This 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited has to live up to a lot. After all, the Crosstrek has been the best-selling subcompact crossover in the US for three years in a row. It also has to hold its own in an overall Subaru lineup that’s seeing record monthly sales for 2016. The good news for Subie fans: The Crosstrek has been redesigned for 2016, with fresh styling and more safety and infotainment technology, so it offers more for customers than ever before. Those improvements have been recognized by the critics, too, as the 2016 Crosstrek has earned third-party honors such as an Ideal Vehicle Award from AutoPacific and a Residual Value Award from ALG. Now, let Autobytel explain why the Crosstrek has been such a success.
2016 Subaru XV Crosstrek Road Test and Review
The MSRP of the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited is $25,095, only a $3500 increase over the cost of an entry model. That's a strong value: You get extra standard content that includes a leather-trimmed cabin, upgraded infotainment, an advanced blind-spot monitor and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) instead of a manual. The XV2.0i is a plenty civilized vehicle, even if it’s also ready for some rough stuff with 8.7 inches of ground clearance and Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. That’s a particularly strong selling point for the Crosstrek: For example, the 2.0i Limited grade is priced hundreds less than a similarly sized Kia Sportage of a comparable trim level, which doesn’t come with AWD.
Power, Performance, and Fuel Efficiency
The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited, fitted with the CVT, has EPA ratings of 26 MPG city/34 MPG highway/29 MPG combined. That's the same fuel economy as a front-drive Chevy Trax. But when you factor Subaru’s standard traction technology into the equation and go apples to apples, you'll see the Crosstrek outpaces the AWD Trax in all facets of EPA testing, with leads of 2 MPG/3 MPG/2 MPG, respectively.
Motivating all Crosstrek models is a 2.0-liter engine with another signature Subaru feature: horizontally opposed pistons for a flat, compact package, a lowered center of gravity and, in this case, 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque.
Exterior Design and Lighting
Although the 2016 Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited has Subaru's hallmark brand benefits, it takes a more modern and stylish approach to design than some of its siblings. Setting the tone are its standard 17-inch alloy wheels: From a distance, a dramatic, machine-finished “asterisk” shape seems to float around the darker hub; on closer inspection, it's a unique dual-shaded design with five Y-shaped spokes.
With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Crosstrek has a notably sporty stance. At 175.2 inches in length, the 2016 Crosstrek is roughly an inch shorter than the smallest current Hyundai/Kia crossovers and more than six inches longer than the Honda HR-V and Chevy Trax.
Interior Design and Capacities
The interior of the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited isn’t quite as distinctive as the vehicle’s exterior, but the cabin isn’t unattractive. The dashboard is simple and symmetrical, the steering wheel is wrapped in leather, and a prominently hooded upper readout for vehicle information catches the eye. Touchpoints are generally soft, as are the leather-appointed seats, which are heated for the driver and front-seat passenger.
Front legroom is best in class; the Crosstrek has more of it—43.5 inches—than some of the big three-row crossovers. The Subaru also leads rivals from Chevy, Honda, and Mazda in front headroom, while furnishing 51.9 cubic feet of cargo room. With second-row seats up, the Crosstrek has 19 percent more cargo space than the Chevy Trax.
Audio and Infotainment
As the range-topping trim, the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited is fitted with the upscale STARLINK Multimedia Plus infotainment system with voice recognition, a 7-inch high-res touchscreen and the new Cloud Application feature. This connectivity technology provides access to an ever-expanding group of online apps that already included Pandora, iHeart Radio, and Aha, and for 2016 welcomes the Stitcher music service along with apps for news, weather, and calendar functions. Bluetooth connectivity is standard for hands-free calling and audio streaming.
Also in the audo mix for the Crosstrek Limited are six standard speakers, dual USB ports, SMS text-messaging functionality, and SiriusXM All Access Radio and Travel Link. Subscriptions are required for the latter.
Safety Technology and Ratings
Subaru reputation for safety is fast approaching its reputation for all-wheel drive, and the 2016 Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited does nothing to slow that down. It starts off with a 5-Star Overall Safety Score from the NHTSA and the highest possible grades in all of the IIHS Top Safety Pick crashworthiness tests. Then, Subaru bolsters all that physical strength with a standard rearview camera, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert. Also newly standard for the Crosstrek Limited is the STARLINK Safety & Security telematics bundle, complete with SOS emergency assistance, automatic collision notification, stolen-vehicle recovery service, and more.
For more about the Crosstrek's IIHS Top Safety Pick status, continue to the next page.
The 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limit does indeed have a Top Safety Pick+ certification from the IIHS. However, it requires the available EyeSight package.
EyeSight brings together Subaru driver-assistance technologies such as adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane-departure and sway warnings. As such, this front crash-prevention component was effective enough to be rated as “Superior” by the IIHS. Moreover, the package’s price tag of $2895 also covers a keyless access system with pushbutton start, a power-sliding moonroof, and a navigation-enabled infotainment system.
Customers can leverage the expertise of Subaru’s high-performance STI division with a dedicated Sport accessories package, complete with a special roof spoiler, an STI shift knob, and lightweight 15-spoke wheels for what Subarus calls “improved handling performance and precision.”
Other Important Info
As detailed earlier in this Autobytel review of the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited, this vehicle does surprisingly well with the EPA: Its fuel-economy ratings with AWD match the FWD grades for its rivals, and, in some cases, even surpass them. As expected, the Crosstrek Hybrid ups the ante, backed by a 13-kW nickel-metal-hydride battery. That electrified powertrain raises output to a total of 160 horsepower and 163 lb.-ft. of torque, while also increasing EPA fuel efficiency to 30 MPG city/34 MPG highway/31 MPG combined. MSRP for the Crosstrek Hybrid is $26,395. That’s with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, of course, but without some of the premium content cues in the Limited model.
Photo Credit: Subaru
A combination of things makes the 2016 Subaru Crosstrek XV 2.0i Limited such a strong choice. A combination of a lot of things: Besides being fuel efficient and stylish, the Crosstrek is safe and versatile, and it’s priced right in line with vehicles that can’t check those same boxes. Especially notable is its Top Safety Pick+ rating, because that’s something that neither the 2016 Honda HR-V nor the 2016 Chevy Trax can match. And then—say it with us—it’s got standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive!