Subaru? When that name is mentioned, almost everyone has some sort of story to tell about owning one or knowing someone who owned one. Maybe you think of the funny bears singing in the cars. Subaru does not splash its name across the screen as often as most other car companies, but it has a very strong reputation and continues to impress. The new Crosstrek is a compact crossover and fits nicely into what is becoming a popular segment of vehicles.
When I was told I would have a new 2013 XV Crosstrek for a week-long test-drive, I was excited. I like Subaru vehicles. Because all Subaru vehicles are fully equipped with their signature All-Wheel-Drive, they can go almost anywhere, including snow or sand conditions, as well into the backwoods trail. The Crosstrek comes in either the Premium or Limited trim levels. The Limited is outfitted with slightly more items and is slightly more upscale. The test model was the Limited, five-door (hatchback) model with the optional CVT. There is an standard five-speed manual model. Although the popular color choice appears to be a luminescent orange, the test model was Marine Blue Pearl with a black leather interior.
The Subaru XV Crosstrek is roomy, capable, versatile, and fun to drive. It has an 8.7-inch ground clearance and plenty of room for passengers and cargo. It is really like the Impreza wagon with more ground clearance and better fuel economy. The five-door hatchback model features larger front brakes, a larger gas tank, and a few exclusive design features. There is increased use of high-tensile steel in the body structure for added strength and security.
The standard power-plant is a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine, producing 148 horsepower, with a five-speed manual transmission. The Continuously Variable Transmission is considered optional. The test model with the CVT, which are more efficient than a regular automatic. However, the CVT can be a little noisy and it takes some time to adjust to the gear changes. The vehicles was EPA rated at 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.
Inside, the Crosstrek is okay, but not necessarily upscale impressive. Then again, this is not an expensive vehicle. The interior trim and textures were adequate for the job. There are a number of storage compartments and bottle holders, which are really important to a lot of drivers. The leather seats in the Limited were very comfortable and the contrast stitching was attractive.
It has only been a few short years since small compact crossovers were considered mostly for college-bound drivers. That time has passed. The compact crossover has entered into mainstream purchase consideration due to fuel economy, pricing, and versatility. The Subaru Crosstrek provides an excellent ride, trail ability with its All-Wheel-Drive, and good maneuverability.
My test-drive model had a low base price of just $24,495. The moon-roof and navigation added $2000 while the destination and delivery charges added $795. Bottom sticker price was only $27,290. The Subaru Crosstrek is the right size for the right time.