2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • relatively strong off-road capabilities
  • spacious seating
  • good fuel economy
  • generous standard features.
  • Lackluster acceleration
  • CVT produces tiresome engine noise
  • substandard sound systems
  • hybrid model doesn't justify added cost.
Other years
Subaru XV Crosstrek for Sale
List Price Range
$11,390 - $18,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The off-road-ready 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is worth a look if you're seeking versatility in a small package, but rivals offer more in the way of refinement and on-road performance.

Vehicle overview

In the compact crossover class, it takes a lot to attract attention, but the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek pulls it off. For one thing, it's the only vehicle of this type that's available as a gas-electric hybrid in addition to the standard gas-powered model. For another, it feels more carlike than most rivals. That's because it really is a car -- a Subaru Impreza wagon, to be precise, but with some beefed-up suspension components, a higher ride height and tougher-looking styling.

Those suspension upgrades help the all-wheel-drive XV be remarkably capable when the pavement ends, but the Edmunds "B" rated non-hybrid XV Crosstrek isn't the first vehicle we'd recommend for daily travel. The problems start with the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Power is underwhelming, and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) makes matters worse by having hair-trigger responses and a propensity to keep the engine droning loudly during acceleration. In Edmunds testing, we found the Crosstrek to be one of the slowest vehicles in its class. With a full load of camping gear and companions, it's bound to be even less inspiring.

As for the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, it gets more horsepower and a bump in fuel economy, so you might expect it to be our favorite. Unfortunately, despite its 12 extra horses, the Edmunds "C"-rated hybrid weighs almost 300 pounds more, which effectively negates the power injection. You won't benefit much at the pump, either, as the significantly pricier Crosstrek Hybrid provides a mere 2-mpg advantage over the regular Crosstrek with the CVT.

From a practical standpoint, it's hard for us to fully recommend the XV Crosstrek. Subaru's own Forester is a little more expensive, for example, but it offers more power, solid off-road ability and added interior space without sacrificing much fuel economy. Other small crossovers like the 2015 Ford Escape aren't as capable in the dirt, but they compensate with superior on-road handling and roomy, well-equipped cabins. If you prefer a more compact body like the Crosstrek's, the 2015 Nissan Juke and 2015 Mini Countryman are worth a look. But if you mainly want a versatile and inexpensive runabout that can get you off the beaten path, the Subaru XV Crosstrek will likely satisfy.

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek models

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a small crossover available in five trim levels: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, 2.0i Limited, Hybrid and Hybrid Touring.

Standard equipment on the base 2.0i includes 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, rear privacy glass, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera and a four-speaker audio system with a 6.2-inch touchscreen display, smartphone integration (Aha, Pandora and iHeartRadio), a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack.

The 2.0i Premium adds heated mirrors, heated front seats, an adjustable center armrest, a cargo cover, a removable cargo tray and a six-speaker audio system.

The 2.0i Limited adds automatic headlights, ambient interior lighting, upgraded instrumentation, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rear seat fold-down armrest and an upgraded infotainment system with satellite radio, dual USB ports, hands-free text messaging and a 7.0-inch touchscreen display.

The Hybrid includes the 2.0i Limited's features (minus the leather upholstery and upgraded infotainment system) and adds unique 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an LCD display in the gauge cluster, a hybrid-specific energy display atop the center stack and a pedestrian alert system that emits a sound while the vehicle is only using the electric motor to notify pedestrians of its presence.

The Hybrid Touring adds a sunroof, leather upholstery, the 2.0i Limited's infotainment system and a navigation system.

The sunroof is optional on 2.0i Premium (CVT only) and Limited models, while the Premium can be outfitted with the Limited's 7.0-inch touchscreen system. The Limited can upgrade to the Hybrid Touring's navigation system. Both the Premium and Limited can also be equipped with Subaru's EyeSight safety package, which adds steering-responsive foglights, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking. On the Limited, EyeSight comes bundled with keyless entry and ignition, but this feature can also be added to the Limited without EyeSight. Note that EyeSight is not available on hybrid models, nor are any other options.

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek gets a new base trim level, and all trims come standard with a rearview camera and a 6.2-inch touchscreen with smartphone-app integration. A 7-inch touchscreen is available, as is Subaru's EyeSight safety package with adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking. Keyless entry and ignition is newly available on the Limited trim.

Performance & mpg

The standard (non-hybrid) 2015 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 on 2.0i and 2.0i Premium; it's coupled to an all-wheel-drive system with a 50/50 front/rear power distribution. Optional on Premium and standard on 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 front traction is compromised.

The hybrid has the same engine running through the CVT and AWD system, and it adds an electric motor that raises output to 160 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque.

In Edmunds testing, a regular XV Crosstrek with the CVT accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.9 seconds, while the hybrid went from zero to 60 in 10.0 seconds. The hybrid's time is about average for hybrid wagons, but nearly every compact crossover on the market is quicker. Both cars feel pretty sluggish off the line.

Official EPA estimates for the XV Crosstrek stand at 29 mpg combined (26 city/34 highway) for the CVT, while the manual transmission reduces those numbers to 26 mpg combined (23/31). The XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the best of the bunch at 31 mpg combined (30/34).

