Subaru is a late arrival to the hybrid market, one of the last car manufacturers to serve up a gas-electric vehicle. Its lateness should not be a reflection of a lack of innovative capabilities as Subaru is a leader in both all-wheel-drive and gasoline four cylinder engine technologies. The 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid closes the product line gap for this Japanese automaker, representing the most fuel efficient and cleanest vehicle of its kind in the United States.
Efficient Hybrid Powertrain
The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a BOXER design engineered to reduce internal friction. A 13.4-horsepower electric motor is integrated with a continuously variable transmission, a powertrain that is lightweight, powerful and efficient. The 16-valve BOXER engine makes 148 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 145 foot-pounds of torque at 4,200 rpm.
This four-door hatchback seats five and has been aerodynamically enhanced to improve fuel efficiency. An active grille shutter system kicks in at highway speeds, ensuring that wind drag is reduced accordingly. Every model is outfitted with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels shod within all-season tires.
Subaru says that the electric motor provides vehicle acceleration, with the gasoline engine kicking in once underway. The electric motor will work in parallel with BOXER engine at times or alone when the EV mode is chosen to manage low-speed driving. Its hybrid system is based on a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, located under the rear storage compartment.
XV Crosstrek Hybrid Dimensions
The XV Crosstrek Hybrid sits on a 103.7-inch wheelbase and measures 175.2 inches long by 70.1 inches wide by 63.6 inches tall. Ground clearance is 8.7 inches, front and rear track measure an even 60 inches.
A roomy interior offers ample head, leg, hip and shoulder room. Total interior volume measures 97.5 cubic feet. Its standard cargo room is 21.5 cubic feet, extended to 50.2 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.
Front head room measures 39.8 inches to 37.7 inches in the rear. Front leg room comes in at 43.5 inches to 35.4 inches in the rear. Hip room is 52.2 inches up front and 53.1 inches in the back. Shoulder room is 55.6 inches in the front seat and 54.2 inches in the back seat.
Subaru Fuel Economy
EPA estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, the best among all-wheel-drive SUVs.
A 13.7-gallon fuel tank provides 466 miles of driving range, or more than enough fuel to take you from Milwaukee to St. Louis on one tank of regular grade gasoline.
Subaru Handling Attributes
Every Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is equipped with an active torque split version of the brands symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. This arrangement sends power to all four wheels concurrently, adjusting torque distribution in response to road conditions. Its the same arrangement found in gasoline-only versions, demonstrating that Subaru has worked diligently to ensure that the driving experience is not diminished because of vehicle hybridization.
Subaru’s all-new hybrid is scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms during the fourth quarter of 2013. Its competition includes the Ford C-MAX as well as various small people movers from Toyota such as the Prius V wagon.
See Also — On the Road With a Subaru XV Crosstrek
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