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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

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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 87 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

TEST DRIVE ONLY

By on Thursday, June 30, 2016

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Handling, Electronics, Posted Fuel Economy,Wheels"

Cons: "Guage Visibility, Cheap Cabin Finishes, Guages"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Took the Crosstrek XV for a test drive to maybe replace my '07 Forester. In many ways I prefer it over the new Foresters, primarily because I found the seats more comfortable. But, power seats aren't available in any Crosstrek trim. Because the Crosstrek is pretty much a glorified Impreza, it has the smaller motor, but lag in acceleration vs. the Forester isn't noticeable. CVT transmission is ok, but I'm not a big fan (I know it enhances gas mileage). It is slightly rougher in ride and noisier than the Forester, but nothing obnoxious. Handling and turning circle are great. Outward visibility is superb. Some creature comforts such as sun visor extensions and sunglass holders are missing. Electronics are adequate without being confusing. Cabin accoutrements are basic, but ok. Headliner feels like fuzzy thin cardboard. My only real complaint is that the guages are difficult to read in bright sunlight, with sunglasses on or off. To end on a positive note, the wheels design is very cool."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2014 Subaru Hybrid Touring

By on Saturday, June 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "driving 15mph with only electric engine great fun"

Cons: "no spare tire"

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

"I only had two concerns with my 2014 Subaru Hybrid Touring when I purchased it new in March of 2015. 1. no spare tire - solved this with a spare mounted on the new roof rack. 2. bigger concern was handling - solved this by adding an aftermarket front flexible strut brace and factory rear sway bar kit. This improved high speed mountain interstate highway handling remarkably. I just read Dadawada's review and think this would improve his drivibility."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2016 Hybrid Touring - Sorta

By on Sunday, May 1, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great value, good looks, practical"

Cons: "Your not going to impress the Cars and Coffee folk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

File Photo...I did add the Aero Cross Bars on the roof rack

"I'm a car person. I have owned a ton of cars over the years ranging from a lowly Chevy 4 banger wagon to a real H1 Hummer, Porsches, and 700hp muscle cars. I had quite a few 4x4 and AWDs. So I think I'm pretty good at objectively looking at a car. The first thing that drew me to the Crosstrek was styling...I just like it. My daughter bought one as her very first car and I thought it looked and operated nicely. After a few rides I decided to look into one but I wanted something a little different. I was picking up another car narrowed it down to either another truck, an F250 with a 6.2L motor, a new muscle car, or a small SUV or even a Hybrid for a change. No one ever accused me of being narrow minded. When I found out the CrossTrek was available as a Hybrid I thought that would be cool. It was the end of the month, the local dealer has only one left and they were discounting it to the bone. I did a quick search...Hmm, the hybrid version doesn't seem to be any more fuel efficient in the few reviews I found. Still, it was a great deal and I love techology so I pulled the trigger. I've been driving the car for 3 days now and here are my observations: 1) The Hybrid gives the performance a little boost getting the Crosstrek closer to the engine performance it really should have had to begin with...upping HP from 148 to about 160. Good. 2) The Hybrid seems to not very well thought out, at least from a software perspective. First it hardly engages unless your traversing the drive thru at your local fast food. Or when you are driving on gas power and need an extra boost. Then it leaves you this unfulfilling feeling when the battery in the display never gets fully charged. You keep watching but it hovers around 1/4 to 1/2 charged. I think a larger battery pack and software update could make this a more viable hybrid option. But in it's current state, it's more about a part time performance boost and making you feel better that your at least driving a hybrid. 3) The seats...while covered in leather...are some of the most uncomfortable I've had. And they are not adjustable except forward and back, up and down, and the angle of the seat back. They really need more adjustment...especially for a "Touring" option. 4) Electronics..."A" for effort. They really tried to give it some cool technology and phone integration. For the most part, they got it. But a lot of software is outdated and doesn't work properly with the latest phones (a Samsung Note 5 in my case). It's slow and clunky. Waze would have been a much better Nav Map for this car in my opinion and fit better the Utilitarian nature of the brand. 5) Driveability...it gets you from point A to point B. It does it fine, not inspiring like more performance inspired crossover. The steering is vague in a not connected way and brakes, with the generative power are imprecise at best. Noise is a little higher than a more insulated (heavier) vehicle. All said and done, this vehicle is a great value with great styling. I'm not part of the traditional Subaru demographic so my purchase was NOT based on those values that other Subaru owners probably consider. I'm happy with my purchase. I own a hybrid that is actually useful and when the zombies come...and they will...I'll be able to escape much better than my Prius brethren."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

