Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Standard all-wheel drive
- superior off-road capabilities
- spacious cabin
- crossover utility in a compact, fuel-efficient package.
- Sluggish midrange power
- transmission drones under load
- restrictive infotainment system.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a chiseled urban dirt runner based on the steady Impreza platform.
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.
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek models
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More About This Model
If you were to define an ideal Subaru, a compact crossover would be high up the list. Practical, capable and built to maximize the benefits of four-wheel drive, it's also compact enough to rekindle memories of Subaru's notable rally racing successes.
Subaru used to call such a model the Impreza Outback. Now that idea has been reincarnated as the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek but it's been designed to seduce a different audience. Subaru reckons it's built for "urban adventure" and that it's more likely to be found curb-hopping in Manhattan than powersliding around on a dirt road. It's self-consciously trendy, which is presumably why Subaru chose to launch it in a loud shade of orange and add the "Crosstrek" moniker for the U.S.
Although we tested a production-ready model, it won't be coming to the U.S. until next fall. Subaru America Inc. admits it didn't initially plan to import the XV Crosstrek at all and that by the time it had changed its mind, most of the early production had been spoken for by other markets. So our "urban adventure" will just have to wait. Will it be worth it?
So What Is XV Crosstrek Exactly?
Beneath the lurid paint scheme, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is pretty much the latest Impreza in high heels and a posh frock. The mechanicals and even the interior are carried over largely intact, which places a keen emphasis on the exterior styling.
Subaru's engaging design chief, Masahiko Kobayashi, reckons the car was inspired by the North Face brand. "The jacket can survive Everest, but people also wear them in town," he told us. "We are seeing practical things becoming more fashionable. Cameras used to only be available in black, but now you can have one in a range of different colors without sacrificing its functionality." This, says Kobayashi-san, is the thinking behind the design of the XV Crosstrek. It is "defined by function and is not just designed for the sake of design."
OK, so what does that look like? The hexagonal grille and "hawk-eye" headlights are Subaru signatures and echo the 2012 Impreza, but the rest of the car veers off in a different direction. The A-pillars have been pulled forward by 7.9 inches compared with an Impreza to maximize cabin space and, says Kobayashi, to give the car a more dynamic stance. The dramatic 17-inch starfish alloys and stylized fender flares emphasize the body's "pumped up" aesthetic.
Familiar Under the Skin
In Europe, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek will be offered with a choice of 1.6- or 2.0-liter gasoline engines, or a 2.0-liter turbodiesel. All are from the new FB family that debuted in the Impreza and all remain true to Subaru's tradition of horizontally opposed "boxer" engines. Subaru has been flirting with introducing diesel in the U.S. for some time, but isn't yet ready to commit. The 1.6 is deemed too puny so for now at least, only the 2.0-liter will be offered here.
We've always had a bit of a fetish for Subaru's boxer units, but the new 2.0-liter isn't the finest example of the breed. Despite variable valve timing designed to flatten the torque curve, the boxer still needs to be worked hard to deliver a decent punch. Ultimately, an engine developing 148 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 145 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm feels no more than adequate when asked to push along an all-wheel-drive car weighing just over 3,000 pounds.
Two different transmissions are on offer for now, a six-speed manual and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which Subaru calls Lineartronic. The latter is expected to account for more than 90 percent of sales in the U.S. Around town it's a fine companion, slipping easily through the ratios. At low to moderate engine speeds you'd be hard-pressed to tell it apart from any other automatic. Indeed, it's only when you ask for maximum attack that the familiar monotone CVT drone becomes tiresome. This problem can be alleviated by using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles that control six preset ratios. In this mode, the transmission takes on the feel of a competent but somewhat lethargic auto.
The manual transmission is the only real choice for anyone looking to extract some fun out of the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. It offers six speeds but the shifter on our test car made it much too easy to select 5th from 2nd instead of 3rd. It's also somewhat long of throw and lacks the precision of the WRX shifter, which isn't saying much.
Choosing the manual makes little difference to its actual performance. Subaru says it's marginally faster from zero to 62 mph — 10.5 seconds versus 10.7 seconds — but neither figure should be a source of pride. The top speed of both models is identical (116 mph) but the manual consumes more fuel (40.9 mpg against 42.8 mpg) on the European cycle. The latter, though, is boosted by a stop/start system that's standard in Europe but won't be offered in the U.S. as Subaru strives to keep the base price down.
The Inside Story
Given the extrovert exterior, it's disappointing to discover a cabin that's on the dreary side of dull. It's shared with the Impreza, and Subaru has made no attempt to distinguish the crossover from the sedan.
It's an odd choice given the XV Crosstrek's "urban adventure" pretensions. Even a new steering wheel would have helped. Subaru could learn something here from Audi, which has perfected the art of just doing enough to distinguish the Allroad models from the humdrum wagons on which they're based.
At least it works well enough. The layout is simple and the quality is much improved over the previous-generation Impreza, although it's still not quite up to Volkswagen standards. There's also a decent amount of space. A crew of 6-footers will have no trouble sitting in tandem and the trunk measures a handy 44.8 cubic feet.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek shares its basic setup with the new Impreza, with struts at the front and double wishbones at the rear. All-wheel drive is standard but the system differs according to your choice of transmission. Lineartronic models feature an electronically controlled multiplate clutch with torque split 60/40 front to rear as the default. Manual models have a bevel-gear-type center differential with a viscous-coupling limited-slip differential. The standard torque distribution here is 50/50. Coupled with a minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches, both systems should prove useful when the snow falls.
On our launch drive Subaru was expecting bad weather, so it fitted all the cars with Yokohama Ice Guard IG30 winter tires measuring 225/55/R17 all around. The various company officials on hand were quick to point out that the tires were a far cry from the tires that will be used on the production versions headed to the U.S.
We will reserve final judgment until we've driven the car in U.S. conditions, but we'd be surprised if the slightly wobbly ride quality is completely cured by a set of summer boots. The handling is capable rather than inspired and while the electric power-assist steering is pleasingly linear in response, it offers little in the way of driver feedback. Overall, the XV Crosstrek's dynamic performance is inoffensive, but enthusiasts should not expect anything approaching a pseudo-WRX.
When it arrives next fall, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is likely to start at around $18K, pricing it beneath the Forester and alongside the Impreza. Subaru expects to sell around 30,000 a year, or roughly half the number of Imprezas it sells.
Most customers are likely to be new to the Subaru brand and we won't be surprised if they've never even heard of the WRX. They'll consider it because it's a compact crossover that's good-looking, spacious and undeniably competent. Can't blame them for that. We just wish that it was a little more inspiring from behind the wheel. Then we might be interested, too.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored press event to facilitate this report, which originally appeared on insideline.com.
Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV Overview
The Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV is offered in the following styles: Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and Premium 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 148 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. The Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV?
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV Premium is priced between $11,988 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 99211 and134645 miles.
- The Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV Limited is priced between $16,990 and$22,590 with odometer readings between 30503 and104122 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUVS are available in my area?
Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV Listings and Inventory
There are currently 11 used and CPO 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,988 and mileage as low as 30503 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV.
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek SUV for sale near you.
Can't find a used 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek XV Crosstrek SUV you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Subaru XV Crosstrek for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $16,626.
Find a used Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $20,993.
Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru XV Crosstrek for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $19,328.
Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $20,996.
Should I lease or buy a 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.