches of ground clearance at the rocker panels.

Ready Lift has been making lift kits for trucks of all sorts for well over a decade, and now they are working to provide excellent options for SUV and crossover owners. Their kits are very straightforward and simple.

They’re good for anyone who wants to lift their Crosstrek in order to fit bigger off-road tires for cosmetic purposes or light off-roading.

We do recommend purchasing sub-frame spacers to accompany your ReadyLift kit. This will help re-center your rear wheels. (Check with your vendor to see if their ReadyLift kits includes sub-frame spacers.)

If you plan to load the car up with gear for camping, we also recommend installing King springs to help prevent butt-sag.

readylift kit for subaru crosstrek 2013-2017 lift kit for off road

Highlights:

  • Good construction and solid hardware
  • Great customer service
  • Powder coated metal components
  • No permanent modifications necessary – perfect for leased vehicles

Best kit for budget-conscious off-roaders

We’ve seen a lot of mixed opinions regarding the Rough Country lift kits. But one thing is certain, this is the best kit available if you’re on a tight budget.

Their lift kits are typically under $300 and contain the components necessary to help keep the car riding closer to factory than the cheap “Ebay” kits you might find in this price range.

How easy is it to install a Rough Country lift kit? Check out this video where the Explorist  DIY Campers modified their Crosstrek XV using this lift.

Highlights:

  • Good construction and solid hardware
  • Allows for 225/65R17 tires on stock wheels
  • USA based customer service
  • Powder coated metal components
  • No permanent modifications necessary – perfect for leased vehicles

Hopefully this article helps you sort through some of the different options available. If you’ve already installed a lift on your Crosstrek, we’d love to hear about it!

Thinking of Upgrading Your Wheels & Tires?
Most Popular Combo For Off-Road Crosstreks:

Toyo Open Country AT3

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Method Race Wheels MR502

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