The Subaru XV Crosstrek is an all new crossover vehicle from Subaru. Built on the Impreza platform, the XV offers more ground clearance and practicality than its cousin, but also features rugged styling and plenty of interior features. A gas-electric hybrid variant is also available.
All but the hybrid XV Crosstreks come with a 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine making 148 horsepower. This engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which is able to mimic the function of a traditional automatic while maximizing fuel efficiency. This is how the XV Crosstrek is able to achieve its stellar 33mpg highway figure. Both drivetrains come equipped with all-wheel-drive, a specialty of Subaru.
The hybrid XV Crosstrek comes with the 2.0L boxer engine and CVT packaged with a 13.4-horse electric motor and a NiMh battery in the floor. This combination makes 160 horsepower and 163 lb-feet of torque good for a combined estimate of 31 mpg.
Subaru is serious about making sure the XV Crosstrek comes well-equipped from the factory. Accordingly the vehicle comes in two trim levels: Premium and Limited. Premium equipped cars come with plenty of useful features. The standard stereo has six speakers, iPod controllability, an auxiliary input jack, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity with live audio streaming. Interior amenities include heated seats, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise control, a tilting and telescoping wheel, a removable cargo mat with plenty of tie down hooks, a hill assist function to keep the car from rolling back on inclines, keyless entry, power windows and door locks and of course air conditioning. The Premium model comes standard with a 5-speed manual, but the CVT transmission is optional.
Limited XV Crosstreks come standard with the CVT transmission, automatic climate control, automatic headlights, leather upholstery, a 4.3 inch LCD screen, nicer instruments and a backup camera. Options on both models include a navigation system and a power moonroof.
The Hybrid Crosstrek also nets climate control and keyless entry. A Hybrid Touring model includes navigation, leather and a sunroof.
Amenities aside, the XV is simply a good package. All-wheel-drive vehicles must make accommodations for a driveshaft and rear differential, but fold down the 60/40 rear seats and the XV reveals a flat load floor with nearly 52 cubic feet of carrying space. Rear seat legroom is also impressive with space comparable to many mid-sized family sedans.
Subaru has taken particular care with the safety features of the XV Crosstrek. It has all the standard electronic safety nets, including traction control, anti-lock brakes and stability control. The anti-lock brakes also feature a panic braking sensor that anticipates a panic braking situation and immediately applies full braking load. The front airbags are dual-stage and include a mechanism to detect how close the driver is sitting to the steering wheel, delaying airbag deployment accordingly.