Used 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a chiseled urban dirt runner based on the Impreza hatchback. It's worth a look if you're seeking versatility in a small package.

  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive; relatively strong off-road capabilities; spacious cabin; fuel-efficient hybrid version.

  • Cons

    Lackluster acceleration; tiresome CVT and engine noise; substandard sound systems.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Subaru XV Crosstrek sees the addition of a hybrid version to the lineup as well as smartphone integration (featuring Aha Internet radio) for Crosstreks equipped with the navigation system.

    2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Video Review

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Subaru XV Crosstrek sees the addition of a hybrid version to the lineup as well as smartphone integration (featuring Aha Internet radio) for Crosstreks equipped with the navigation system.


In automotive parlance, the term "crossover" refers to a vehicle that's based on a car's architecture rather than a truck's, but still has plenty of SUV-like functionality. Within the crossover SUV segment, there's a lot of variety, as some crossovers resemble traditional, burly SUVs while others, like the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek, are essentially wagons with jacked-up suspensions and toughened-up styling.

Subaru has been doing the crossover thing successfully for a long time with its Legacy-based Outback series. In that vein, its relatively new Crosstrek is essentially an Impreza hatchback with a raised suspension along with the obligatory rugged styling accents. As such, the all-wheel-drive Crosstrek is as adept at getting you to the trailhead on fun-filled weekends as it is taking you over crumbling pavement during the weekday grind.

As expected, all-wheel drive is standard, and the XV Crosstrek offers a choice of a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In addition to riding 3 inches higher than the Impreza, the Crosstrek features beefed-up underpinnings, 8.7 inches of ground clearance and black plastic wheelwell flares (ostensibly to fend off and hide scratches while driving on trails). The simple interior is fitted with straightforward controls, good-quality materials and comfortable seats.

The big news this year is the introduction of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Subaru's first-ever hybrid model is a full hybrid, meaning it can propel itself at low speeds purely under electric power, which optimizes fuel economy in stop-and-go city traffic. The gain in fuel economy is modest, however -- Subaru's estimate pegs the Hybrid's combined fuel economy average at 31 mpg, just 3 mpg more than the non-hybrid model. Given its price premium, you'll certainly want to consider whether the Crosstrek Hybrid makes sense for you.

Overall, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek's combination of all-wheel drive, wagonlike characteristics and enhanced off-road ability make it rather distinctive in the compact crossover class. The Nissan Juke is more fun to drive but comes up short on cargo space and versatility. The same is true for the 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman, which costs more but earns more style points than the Subaru. Only the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes close to the Crosstrek's ground clearance and cargo space. But of the two, the Subaru strikes us as a better all-around package.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a five-passenger crossover available in 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited, Hybrid and Hybrid Touring trims.

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 connectivity, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, USB port and auxiliary jack.

The 2.0i Limited adds automatic headlights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rear seat fold-down armrest, a rearview camera and six speakers and a 4.3-inch LCD display for the audio system.

The Hybrid includes the 2.0i Limited features (minus the leather upholstery) and adds unique 17-inch wheels, chrome door handles, quick-ratio electric power steering, active grille shutters (to improve aerodynamics), foldable sideview mirrors with signal repeaters, keyless ignition/entry and an upgraded multifunction display.

The Hybrid Touring includes a sunroof, leather upholstery, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with voice controls, smartphone integration (Aha radio), HD radio and satellite radio.

The 2.0i Premium and Limited models can also be equipped with the optional sunroof and a package that includes the upgraded audio system and navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The regular 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek features a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed "boxer" four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard for the Premium trim 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 rearward when traction is needed.

The Hybrid has the same engine running through the CVT and AWD system, and combines them with an electric motor that chips in an additional 13 hp and 48 lb-ft.

In Edmunds testing, a regular XV Crosstrek with the CVT accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds. This is similar to the Outlander Sport and base Countryman, though the Countryman S and Juke are significantly quicker. We've yet to test the Hybrid.

