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Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV Review

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a chiseled urban dirt runner based on the steady Impreza platform.

  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive; superior off-road capabilities; spacious cabin; crossover utility in a compact, fuel-efficient package.

  • Cons

    Sluggish midrange power; transmission drones under load; restrictive infotainment system.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is an all-new model.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is an all-new model.


The formula will probably seem familiar. Americans like crossovers, so an automaker takes one of its core car models, raises the suspension and adds some body cladding. Subaru has done this successfully with its Outback series, so it's no surprise that the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is built using the same formula. The Crosstrek is essentially an Impreza hatchback with additional wheel travel and refined suspension tuning for off-road or broken-pavement midtown adventures.

Based on the fully redesigned Impreza that debuted last year, the XV Crosstrek offers the same 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder that generates 148 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard, and the XV Crosstrek offers a choice of a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). But Subaru wants us to think of the XV not as an Impreza variant, but as its own model (even though it will be called "Impreza XV" in other world markets).

That's a fair request. The XV Crosstrek rides 3 inches higher, to begin with. Key suspension points and components are beefed up to handle additional abuse. And with its black cladding and alloy wheels, the XV certainly looks able to withstand minor scrapes with branches and rocks. Inside, the cabin is geared toward utility and function, with minimal frills. Quality materials, comfortable seats and a quiet highway ride, however, keep the Crosstrek competitive with benchmark compact sedans.

Its combination of all-wheel drive, cargo space and fuel efficiency make the XV Crosstrek unique in its class. The Nissan Juke is also a compact all-wheel-drive crossover that's more fun to drive, but comes up much shorter on cargo space and versatility. Same goes for the Mini Cooper Countryman, which costs more but outshines the Crosstrek on style points. Only the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets near the Crosstrek with its combination of ground clearance and a cavernous hatch area. Of the two, we think the Subaru is a better all-around package.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a five-passenger crossover available in 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the 2.0i Premium includes 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, USB port and auxiliary jack.

Options for the Premium model include a sunroof and a touchscreen navigation system that incorporates a rearview camera, voice controls and satellite radio.

The 2.0i Limited adds automatic headlights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, the rearview camera and the same six-speaker audio system found on the Premium but with the addition of a 4.3-inch LCD display. The sunroof and a navigation system (with satellite radio) are also available for the 2.0i Limited.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek features a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed "boxer" four-cylinder engine that produces 148 hp and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and is coupled to an all-wheel-drive system with a 50/50 front/rear power distribution. Optional on the Premium and standard for the Limited is a CVT coupled to a different all-wheel-drive system that typically apportions more power to the front wheels, but directs power -- up to 100 percent -- rearward when traction is needed.

Subaru estimates the XV Crosstrek will return fuel economy of 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 26 combined with the manual. Getting the CVT improves those estimates to 25/33/28.


The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and active front head restraints.

The XV Crosstrek has not yet been crash-tested by government or insurance agencies, but the Impreza hatchback on which the XV is based received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Subaru XV Crosstrek follows a template similar to its Impreza counterpart, with a clean and minimal interior featuring no-fuss controls arrayed on the center stack and surrounding the steering column. Dash and door panels are wrapped in soft-touch trim in an elegant (if austere) presentation, and the cabin is surprisingly quiet on-road. The available touchscreen infotainment interface is improved even from its most recent overhaul, although some of the electronic nannies – you're locked out from adjusting the stereo's tone controls while driving, for example -- are annoying and border on deal-breaking.

As befits a car built to inspire wandering and adventure, the XV Crosstrek is slightly roomier than a base Impreza and there's even plenty of room for 6-foot drivers and passengers. With the rear seats up, the Crosstrek offers 22.3 cubic feet of storage space. Lower those seats and space jumps to 51.9 cubes. That's about 15 more cubic feet of space compared to the Juke and 10 more than the Mini Cooper Countryman. A flat load floor means you're able to maximize most of that additional space.

