The Subaru XV Crosstrek is a beefed-up version of the Impreza hatchback. Subaru says the Crosstrek has the same ground clearance as the larger Outback wagon. It competes with small off-roaders like the Jeep Compass and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
The Crosstrek comes in Premium and Limited trims, both with a four-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel drive.
An elevated ride height, black side and wheel arch cladding, spoiler and roof rails add to the Crosstrek's rugged look, as do its stylized 17-inch alloy wheels. Thanks to its raised suspension, the Crosstrek's ground clearance matches the Outback's 8.7 inches, beating the Impreza hatchback by more than 3 inches. That's better than the prior Impreza-based Outback Sport, which had less than an inch of additional clearance versus the Impreza.
The Crosstrek shares the Impreza's dashboard and controls. Standard features include a telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, as well as various power accessories and Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming. Optional upgrades include heated leather seats, automatic climate control, a rear-seat armrest, a backup camera and HD radio. A power moonroof and a navigation system are standalone options on both trim levels.
Fold the rear seats, and the Crosstrek has 52.4 cubic feet of cargo room, which is competitive with the Jeep and Mitsubishi.
Under the Hood
The sole powertrain is a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that works through a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission. Though mileage figures haven't been finalized, the Crosstrek's heavy-duty hardware is expected to cost the XV a few mpgs versus its Impreza sibling, which gets an EPA-estimated 27/36 mpg city/highway with the CVT. A standard eco gauge should help improve gas mileage; it shows the driver when the vehicle is being driven most efficiently.
All-wheel drive is standard. Stick-shift Crosstreks get a mechanical split between the front and rear wheels, while automatics have an electronic coupling that can send up to 100 percent of all power to one axle or the other.
An electronic stability system and all-disc antilock brakes are standard, with larger front discs than the base Impreza. Seven airbags are also standard.
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