Official EPA estimates for the XV Crosstrek stand at 28 mpg combined (25 city/33 highway) for the CVT, while the manual transmission reduces those numbers to 26 mpg combined (23/30). The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the best of the bunch at 31 mpg combined (29/33).


The 2014 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. A rearview camera comes standard on all but the 2.0i Premium trim but is included with the optional navigation system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the XV Crosstrek the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The Crosstrek's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

In Edmunds brake testing, the XV Crosstrek stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is a few feet longer than average.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Subaru XV Crosstrek follows a template similar to its Impreza counterpart, with a clean and minimalist interior design featuring simple, logically arranged controls. Dash and door panels are wrapped in soft-touch trim in an elegant (but slightly austere) presentation, and the cabin remains surprisingly well isolated from wind and tire noise on the highway.

The Impreza's sound systems are pretty awful, however. Audio quality is subpar and the available touchscreen infotainment interface, while an improvement over the base system, offers only small, finicky touchscreen icons and locks out some pretty basic audio functions while the car is in motion.

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-tall 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. The Hybrid rates only slightly less in this regard, as the battery pack located beneath the cargo floor only reduces cargo capacity by 1.7 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Most 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek buyers will end up with the CVT, which takes the place of a conventional automatic transmission. And whether you're driving around town or on the highway, there's no hiding the fact that the CVT's top priority is to minimize fuel consumption. The downside is that acceleration is merely adequate, and you'll need to plan ahead for highway passing maneuvers. We've also found that the CVT's touchy response to gas pedal inputs can increase engine speed unnecessarily and exacerbate noise coming into the cabin from the engine bay during hard acceleration.

Dynamically, the XV Crosstrek is every bit a traditional Subaru, and it feels confident and composed on loose, slippery roads, where its all-wheel-drive and traction control systems make the XV's reactions fairly predictable. The Crosstrek's extra ground clearance also helps it glide through snowy streets and find all but the most remote surf breaks and trailheads. Subaru's tall wagon can be pretty fun on dry pavement, too, as its nicely tuned suspension gives it good balance around tight turns.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 36 reviews) Write a Review

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Subaru crosstrek hybred: total lemon?

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

After having a Toyota for over 10 years then a Honda CRV for over 10 years with no issues, my husband and I decided to purchase a a Subaru Crosstrek Hybred 2014 which looks good on the outside (but BIG MISTAKE). By January 2015 a message appeared in the dash board whenever I started the car that said(check hill star assist). At my first service, I told the service people and they told me they did not find anything wrong, nor saw the message. I continued to drive the car with the message appearing on and off when finally in November/December 2015 more messages appeared and check engine light appeared and stayed on all the time. I made an appointment to get the car checked in November, this time they told me they fixed it and the lights went away. Within a few months after they told me they (fixed it) the messages reappeared and I brought the car back in March for them to "fix" again. I waited for about an hour and they called me and told me they fixed the problem and the messages and lights were gone. As soon as I turned on the car and try to drive off all the lights and messages reappeared, I called the service person who took the car and said they were going to check it again. After waiting for over an hour they finally told me they there was a transmission control cover problem and they would have to keep the car until June 2015 because they had to order the part. In the middle of April after not receiving an update from Subaru, I finally called and after a few choice words with the manager they told me the car will be ready at the end of April. On April Friday 29, 2015 I received a call from Subaru and they told me they changed the transmission control cover and the lights went away and every thing was fine. So I picked up the car that same day (Friday April 29, 2015). By Sunday May 1 (2 days after picking up the car) those lights that they claimed went away reappeared. I had to take the car back (May 2) and am still waiting May 17, 2015 for word on what is the problem. At this point I am very ANGRY at the run around. I got the warranty which I am using for now to "fix" the car but what is going to happen when it runs out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Good car.. poor warrantee service from subaru

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Fun ride. After 2 years this car handles well in winter. Too small for 2 kids. Fits as much luggage as a midsize car. Subaru service departments fight hard to avoid covering anything that is covered under the extended Subaru Care warrantee. I am getting rid of it soon while mileage is low for that reason alone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Turns out looks really aren't everything