Driving Impressions

Around town and on the highway, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek's 2.0-liter/CVT combination does exactly what's asked of it: mind fuel consumption. From a stoplight, the XV's initial acceleration is surprisingly quick, and once at highway cruising speed, the powertrain is relaxed and responsive to passing maneuvers. But the CVT allows the engine to run out of breath in its midrange, right about when you're preparing to merge into a busy lane or when making a sharp trail ascent. If fuel economy isn't a primary concern, we suggest opting for the manual transmission with its hill-start assist; it doesn't make the engine any more powerful, but does offer more control over power delivery.

Dynamically, the XV Crosstrek is every bit a traditional Subaru, confident and composed on loose, slippery roads, where its all-wheel drive and traction control systems make the XV's reactions fairly predictable. Suspension tuning -- refined from the base Impreza -- even makes the Crosstrek fun while ambling around on dry curvy roads.

The Crosstrek stands 3 inches higher than the Impreza, offering 8.7 inches of ground clearance. That's enough to glide through snowy streets and find all but the most remote surf breaks and trailheads. The XV's lack of torque and stock tires, however, prevent any serious scrambling over steep and lumpy terrain.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 67 reviews) Write a Review

My crosstrek

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Mostly "5 Star" satisfaction as far as owner of this vehicle. Only complaints have to do with interior comfort, road noise & ride. If you can set these aside everything else is a joy. I have 57,000 thousand miles so far and the car still looks great like the day I bought it. The road noise was somewhat corrected when I put new passenger tires on and got rid of those awful all terrain tires. Ride improved somewhat too. On average I get 26-28 mpg city and 32-34 hwy. Have gotten up to 41 mpg at steady 55 pace!😀 Great car!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Three years in a crosstrek

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

I leased mine in winter of 2013 and recently turned it in rather than buying it. The CrossTrek is an OK car with good attributes and flaws. On snow it is ok, but not great. With the OEM tires, it was terrible here in northern Michigan. I added a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks which significantly improved traction. But the car is lightweight with makes it prone to sliding around even with awd and winter tires. I did appreciate the car's interior. The firm seats are great and help up over three years and 34,000 miles. There is a surprising amount of room in the passenger compartment, but not too much in the back with the rear seat up. The engine was always very loud on acceleration and got very noisy after about 30k miles - sounded like ball bearings in a coffee can. This is one issue. Subaru needs to put a far more powerful engine in this car. The little 2.0liter, 150HP engine is way under-powered for this car. Mechanically, only a few minor problems the dealer took care of. Big issue was concerns over safety. I nailed a 150 pound deer head-on at 45 miles per hour and the damage to the car was immense ($13,500 bill). The entire front end of the car (bumper, fenders, hood, roof, windshield, lights, numerous engine components due to the battery rupturing) needed to be replaced. It folded up like tinfoil. After that I never felt safe in the car. The sloping front end of the car threw the deer into the windshield in on the front of the roof denting it. Regardless of how many airbags it has one cannot beat the laws of physics. I dreaded the possibility of hitting a truck or large car. That's why it gone. Would not buy another one. If you want a Subaru, go with the bigger ones.

Great little car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

In/out easy hip height seats

Works great

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

good small car with super price

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

I thought they were supposed to be dependable

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

I bought this Subaru brand new. I liked it at first but found out quickly that it uses A LOT of oil! I was told it's because of the light oil it uses. I put oil in this car more than any other car I've ever owned!! I travel 80 miles to and from work 5 times a week. I took EXTREMELY good care of this car. Faithfully having the oil and filters changed at the dealership as per their suggestions. Having the tires changed or rotated/balanced at their suggestion as well as brakes checked frequently and replaced. Always took to a Subaru dealer and trusted them totally. Now, at 70, 000 miles, I was hearing noises in the front end when I made a turn. I bring it to the Subaru dealer only to find out the front axles are worn to the point they need to be replaced!! What?? This is unheard of in a 2013 car! I plan on taking this 1000.00 dollar fix to the Subaru corporate HQ!! Never buy this car.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

I have 70,000 on my 2013 cross trek, I have had both front axels replaced due to both failing, I've never gone off road or done anything but normal everyday driving. It took arguing and having to call Suburu directly but they did cover the cost of both. Now my car will not go out of park, apparently another malfunction this car is known for, being repaired tomorrow. I've driven a lot of cars over the years and this is by far the worse car I've ever had, I don't trust it. Shame on Suburu.

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Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Suv in VA is:

$54.17 per month*

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