Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid review

This halfhearted hybrid only gives a slight bump in fuel economy

Published: May 2014

The XV Crosstrek is basically an Impreza hatchback with a higher ride height and more rugged-looking styling. This compact vehicle doesn’t provide as much cargo room as most small SUVs. But its 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine helps it deliver a frugal 26 mpg overall, which makes it among the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the class.

For those looking for even better gas mileage, Subaru introduced a hybrid version for 2014. But in our testing, we averaged only 2 mpg more—28—than in the regular XV. For the $3,000 bump in sticker price over the XV Crosstrek Premium we previously tested, we don’t think it’s any bargain.

This is a halfhearted hybrid. When we applied the gas pedal gingerly, we managed to creep up to 20 mph on electric power, but only if the outside temperature was above 50° F and we didn’t have the heat or air conditioner on. Moreover, this hybrid isn’t par­ticularly refined. As with others, a start/stop system shuts off the engine when you come to a stop, but it restarts with a shudder when you’re ready to go again.

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the July 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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