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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Overview
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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

In the automotive world, downsizing has long been synonymous with downgrading. While this notion is often far from true , most of today's compact SUVs have swollen to near mid-size proportions, which in turn spawned a new series of small SUVs that actually live up to their namesake. The all-new 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is among this new breed of right-sized SUVs, offering a wealth of upscale features, nimble handling and ample cargo space at an affordable price. Rivals such as the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman deliver engaging on-road performance and laudable fuel economy, but the new XV Crosstrek supplements its solid road manners with a surprising level of off-road proficiency and the best fuel economy of any all-wheel-drive (AWD) SUV on the market.

You'll Like This Car If...

Today's small-SUV shopper faces no shortage of choices, but if all-terrain capability and distinctive exterior styling are prerequisites for your next compact SUV, the 2013 XV Crosstrek should make your decision much easier.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a vehicle with a great deal of cargo space and an affordable sticker price, the larger Toyota RAV4 or the Honda CR-V is worth a closer look. Subaru fans who love the rugged capability of the XV Crosstrek, but require slightly more interior volume should consider its bigger brother, the Subaru Outback.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 XV Crosstrek is a brand-new nameplate in the Subaru lineup and looks to make a name for itself in the small-SUV segment by way of impressive fuel economy, stylish sheetmetal and go-anywhere capability.

Driving the XV Crosstrek

Driving Impressions Though it is largely based on Subaru's latest small-car platform, the XV Crosstrek feels exceptionally stable and secure on the open road. Road imperfections and undulations are well absorbed, and...

the up-sized brakes provide plenty of stopping power for the relatively light XV Crosstrek. The electric-assisted power steering lacks feedback, but the light effort makes low-speed parking maneuvers a cinch. The 148-horsepower engine, however, has a difficult time hauling more than two passengers, and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) exacerbates engine noise under hard acceleration. To that end, drivers looking to haul more than a few hundred pounds should search for a more powerful alternative. Still, the prevailing impression is one of suitable refinement and comfort.

STANDARD SYMMETRICAL ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Unlike most competitor all-wheel-drive systems, Subaru's trademark symmetrical AWD continuously sends power to all four wheels to help prevent a loss of traction before it happens. Additionally, Subaru symmetrical AWD incorporates a compact design to optimize both fuel economy and handling performance.

PARTIAL ZERO EMISSIONS
Until recently, hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles were the sole recipients of the EPA's Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) rating. The Subaru XV Crosstrek achieves PZEV status without the need for costly alternative-fuel technology.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Details
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek photo Interior

Barring a few minor details, the XV Crosstrek and the Subaru Impreza share the same interior layout. While material quality is below average for the segment, panel gaps are narrow and consistent throughout the cabin. The rear seats offer sufficient legroom for average-sized adults and fold flat to yield 51.9 cubic feet of cargo space – considerably more than the Nissan Juke. The dashboard's center stack is home to user-friendly controls and a handy lower storage compartment for mobile phones and other small items. If possible, we recommend avoiding the optional navigation system, as the outdated interface can be extremely frustrating to operate.

Exterior
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek photo

The 2013 XV Crosstrek shuns the utilitarian look of many "compact" SUVs in favor of a more aggressive, dynamic design. The look is spearheaded by Subaru's signature hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights, while prominent over-fenders and unique starfish alloy wheels combine to project an athletic stance. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance and fairly steep approach/departure angles, the Subaru XV Crosstrek is well-equipped for travel in unforgiving terrain. Moreover, the lower body panels are wrapped in rugged plastic cladding for additional protection against various obstacles encountered on unpaved roads.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is offered in two trim levels: Premium and Limited. Premium models include roof rails, heated front seats, a multi-information display and a 6-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and a USB port for portable MP3 players. Stepping up to the Limited trim adds dual-zone climate control, leather, rearview camera, auto-on/off headlights and Subaru's new 4.3-inch touch-screen audio system with HD Radio. Despite the $25,000 price tag, Limited models do not offer power-adjustable front seats. Occupant protection comes in the form of seven airbags, rollover mitigation control and sure-footed traction of symmetrical all-wheel drive.

Optional Equipment

Since the majority of features are tied to trim level, the XV Crosstrek's short list of options includes a power moonroof, touch-screen navigation with a 6.1-inch display and host of stand-alone accessories. Given the substandard sound quality produced by the standard audio system, we highly recommend upgrading to the dealer-installed speakers from Kicker.