Safety

The 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, a rearview camera and active front head restraints. Hybrid models also come with an audible pedestrian alert system that plays a warning sound through a speaker behind the right headlight when only the electric motor is in use. Optional on the non-hybrid Premium and Limited trims is Subaru's EyeSight safety suite, which includes steering-responsive foglights, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking.

In government crash testing, both the XV Crosstrek and the Crosstrek Hybrid received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the XV Crosstrek the highest possible rating of "Good" in its small-overlap and moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. It also earned a "Good" score in the side-impact, roof strength and whiplash protection (seats and head restraints) tests. The optional frontal collision mitigation system earned a "Superior" rating from the IIHS as well.

In Edmunds brake testing, the XV Crosstrek stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet, which is a few feet longer than average. The Crosstrek Hybrid stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet despite its extra weight.

Driving

Although there's an available five-speed manual on the non-hybrid base and Premium models, most XV Crosstreks will come with the CVT. 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 adequate at best, and you'll need to plan ahead for passing and merging. We've also found that the CVT's hair-trigger responses to gas pedal inputs can increase engine speed unnecessarily and exacerbate noise from under the hood.

Dynamically, the XV Crosstrek is every bit a traditional Subaru. It feels confident and composed on slippery roads, where its standard all-wheel drive and stability control systems make its reactions very predictable. The Crosstrek's extra ground clearance also helps it glide along snowy streets and dirt trails. While we wouldn't call it sporty, the XV Crosstrek can be pretty fun on dry pavement, too, thanks to a nicely tuned suspension. The cabin remains surprisingly well isolated from wind and tire noise on the highway.

The Crosstrek Hybrid is just as capable off-road as the standard model and broadly similar on pavement, but the awkward regenerative brakes are intrusive. The extra low-end torque provided by the hybrid's electric motor improves drivability slightly by giving the car a little bit more punch off the line. The Crosstrek Hybrid is a little less entertaining, though, as its extra weight hurts handling in quick corners.

Interior

The Subaru XV Crosstrek follows a template similar to its Impreza counterpart, with a simple interior design that features logically arranged controls. The dashboard and door panels are wrapped in soft-touch trim, and in general the Crosstrek's cabin materials are nicer than Subaru's historical norm. With a standard 6.2-inch touchscreen interface and an available 7.0-inch touchscreen that includes enhanced multimedia features, the XV Crosstrek has one of the better-equipped interiors in this segment from a technological standpoint. Standard audio quality is pretty awful, though, and there's no premium brand-name upgrade like you'll find in some rivals.

