The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is an all-new entry into the small crossover segment from the automaker that defined the market for these practical and versatile vehicles back in the 1990s. The Subaru XV Crosstrek builds on the success of the departed Outback Sport, providing shoppers with the chance to get behind the wheel of a crossover SUV that isn't as large as the standard Outback, and at an affordable price. It also reintroduces Subaru to the entry-level crossover game, an area of the market that had been ceded to competitors such as Toyota and Honda.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is aimed squarely at shoppers who are interested in the additional practicality of a small hatchback, but who also want the added safety and traction of all-wheel drive. The Subaru XV Crosstrek meets these requirements, and also includes substantial ground clearance - in fact, more than that which is provided by a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Combining all of these characteristics together lands the Crosstrek squarely in the compact crossover segment, and allows it to target family buyers, adventure-seeking couples, and those who simply need a versatile commuter that can handle a little soft-roading from time to time.
Keen observers might notice that the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek bears more than a passing resemblance to the Subaru Impreza compact hatchback. This is because the two automobiles share the same platform and a number of styling cues linked to their hatchback design. The Subaru XV Crosstrek stands apart from the Impreza thanks to the addition of muscular fender flares and rocker panels, as well as a more aggressive front end and unique 17-inch rims that offer a machined silver and black finish. The taller ride height mentioned previously also contrives to separate the two models, giving the Crosstrek a sportier, more purpose-built personality.
With each subsequent redesign Subaru has consistently pushed both the Subaru Forester and Subaru Outback crossovers upmarket both in terms of size and feature content. This has left a cozy niche vacant in the lineup - one that the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek fits into quite nicely. At first glance the Subaru XV Crosstrek looks quite similar in size to its Forester cousin, but a closer examination of their dimensions, both inside and out, reveals that the Crosstrek is indeed a genuine compact crossover. The XV Crosstrek's 51.9 cubic feet of cargo space are generous, but don't approach the nearly 70 cubic feet available in the Forester, which is also longer and taller than the entry-level vehicle.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek borrows more than just its chassis and body work from the Subaru Impreza - it also lifts much of its drivetrain from the compact car. This is excellent news for crossover shoppers as it means that the Subaru XV Crosstrek benefits from the brand's most recent four-cylinder engine design. The Crosstrek's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder mill has been tuned to provide 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque, and even with standard all-wheel drive it returns fuel mileage figures of 25-mpg in stop and go driving and 33-mpg during highway cruising. This level of efficiency is enough to vault the Subaru to the front of the small crossover pack when it comes to all-wheel drive fuel consumption.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek starts out with a five-speed manual transmission as its base gearbox. This unit is carried over from the Impreza, and it offers better-than-expected precision when clicking from one cog to another. Accessing the Subaru XV Crosstrek's lofty fuel mileage rating, however, requires buyers to pony up extra cash for its optional continuously-variable automatic tranny. Subaru has adjusted this unit's ratios in order to offer better acceleration and response off of the line when compared to the Impreza, and the difference is noticeable. The CVT also provides six virtual gears which can be accessed via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek's standard symmetrical all-wheel drive comes in two different flavors, depending on which transmission is ordered with the vehicle. Choosing the Subaru XV Crosstrek's base five-speed manual gearbox installs a mechanical all-wheel drive layout that provides a continuous 50/50 front and rear torque split. The continuously-variable automatic transmission comes with a different electronic all-wheel drive system that by default divides torque 60 percent to the front axles and 40 percent to the rear, with the ability to shift power into a 50/50 split configuration should wheel slip be detected.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek starts out in 2.0i Premium trim. This model includes features such as fog lights, a rear spoiler, intermittent wipers, heated front seats, power windows and door locks, a CD player, and keyless entry. Moving up to the 2.0i Limited edition of the Subaru XV Crosstrek adds equipment such as a standard CVT transmission, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery for the vehicle's seats, HD radio, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera to assist when reversing the crossover. Power seats are not offered with the Crosstrek.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek features one major options package that is available with the 2.0i Limited trim level. The Moonroof+Navigation package adds a voice-controlled navigation system that includes Sirius satellite traffic and weather updates, as well as a 6.1-inch touchscreen. It also installs a moonroof in the Subaru XV Crosstrek. These features are available as stand-alone options with the base model Crossover, while both trim levels can benefit from accessories such as special side moldings and bumper covers, a mesh grille, an auto-dimming mirror (with either a compass or the HomeLink garage door opening system), and splash guards.
On top of its all-wheel drive system, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek comes with a host of safety features. The Subaru XV Crosstrek offers electronic vehicle dynamics control, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and a tire pressure monitoring system as its active protective gear. It also comes with a long list of airbags to help keep occupants safe in the event that an accident cannot be avoided. Dual-stage forward airbags, seat-mounted airbags for front passengers, side curtain airbags front and rear, and a driver's knee airbag are all provided as standard equipment with the Crosstrek.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium starts at an MSRP of $21,995. This makes it somewhat more expensive than the current edition of the Subaru Forester, and cheaper than the Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V, and the Hyundai Santa Fe. Opting for the 2.0i Limited trim inflates the MSRP to $24,495, but this is still competitive considering the equipment - and fuel economy - that the crossover has to offer. Subaru is taking a risk in keeping the price of the Impreza, Crosstrek, and Forester so close together, a scenario which could see puzzled shoppers unsure of which of the three strong options they should pick up.