Under the Hood

The lone engine choice for the 2013 XV Crosstrek is a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed "boxer" 4-cylinder engine that churns out 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The XV Crosstrek sends power to all four wheels via a standard 5-speed manual or an available continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Premium models equipped with a manual gearbox feature an AWD system with a 50/50 front/rear power distribution, while automatic transmissions are coupled to an adaptive system that automatically proportions power to the wheels with the most grip.

2.0-liter boxer-4
148 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (manual), 25/33 mpg (automatic)

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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 65 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Best commuter vehicle I've had!

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Comfort, MPG, handling, price"

Cons: "CVT in stop & go traffic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Dear fellow drivers, after researching the Crosstrek for months, I saw it as appropriate to leave you with my 2 cents on the 2015 Crosstrek premium. I've read countless reviews describing this car as slow, sluggish or noisy. Neither could be further from the truth! I would say I've owned and driven more "high-end" cars than most people as my family has had everything from Ferraris to AMGs and BMW Ms, so I am used to vehicles with serious power. Again, there is nothing slow about the Crosstrek, and the CVT does a phenomenal job of finding torque at any speed or rpm! The noise is also nothing to complain about, where the engine makes noise comparable to any 4 cylinder engine, but due to the CVT you don't run through the RPMs like most cars, which leads me to claim that the Crosstrek actually has less noise than most cars. If there is anything I can complain on, it would be the extreme sensitivity of the CVT in very slow stop and go traffic. The car acts on par with a mid-2000s BMW M6 or Ferrari, where the transmission fully disengages when off the throttle, and then abruptly engages when throttle is applied. Not a big issue, but it takes a sensitive foot and some getting used to. Fit and finish is great, and the comfort of the suspension is amazing with the extended travel over a regular Impreza. Not trying to come off as a Subaru expert, this is my first one, but when compared to much higher-end cars it holds up very well at a fraction of the price. As far as MPG goes I'm averaging 31 on the flat highways of Florida (400 miles, so not broken in yet)."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

great vehicle, great fuel economy, great value

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "versetility, mileage, value, looks"

Cons: "more cabin noise than I would like"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned my Crosstreck for about a year. It is comfortable and I am able to haul a wide range of things when the seats are folded down. I am averaging 33 mpg with a K&N air filter. I do 50-50 highway to city driving. I have had the opposite of buyers remorse, I like the vehicle more after driving it for a year than when I first bought it! Stereo was weak but did a couple of tweaks. Make sure wagon is on and loud is on. Makes a world of difference. You can find how to do this on youtube."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My sixth Subaru and the best yet

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, good looking"

Cons: "A bit loud inside..."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is the bomb! It handles like a dream! It is not quite as puiet as a BMW, but for the price you cannot beat it!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very Solid Vehicle

By on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My wife and I have owned this vehicle for right at a year now and have no complaints. We have the limited edition with the heated leather seats and they are most definitely nice and convenient during the winter. The overall quality of the vehicle is outstanding and we will have this vehicle for very long time. We bought a Subaru because of the numerous personal reviews that various Subaru owners provided us with and now we be one of those couples that personally encourage another person/couple to buy one. The Crosstrek is very slick and sporty in its appearance, which we love because we are in our early 20's. That is the main reason we bought the Crosstrek over the Outback and Forester."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent Crossover!

By on Sunday, April 26, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: New Subaru

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Price, Fun Drive, Versatile, Great Mileage"

Cons: "Light Interior Gets Dirty, Medium Size Trunk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is excellent…it is a small SUV AWD with excellent gas mileage, very spacious and potent enough. Very versatile for everyday use and very nice looks and wheels. AWD means excellent stability and rain or slippery traction. I definitely recommend looking into this option before many 2WD competitors."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Cannot Recommend

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Comfortable seating"

Cons: "Worst transmission ever, excessive engine noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Easily the worst new car I have ever had. The transmission is terrible. You never know how the tranny will respond when you press on the gas pedal. Sometimes it revs up and powers the car smoothly. Other times it hesitates and can't seem to find any power. It is truly annoying. I still don't know how they got it to run so good in the test drive. I asked the salesman that question and he didn't know what I was talking about. He suggested I must have gotten some "bad gas". That's when I knew that he knew the car is junk. I urge you not to buy this vehicle. If you find yourself being swayed by Subaru's slick ad campaign please come to your senses. Back away slowly, then run."

16 people out of 33 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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