File Photo...I did add the Aero Cross Bars on the roof rack

First Subaru & First AWD Car

By on Friday, December 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "AWD, sharp styling, boxer engine can be weird."

Cons: "Cheap interior & thin paint."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned a 2015 Premium XV Crosstrek for approximately 3 months now. I love it. Previously I drove a 2012 Toyota Yaris which I loved, but living in a mountainous area in the Northeast, I needed something a little more capable of handling our winter weather. I had my heart set on a RAV4, but I'm glad I got my Crosstrek. The gas mileage is great. I'm averaging 32/33 mpg, even while commuting 40+ miles a day in stop and go as well as city traffic. I love the heated seats, the higher seating position and visibility, the increased HP vs my former car. It's also a lot more comfortable and doesn't give me as much back pain as my Yaris was causing me. A lot of people complain about an underpowered engine, but as a former lover of small gas-sipping cars, I find that it has more than enough. I'm anticipating a much better experience when it comes to driving in snow, but time will tell. The cons are the cheap interior materials - I managed to chip part of the interior door trim when accidentally hitting it with my keys, and the paint scratches and chips extremely easily - I got my first scratch within a week after taking it on a rough dirt road. The boxer engine can feel very odd, especially if you're used to feeling a definite engine shift. Sometimes the lag from reverse to drive can be very annoying, and the car can seem to drift in the lane a little if you're not 110% vigilant with the steering wheel. The Starlink system can be anemic sometimes when trying to use the iHeartradio or Pandora functions, but it's not the end of the world. All in all, for my first brand new car, it's a winner. I can't wait to see how it handles a miserable NE winter, but I do love it, and look forward to driving it for many years to come."

33 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Great car for urban driving & country adventure.

By on Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling, safety, mileage, value for price"

Cons: "Weak lumbar support, road noise at highway speed"

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

"Very pleased with this vehicle. I owned a '95 Impreza Outback Sport for almost 10 years, 122k miles, and this is a much better vehicle. Mileage averages around 26-27mpg for combined in-town/highway driving, and 32-33mpg on highway at 55 mph; that will drop to 31-32mpg at 70-75mph. Snow handling is excellent. I wish it had a higher towing capacity (it's rated at 1,000lb unbraked/1,500lb braked), which won't accommodate a 4x6' enclosed U-Haul when loaded. Instead, we have a class 1 trailer hitch & use a cargo platform/bag for extra cargo space when needed. We also haul two kayaks on Thule rooftop bars. Car rides beautifully under load with no noticeable loss of power except on steep inclines."

23 people out of 32 found this review helpful

It Does It All

By on Thursday, October 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price, fun to drive, outdoor adventurer"

Cons: "haven't found one yet"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

At Paddlefest for MD Special Olympics

"This is my second XV Crosstrek. I just had to have the 2015 Special Edition in Sunrise Yellow. It's a head turner. More importantly my wife and I do a lot of outdoor activities and this car accommodates them all. We pull our kayak trailer with it, put our paddleboards on the roof and our bikes on the bike rack. The interior space is more than adequate for 4 adults but we sometimes squeeze in 5. While that leaves little cargo space inside, a cargo carrier on top is always an option. Fully loaded and pulling a trailer, this car has the power to easily roll through the mountains without feeling a strain. The gas mileage is averaging about 28mpg across all of my driving. It's the little car that can... do it all."

27 people out of 32 found this review helpful

At Paddlefest for MD Special Olympics

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