What I have found is that some things, like a Prius for example, are meant for the masses. They are designed to be dummy proof. You get in, you drive, you get great gas mileage. For that reason, the Prius (or any Toyota product for that matter) is the gold standard. The Subaru on the other is more utilitarian, meaning you have to combine some knowledge and driving habits to get the most out of it. I purchased my 2016 Hybrid Touring completely loaded with every option for well under $30k. Try doing that with a Prius. The question is, would the difference in price in the comparably priced Prius (or any other hybrid, preferrably crossover) be worth the money for the difference in fuel economy? Probably not. Yes I am disappointed in the fuel economy of the Crosstrek Hybrid. My mindset going in was along the lines of the Prius. But I also wanted a crossover SUV, all wheel drive, sporty appearance, comfort, tech, and lots of room both in and out (on top), and I wanted it to cost me under $30k. For me there was only one option...the Crosstrek Hybrid. The truth is the hybrid gives you 12 more HP, which for a pretty lazy performing vehicle is a nice little boost. My daughter's standard Crosstrek was noticeably slower on take-off. Tooling around downtown traffic or through a busy drivethru gives the electric drive some use. Another commonly misquoted spec for the hybrid is that it is 400lbs heavier. This is not true. The difference in weight is only 287lbs. The weight actually makes the hybrid handle much better and seems to make the car more 50/50 weight neutral. Other things I really like about the 2016 Crosstrek Hybrid Touring is the overall appearance over the standard. The rims look much better, the LED rear tail lights look much better as well.
Wow -- after 35 years of driving almost exclusivity Toyota or Lexus products, I ventured into the Subaru line. I wanted a vehicle where the I could depend on 200K+ miles over the years, had AWD, and good fuel economy, I went to Subaru for first time. My entire beef with my vehicle is that I paid a premium for the Hybrid Crosstrek. And I have gotten worse MPG than a non-Hyrbid, when I have checked with other reviews and met other people who have own the non-Hybrid. The technology in the Subuaru Hybrid is NOT sophisticated. I drove for the last 3 yrs, a Lexus CT200h. This is a hybrid vehicle where the smoothness and transparency between gas engine and electric drive was SEAMLESS. The Subaru Hybrid change is clunky, and sometimes schizophrenic. Seriously. It has lurched forward, rattled the transmission, and certainly has not contributed to the overall gas mileage of the vehicle. SUBARU IF YOU ARE READING THIS...YOU NEED TO GET MUCH MORE ADVANCED IN YOUR HYBRID TECHNOLOGY.
Now there are other things I love about the vehicle. The snow and pavement traction is fabulous. The clearance from the ground, ease of entering and exiting the vehicle is one of the best I've owned. The seats are comfortable and the styling on the vehicle is great. I am not that thrilled with Subaru's icons for heat/coll controls. The electronics in the display is slow. I've had to learn some patience as it takes a moment for it to change radio channels, or even on. I spent many times turning on radio, not thinking it was on, pressing the button again, only to immediately shut it off. The entire interior is very spacey, and great storage, or capacity for groceries , shopping et al.
Subaru ownership is kinda of a 'cult' as well. While I have found it entertaining at some level, it certainly seems to risen to a level I have not experienced in other car brands. They have FB pages, car stickers to identify your activities, owner clubs etc.
Overall I rated the car on the low side, mostly for the massive disappointment I have had with paying the premium for the Hybrid. Would I buy a Crosstrek again? Definitely not the Hybrid, and would be hard pressed for the standard gas engine. I wish I had investigated that Toyota was coming out with its Hybrid RAV4. I would have waiting for that.
We bought the 2016 Crosstrek Hybrid with the Touring package about 7 months ago.
Here is what I like: - The interior of the touring model feels very luxurious (compared to our last car). - It has been raining a lot lately and the car handles super well on wet streets. Not to mention it is so comfortable to come back to after a hike in the rain. The front and back windshield wipers and exterior lighting system is really good, though the dettings are confusing. - I like the size of the car. It fits in our small San Francisco garage, is easy to park, but the interior is roomy enough for my dog/child. - Good performance on dirt roads. The ground clearance is good. It gets us to our hiking and skiing destinations.
Cons: - If you are used to google maps, the navigation system will seem clunky and inaccurate to you. It is really pretty bad. - We have a hybrid and the gas mileage was advertised as 20-24 mpg in the city and 30-34 mpg on the freeway. We are not hitting these numbers, in fact we are most often getting 10 mpg lower than those advertised numbers. For a hybrid, I was expecting better that 10-14 mpg in the city. - Often the engine abruptly turns off (while waiting at a traffic signal, etc) and it jerks the entire car very startlingly. I would not expect this type of flaw from subaru. - in general the hybrid engine seems pretty crummy. Sometimes i will be sitting at a stoplight and the engine races for no reason. - i appreciate the phone interface but it is clunky. Sometimes takes 3 minutes to read a text message to me. The voice activated calling us very poor, as it never understands what i am saying. I.e. "call mom", "call jessica" etc.