Meet The New Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

June 20, 2014


It took a while, but Subaru has finally entered the hybrid segment. The Japanese carmaker rarely follows convention with their vehicles – generally making cars for a specific audience, so it’s no wonder that their first entry into the hybrid territory marks a first not only for Subaru but also for automakers in general.

The 2014 Subie XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the first and at this point only all wheel drive hybrid on the market. Having invented the crossover – or the CUV – segment with the Outback, Subaru engineers are experts in the realm. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid stands on that expertise, as it’s based on the same model as the traditional gasoline XV Crosstrek crossover.

The best word to describe the recently shipped CUV is “capable.” Most Subaru customers are adventurers, and the XV Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t miss a step in that department.

Another first for the XV is that it is the only hybrid with a 2.0-liter boxer engine with 160 horsepower, and it actually has more total combined power than the gasoline XV, which topped out at 148 horsepower.

The added power comes from the 13.4 horsepower boost it gets from the electric motor, which is integrated into the CVT transmission.

The additional horsepower doesn’t make a huge difference in top speed or 0-60 time, but the electric power is available instantly in passing situations, providing much-needed torque increase.

The XV Crosstrek Hybrid also boasts the lowest emissions and the best fuel efficiency of any AWD hybrid available at this time, with 33 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in the city. Subaru also ensures good gas mileage by implementing Auto Stop-Start. When the vehicle stops, the engine stops to help reduce fuel consumption. When the brake is released, the system transitions to a creep state using the electric drive motor.

The outside of the Crosstrek Hybrid looks very similar to the best-selling 2013 gasoline version, with the exception of the badging, chrome door handles and LED lights. The low stature of the CUV is very noticeable, but it has surprisingly high ground clearance at 8.7 inches, which is higher than the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Subaru’s first hybrid attempt is a good one. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is very affordable, with a starting MSRP of $25,995. You’d be hard-pressed to find this combination of gas mileage, performance, features and reliability in any other crossover.