Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek
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The Subaru XV Crosstrek was created with the same design brief that Subaru established with its larger Outback: Start with a regular Subaru vehicle and add an elevated ride height, a more off-road-ready suspension and rugged looks. In the XV Crosstrek's case, Subaru used a regular Impreza hatchback. More affordable than an Outback but still plenty versatile, the XV Crosstrek should work out well if you're looking for a small car than can handle occasional recreational off-road use.

Note that because of a name change, the XV Crosstrek officially ran for just three years. Subaru later took out the XV part, and the car lives on as the Subaru Crosstrek.

Used Subaru XV Crosstrek Models
The Subaru XV Crosstrek debuted for 2013 and lasted until 2015.

The XV Crosstrek was initially offered in two trim levels, the entry-level Premium and top-of-the-line Limited. The Premium model came standard with features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rack side rails, heated front seats, Bluetooth and an iPod interface. The Limited added automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, and a premium audio system with a touchscreen interface. Major options include a sunroof and a touchscreen navigation system.

Feature availability changed slightly in 2015 when Subaru added a new base model called 2.0i. This was also the year the optional EyeSight driver assistance package debuted. It included a forward collision warning and mitigation system, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. If safety is a priority for you, getting a '15 model with EyeSight is a good idea.

Under the hood was a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine good for 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices included a five-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive was standard.

Subaru also sold a few XV Crosstrek Hybrids during this time. Sold for '14 and '15, the Hybrid had the same engine but included an electric motor that helped add a bit more power and slightly higher fuel economy.

The interior was pretty minimalist in terms of design, but front and rear passengers enjoyed a good amount of head- and legroom, and the standard heated seats were a nice touch given Subaru's popularity in cold-weather states. Folding down both sides of the 60/40-split rear seatbacks created a flat load floor and 51.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

In our reviews, we found the Subaru XV Crosstrek a versatile, if slow, vehicle to own. The 2.0-liter engine delivered slower than average acceleration both around town and on the highway. When equipped with the CVT, the engine also suffered from a noisy, droning tone that could get tiresome, especially when climbing hills. Despite the Crosstrek's increased ride height compared to the regular Impreza, handling was still fairly respectable on the pavement. And when the going gots tough, that extra amount of ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive made it possible to handle light-duty trails without issue.

Overall, we like the Subaru XV Crosstrek and think it's a solid pick for someone wanting a hatchback that can serve as a daily driver but also make it easy to access outdoor recreational activities.

Read the most recent 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Subaru XV Crosstrek page.

For more on past Subaru XV Crosstrek models, view our Subaru XV Crosstrek history page.