What Is It?
2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid
What's Special About It?
Subaru will finally have a hybrid car in its lineup in the fourth quarter of 2013. Company officials unveiled the brand's first hybrid model, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the 2013 New York Auto Show today.
There's nothing radical about the setup on the Crosstrek Hybrid, which has the same 148-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, continuously variable transmission (CVT) and all-wheel-drive system as the regular Subaru XV Crosstrek. Subaru has installed a small, 10-kilowatt electric motor behind the transmission, and it operates in parallel with the gas engine. Electric-only operation is possible at speeds of up to 25 mph. The motor assists the gas engine during harder acceleration at higher speeds, provided you keep the lithium-ion battery pack charged up.
The battery pack is, of course, mounted under the cargo floor, and the great thing about its compact size is that you barely lose any cargo capacity. The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid has 21.5 cubic feet of space in its hatch compared to 22.3 in a regular XV. Maximum capacity is a respectable 50.2 cubes, down only 1.7 from the non-hybrid XV Crosstrek. Loss of utility has long been a problem for hybrid crossover conversions, but not in the case of this Subaru.
But fuel economy is bound to be a bigger motivator for hybrid XV Crosstrek buyers. Subaru is predicting 28 city/34 highway/31 combined mpg EPA ratings. Compared to a standard CVT-equipped XV (25 city/33 highway/28 combined), the hybrid XV's highway figure does not impress, but the electric motor's contributions could make a significant difference during all the time you spend sitting in city traffic, especially if you live anywhere near New York.
Acceleration will likely be slower on the hybrid, in spite of its 10 additional horses (though Subaru has not committed to a net 158-hp rating). The familiar culprit is extra weight from the batteries. The automaker pegs the Premium version of the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid at 3,440 pounds, up from 3,197 on a fully optioned, CVT-equipped non-hybrid XV.
What Edmunds Says:
Tightening mpg standards or not, a hybrid Subaru needed to happen, given the brand's left-of-center customer base in the U.S.
Base Price: TBA
On-Sale Date: Fourth-quarter 2013
Engine: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with 10kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack
Gearbox: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Power: Gas engine: 148 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, 145 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm; electric motor: 13 hp, 48 lb-ft
Fuel Mileage: 28 city/34 highway mpg (estimated)
Cargo capacity: 21.5 cubic feet (behind rear seat), 50.2 cubic feet (rear seats folded)