Subaru is preparing to launch the 2013 XV Crosstrek as the latest member of the All-Wheel Drive family, entering a growing yet crowded compact crossover utility segment, one Subaru already competes in with other models.
Crosstrek, the made-for-America moniker added to its new global XV model, appears as an even more “cutting-edge” model for the brand, slicing another segment into bite-size pieces for the consumer.
We spent a little time getting to know the new Subie on the block on the beautiful island of Oahu and despite the weather or terrain, the new XV Crosstrek performed wonderfully.
Crosstrek is aimed squarely at the entry Ford, Jeep, Nissan, and Toyota models offering exceptional fuel economy, excellent ground clearance (8.7 inches), standard AWD, high content level, and attractive styling on a platform that is easy to own and operate.
All new Crosstrek models are powered by Subaru’s 2.0-liter BOXER horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine generating 148hp and 145 lb. ft. of torque. A choice of five-speed manual or Lineartronic CVT gearboxes is available but with the latter delivering a manual shift option and better fuel economy (25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway) it is a wonder why anyone would opt for the former.
The Crosstrek is no rally car with this powertrain setup but in our driving experience of semi-rugged terrain and quite a bit of slick muddy roads after the daily shower, we found the car to be quite a bit of fun to drive especially when relieving traction control of its duties – Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system is just that good and the Active Torque Split version that is paired with the CVT can automatically transfer up to 100 percent power to the wheels with the best grip, something we can attest to during our spirited drive on Oahu. Mahalo, Subaru.
For 2013, Subaru will offer XV Crosstrek in two model levels: Premium and Limited – there is no “base” entry model at launch so all Crosstreks come with more than the bare necessities. The primary difference in the trim levels is the switch to leather in the Limited models that also sees the CVT as standard equipment while a power moonroof and navigation can be added to any Crosstrek.
All Crosstrek models ride on stylish 17-inch alloy wheels shod with all-season rubber and disc brakes can be found at each corner.
Interior layout and design is very utilitarian with all controls easy to view and operate although we are not big fans of the new fad of “eco” gauges – experience has taught me that when I step on the gas pedal I get poorer fuel economy and when I lift my mpg’s tend to rise.
The vehicle is very comfortable with good sight lines and despite the standard AWD is quite maneuverable thanks to new electric power steering. While not the quietest vehicle on the road we found ourselves always capable of carrying on conversations without the need to raise our voices, even on the lava rock-laden trails.
Seating is very comfortable for four adults with room for up to five and with the rear seats folded one can fit mountain bikes, pet carriers, golf bags, or armloads of groceries in Crosstrek’s 51.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
Subaru has only announced starting prices for the new Crosstrek – $21,995 – with all the figures coming closer to availability date which is set for September.
With the all-new 2013 XV (look for that prefix to be dropped from conversation early on) Crosstrek, Subaru yet again proves it is committed to delivering vehicles as committed to the journey as they are the destination.