2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a compact crossover rated at 33
mpg in highway driving.
So Iíve just
rambled down a gravel road, kicking up some dust and getting some
grins. I step out and look around the exterior to make sure I didnít
do anything to the all-new XV Crosstrek that the folks at Subaru
might frown upon.
I take in the
front end with its aggressive, sweep-around headlights and a grille
that seems to be sneering at me. Thatís when it hits me: This carís
got some attitude.
aside, thatís what Subaru engineers had in mind with the Crosstrekís
8.7 inches of ground clearance and standard all-wheel-drive. Itís
a go-anywhere, anytime attitude and, while itís not ready for
rough-housing with the serious off-roaders, it is ready to take the
adventuresome types where they want to bike, kayak, surf or ski.
The recipe was
simple enough: Subaru took its Impreza Sport hatchback, raised it
some, jazzed it up with fender cladding, lowered the front scoop,
and added some neat wheels and cool colors like Tangerine Orange
Oh, and a ton
of accessories to customize the Crosstrek, like a sport mesh grille,
body-side moldings or a hitch-mounted bike carrier.
The result is
a compact crossover thatís eager to please and fun to drive.
on your excursion is the one and only engine available: a 2.0-liter
boxer four, which ó no surprise here ó is the same one found in
the Impreza. It puts out 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of
torque, which is enough to get it done but not enough for real road
Fact is, it
drives pretty much like an Impreza, which is uneventful. Zero-to-60
happened in 8.1 seconds, nothing special but not awful for a 2.0
engine. It has a tow rating of 1,500 pounds.
The good news
is it gets similar mileage at 25 mpg city, 33 highway. Some of the
thanks goes to the CVT (continuously variable transmission), which
most will probably select. It offers paddle shifters, too. A
five-speed manual is available if you want it.
rougher surfaces is managed nicely with Subaruís symmetrical
all-wheel-drive system, which divvies up engine torque to all four
wheels at all times. On soft, uneven surfaces, the wheels grabbed
adequately as I revved it up.
performance is enhanced by MacPherson struts up front and rear
double-wishbones and coils at every corner. The fact that itís
raised taller by 4 inches doesnít seem to affect the roll factor
electric-assisted steering is rather dull, lacking any sense of
sportiness. Braking was firm and gripped well even on steep
is decent room for everything from your backpack and pals and dog
ó plus the Big Gulp in the large beverage holder. There are bottle
holders in every door so the pals ainít griping, and the various
cabin-storage areas can handle 38 CDs, Subaru says.
The cargo area
gets a removable liner so itís ready for rough treatment followed
by easy cleaning. As in the Impreza, the 23 cubic feet of space can
handle a decent amount of stuff. Fold the rear seats and it expands
to 52 cubic feet. Roof rails offer even more carrying capability.
With the roomy
feel inside comes ample headroom, legroom and shoulder room. Rear
seats can accommodate three and offer an impressive 35.4 inches of
panel is clearly marked with white numerals on a black background.
And the center console is easy to reach and use.
is ready for all your electronic needs. Hands-free phone
connectivity is standard in the Premium model, as are iPod and USB
ports. So is a stereo with six speakers and single-disc CD player.
adds HD radio, 4.3-inch LCD screen (6.1-inch if you opt for the nav
system), and rear-vision camera.
is a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
It offers side-curtain air bags, side air bags and driverís-side
knee bags, plus rear-seat headrests for all three seating positions.
Also available are ABS with brake assist, traction control and a
stability system with rollover sensor.
comes in two flavors, the base Premium ó which for my money has
everything you need ó and the Limited, which adds leather,
automatic headlights, rear sensor and a 4.3-inch LCD screen for
navigation and other controls.
This is a
vehicle like no other. It has virtually no direct competitor. The
Suzuki SX4 also has the 4-wheel-drive and is a few grand less on the
But I think
Crosstrek will carve out a little niche for itself, especially for
the young and active who go for the rugged. Yeah, those with that
same attitude as the Crosstrek.
2013 SUBARU XV
excluding destination charge: $21,995