For drivers and passengers alike, the XV Crosstrek has plenty of room -- even with 6-footers in the mix. With the rear seatbacks in place, the Crosstrek offers 22.3 cubic feet of storage space, expanding to 51.9 cubes with those seatbacks lowered. That's considerably more than the Juke, but it trails crossovers like the Escape and Forester by a healthy margin. At least the flat load floor means you're able to maximize the space provided. The hybrid rates only slightly less in this regard, as the battery pack located beneath the cargo floor reduces cargo capacity by just 1.7 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded and 0.8 cubic feet with the seatbacks in place.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Love It
candyparrot33,05/19/2015
2.0i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
The car ride is smooth and it has a 'pep' to it. All of the buttons I need to use are available. The dash isn't too busy or complicated. I wanted a car that was simple, yet gave me enough convenience. The sound system is good once I figured out how to make adjust the bass/treble/etc. It is very roomy and comes with a plastic/rubber back to the seats - once they're folded down you don't have to worry about loading stuff in the back and getting the backs of the seats dirty since its easy to wash off. The car was my favorite compared to the other SUVs that I test drove, and the more I drive it the more I love it.
Update: review, impressive vehicle for the price
David,09/26/2015
2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
My girlfriend and I were looking to replace her aging Honda Civic four door. Maintenance costs were getting out of hand. Over a year, we made a short list of cars and small SUV to consider. Rather quickly, she was partial to Subaru, but was unsure whether to go with the Forester, Impreza, or Crosstrek. If you are looking at cargo space with a higher roof line, then yes.. there are other models out there that fit the bill better, and offer more accessories. However the legendary reliability, safety, and AWD capabilities kept us coming back to Subaru. We really didn't need massive cargo space, as this was a sometimes commuter car and grocery hauler; and she wanted something more "car like" than the CRV, Highlander, or Escape. Northern Virginia has dense traffic, so the lower profile and suspension offers better handling in my opinion. The narrow and shorter wheel base gives more assurance when parking in the notoriously small parking spots in this area. And the looks, in our opinion exceed those of the competition. Subaru is not known for their cutting edge technology as it pertains to entertainment, but the 2015 Limited package has everything that is needed, including Bluetooth pairing, Sirius XM, heated seats, climate controls, BACKUP CAMERA, and low tire indicator - which is pretty awesome. The auto headlights and auto dimming rear mirror work well. We opted not to go with iSight, navigation, or moon roof. The only option package that came with our car were floormats, rear bumper ledge protection, and a cargo protection mat and cargo cover. Our XV is a deep, rich red with copious metal flake. This model came with ivory leather interior, so we opted for a dealer protection package which includes free professional cleaning if anything stains, or tears. The material seems top notch, the controls are laid out well, and the steering wheel provides a lot of buttons to control the accessories without taking the hands off the wheel. There appears to be no difficult blind spots, and the view is wide open and easy. I read the professional review, and I don't find the CVT transmission and engine to be overly noisy as described, but rather normal and non fussy for it's type. The first few times I drove the Crosstrek, I thought it was a bit under powered when I needed the extra juice to get around slow drivers or to merge. But, then I discovered the joys of the PADDLE SHIFTERS on the steering wheel, and well... it was a game changer. This car is very capable if you simply downshift when you need extra power. Since I drove a standard stick shift for many years, and my Ford Thunderbird has Select-shift, it was very easy for me to understand the mechanics and make the switch when needed. The backup camera is extremely useful and gives great confidence when backing out of the driveway or a parking spot. I'm glad all cars will be outfitted with this feature by law in the near future as standard. At 1,500 miles I changed the oil and filter at Jiffy Lube, and learned that it takes synthetic oil, which is more expensive. I did this to remove the metal shavings that occur during break in, and will help ensure years of service. My only ding on the car is getting in and out. I'm not an overweight guy, nor overly tall, but you have to take care to duck when getting into the car so you don't bump your head on the roof-line. However, it's expected when purchasing a car with low, car like clearance. We've hauled lots of groceries and home goods with plenty of room. The ride is not jittery, but smooth. It's summer/fall, so we have not had the opportunity to drive in the snow, but it handles wet pavement just fine. The bottom line, you owe it to yourself to test this car. I got a really good deal, pushing the value of this car well into the best value range. It keeps getting better as we drive it. update: 09/28/2016 - We still own the Crosstrek, and it does not disappoint. It's our "family car" and grocery hauler. update: 03/28/2017 - The one thing I always wanted to change about this car was the anemic headlights. They are very yellow and "dim", right out of the box. I recently replaced the original low beams with Phillips X-Treme Vision halogen lights, after unsuccessfully finding a reliable LED replacement. It turns out this simple swap out was just the trick for a major upgrade to the light system, providing bright white light, thrown far down the road. The car still looks showroom new, and we've had no issues with the electronics, engine, transmission, or other mechanics.
2015 XV Premium 2.0 w/ CVT
sayjen,05/07/2015
2.0i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
This car meets and exceeds my expectations. I am the former owner of VW, and Jeep. Former seller of Honda and Toyota. I have put 3000 miles on this car, and I am impressed. Although its not a sports car, it is incredibly fun in certain situations. Its incredibly efficient, and provides enough power for real-world driving situations. Mud, snow, and steep grades...it has performed admirably in every driving situation, so far. Interior quality is on par with any comparably-priced Honda or Toyota. Its certainly not a sports car, and its not a luxury automobile. Its a Subaru! Its practical, reliable, and in some cases, merely "good enough." Overall, this seems to be a great car! I love it. Review update: I was always shaky about the CVT, and with 55K I had to have the tranny swapped. The car will basically never gave my trust again, and that's just a drag.
Satisfied Customer!!
Loren,10/19/2015
2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
Obviously this is not the perfect vehicle for everyone, but for what I need it fits the bill well. The main complaint I have heard about this car is that the engine does not have enough power. Of course, it is always nice to have more power, but a bigger engine usually means worse gas mileage and I have not found it to be especially underpowered.... I live in San Francisco and do a lot of driving for work. On the freeway I'm getting up to 40 mpg with the non-hybrid XV. In mixed city driving I can still average around 34 mpg if I am careful about not having a led foot. I did a lot of research before deciding on this vehicle (it's my first subie)..... In my opinion there is no other vehicle in its class that shines in every aspect that the XV does. I wanted a car that I could take on rough roads in the Sierras without having to worry about getting stuck or damage my vehicle. At the same time I drive several hundred miles a week and park on city streets. The XV Crosstrek is short enough that I can fit into tight spots in the City, gets good gas mileage, has a rack for my surfboard, and can go off road with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. 8.7 inches of ground clearance, that is more like a jeep than a crossover SUV. Just to compare: Jeep Cherokee trail rated has 8.7 a Toyota Rav4 has 6.3.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover15.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Overview

The Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek is offered in the following submodels: XV Crosstrek SUV, XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Available styles include 2.0i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i Premium PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Hybrid Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), 2.0i PZEV 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Limited PZEV is priced between $12,407 and$18,750 with odometer readings between 28382 and126917 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium PZEV is priced between $11,390 and$18,995 with odometer readings between 27820 and122846 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 2015 Subaru XV Crosstreks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek for sale near. There are currently 14 used and CPO 2015 XV Crosstreks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,390 and mileage as low as 27820 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek.

Can't find a used 2015 Subaru XV Crosstreks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru XV Crosstrek for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $25,641.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $11,170.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru XV Crosstrek for sale - 4 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $14,414.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $13,589.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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.

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