2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV AWD Hybrid by Stu Wright

 Last week my wife and I drove a Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid to Vail.   In the past I have tested several Subarus, none with as stunning a paint job as the Touring edition that was brought to the house prior to the trip.  The color was called Plasma Green Pearl metallic, and I became  fond of it during the week that I tested the car.

  Subaru unveiled the XV Crosstrek Hybrid at last year’s New York Auto Show.  The car was rolled out from behind screen prints of trees to quite a bit of fanfare in front of the automotive press.  It is Subaru’s first foray into the green car world, mating Subaru’s outdoor reputation with a reduced carbon footprint.  All the world can see that the Subaru is a hybrid with the distinctive badging on each front door.

The Subaru Crosstrek XV Hybrid has 8.7” of ground clearance, the same dimension as the Crosstrek 2.0i, the company’s non-hybrid offering.  The wheelbase of the XV Hybrid is 103.7”, overall length is 175.2”, and the car weighs 3,484 lbs.  Symmetrical all-wheel drive is included in this model, which carries a base price of $29,295.00.  My test car had no additional equipment with it, so with freight of $825.00, total M.S.R.P. was $30,120.00.

The Subaru I tested was the top-of-the-line Touring model.  With this model, the owner gets leather upholstery, power moon roof, GPS navigation setup with 6.1” screen, XM radio, rear-vision camera, and keyless proximity access with pushbutton starter.  Also included is a 6-speaker stereo, heated buckets, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope, and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat.  Cargo capacity behind the second row of seats is 21.5 cubic feet – that number increases to 50.2 with the back seats folded flat.  I thought the black Subaru interior was tasteful, and it is evident that the company added sound-deadening materials to the Hybrid – it was quiet and had a solid feel.

The styling of Subaru’s Crosstrek XV Hybrid is eye-catching, and matches that of the non-hybrid car.  Chrome-trimmed door handles are attached and the 17” five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels are aerodynamically fitted with 225/55R17 Yokohama Geolandar G91 all-season, low-rolling-resistance tires.

Power for the Subaru is supplied by a “boxer” horizontally-opposed four cylinder, 2.0 liter gas engine with a 13.4 horsepower electric motor integrated into the drive train.  Total system power is 160 horsepower (6,000 rpm) with 163 lb. ft. of torque (2,000 rpm).  Transmission is a Lineartronic continuously variable unit with manual-mode paddle shifters.  Some shuddering occurs at a standstill when the gas engine is starting, as needed.  This is typical, and an EV mode (all-electric) is available up to 25 mph, resulting in zero emissions and zero fuel consumption.  Economy ratings are 33-highway, 29-city, and 31-combined.  The city rating is the one that stands out for the hybrid, at about 20% improvement over the conventional 2.0i Crosstrek.  Zero to 60 mph acceleration is reportedly in the 8 second range.  In the mountains, the Subaru did an excellent job through the use of the 6-speed manual mode setup in the transmission and the paddle shifters.

Overall, driving the very appealing XV Crosstrek Hybrid was fine, with good guidance and ride (plus that quiet interior), and handling was suitable.  If I were more of an outdoorsman, perhaps I would be shopping for such a car at trade time.


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