Socket to Me: Subaru Reboots Crosstrek Hybrid as Plug-In for 2019

2014 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Apparently Subaru isn't afraid to own up to its mistakes. It canceled its unpopular Tribeca three-row SUV in 2014 and replaced it for 2019 with the Ascent, light-years better than the Tribeca in every way. It looks like the Crosstrek Hybrid's shot at redemption is next: The automaker announced today that the hybrid hatchback will return to the lineup and debut a significant new feature: a plug.

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The Crosstrek Hybrid debuted for 2014 as the automaker's first hybrid, but it disappointed in terms of price (high) and fuel economy (low), and was canceled after the 2016 model year. The 2019 version will be the automaker's first plug-in hybrid, and it's got to do much better in terms of both numbers given the evolution of the competition during the past couple of years.

The 2016 model was EPA-rated 29/33/31 mpg city/highway/combined — only 3 mpg combined better than the non-hybrid model in city driving and 2 mpg better in its combined figure. What's more, it didn't make sense from a dollar perspective, either: The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid started at $27,245, including destination — around $4,800 more than the non-hybrid version.

Details on the new model are slim but promising. Subaru says the hybrid will combine a four-cylinder direct-injection engine with all-wheel drive, a new transmission and a hybrid system borrowed from hybrid heavyweight Toyota.

The new Crosstrek will be able to be driven as a normal hybrid, using both gas and electric power, or driven solely on electric power in around-town driving.

The 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid will arrive at Subaru dealerships near the end of 2018.

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