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

I was sold on the look of this car and Subaru's reputation. My experience was rather poor. The battery died every few months. Subaru couldn't find anything wrong. If they'd told me that they put in a low-quality battery and it was a common problem then maybe I'd have believed them and kept the car. They then suspected a faulty remote start - that they had installed when I bought it. It was at the dealership for about 2 weeks - when I finally just asked them what they'd give me for it is when they really started trying to fix it (mind you I had it for 2 years and it only had about 7600 miles on it). The other cons are minor: the radio quality was noticeably poor when the heat or air conditioner was running because the noise from the blower was so loud. A great sound system wasn't something I really cared about, but the noise from the blower was so loud you couldn't hear any sound from the radio at all when the heat/air was on. You had to put the heat/air at full blast in order to get a comfortable temperature inside the car. The most distressing problem was when you would shift from reverse into drive. There was a strange delay that I've never experienced in another car. When it was ready it would "pop" and the acceleration was faster than you were expecting. It just had a weird feeling to it, not smooth.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Fun and reliable

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Owned my car 2 years now. It's a fun car to drive, great handling, superior in bad weather and snow! Comfy interior, smooth drive, have not had any problems. Cargo space is great for a compact SUV. Only drawbacks is that the paint seems to scratch and chip easily, a few bad blind spots because of the slope of the car, and the car is a little loud once you get over 80 miles an hour. These are slight things in my opinion, but might annoy others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Two year anniversary

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

The interface with the electronics is not very good. The car handles well,, but the CVT transmission in conjunction with the hybrid makes the car baulk from start.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Subaru crosstrek - a must have with eyesight!

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Vehicle: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

We were not in the market for a "new" vehicle. But we wound up with a 7500 mile Certified Pre-Owned 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek with their amazing Eyesight package (and this was why), which is essentially new. The car was a former service fleet loaner, so it was in great shape with low mileage with an attractive price. It and the two others they had were the only used Subarus in the entire Metro area that had the Eyesight package. I looked at over 300 different vehicles listed online as well as contacted about seven Subaru dealers, and none of them had any pre-owned with Eyesight. To find this package in a pre-owned, you will probably have to buy new unless you wait until 2017. <br><br> The Crosstrek as a whole is a great vehicle (a little smaller than our former Kia Sportage), but I will focus this review on Eyesight, as there are a million generic reviews about the Crosstrek itself. So in short: It is all of the things you have heard about: good for small families, reliable, safe, and good for its symmetrical AWD. I can't speak about the electronics other than Eyesight (bluetooth, etc), because I don't really use them or care about them. The only minus is it lacks some acceleration, which I doubt will ever really matter to most drivers. <br><br> Subaru Eyesight is a technology that they install on vehicles ($1,250 retail value, I think) that uses two front-facing cameras to help the driver in emergency situations as well as control the vehicle's adaptive cruise control. Eyesight will help you both break and decelerate if you need it. It also will send audible alerts of various situations which are both convenient and a significant safety upgrade. Both my wife and I are new drivers and find this very reassuring, though I think anyone would appreciate it the same. I encourage anyone in the market for a new car to look into this technology: it is fantastic (and the 2016's have an upgraded version that includes blind-spot detection!)! <br><br> While we have not had the car long enough to thoroughly test everything, the adaptive cruise control was a major plus, and only comes with the Eyesight package. It will intelligently cruise for you at any predetermined maximum speed, and slow down if the traffic in front of you gets too close/slow. It keeps a distance of 2, 1.5, or 1 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you, and informs you with tones when it has "locked in" on a vehicle. Imagine how strange it is to feel your vehicle brake, decelerate, and come to a full halt without touching the pedals (if it comes to a full stop, you get a tone, and about a seconds warning before the cruise control shuts off and the car will idle forward). The future is here! <br><br> If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive SUV that will ride nicely, carry enough, and protect you, your family, and your dog, then the Crosstrek may be the right choice for you. The Special Edition that is coming out later in 2016 sounds very attractive with lane-change assist and some more advanced auto-driving technologies.

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Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek in VA is:

$53.33 per month*

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