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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.9

If there is one thing Subaru owners love about their vehicles it is ground clearance. So, when Subaru decided to make a new SUV from its popular Impreza hatchback, they started by raising it to a whopping 8.7 inches. Toss in a little cladding, some cool colors and snappy rims, and you’ve got the 2014 XV Crosstrek. Although not terribly powerful, the XV Crosstrek is easy on your fuel budget, and it can go places most of its rivals can’t. Priced around $21,000 the XV Crosstrek makes sense for people who live in snowy climates but don’t want to drive an expensive fuel-thirsty SUV. A new hybrid model offers a bit more power and a few more miles per gallon, but we think the added $4,000 premium is a bit steep.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a year-round vehicle that rides and handles like a car, but can venture off-road and pack in all manner of gear, people and wet dogs, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek will probably fit you like a Gore-Tex girdle.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a lot of cargo space behind the back seat, or power under the hood, a better choice might be the Subaru Forester XT or Outback 3.6, Honda CR-V or Ford Escape.

What's New for 2014

A new hybrid model joins the lineup. Using the same 2.0-liter engine only with slightly higher compression and an electric motor assist, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid delivers 12 additional horsepower and 18 more lb-ft of torque, plus an additional 4 mpg in city driving. Models equipped with navigation now feature the Aha infotainment app.

Driving the XV Crosstrek
Driving Impressions

Because it’s based largely on the Subaru Impreza platform, the 2014 XV Crosstrek delivers an exceptionally stable and secure ride. The soft suspension settings do a good job of soaking...

... up road imperfections that feel like rude jolts in other compact SUVs. Yet, despite the tall ride height and softer springs, the XV Crosstrek doesn’t bob or sway when tossed into tight turns. The Crosstrek uses an electric-assist power-steering system that lacks feedback but also requires little effort when parallel parking in the city or rock crawling in the wilds. The Crosstrek’s weakest spot is its 148-horsepower engine that doesn’t offer much in the way of passing power or rapid acceleration, especially when there are two, three or four passengers onboard. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) does its best to find the optimal power band, but it causes the engine to thrash loudly at full throttle.

STANDARD SYMMETRICAL ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
The beauty of the XV Crosstrek’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is that it is permanently engaged, sending power to all four wheels before loss of traction can occur. The system is light, compact and very reliable.

NUMEROUS DEALER ADD-ONS
Those who plan on adventuring beyond a hotel parking lot will love all the additional equipment Subaru offers for the XV Crosstrek. There are bike and ski racks, roof-mounted cargo carriers and even interior upgrades including a 110-volt outlet and 10-inch powered subwoofer. The little XV Crosstrek is big on choice.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Details
2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek photo Interior

Barring a few minor details, the XV Crosstrek and the Subaru Impreza share the same interior layout. The rear seats offer sufficient legroom for average-size 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. Unfortunately, the navigation radio is required if you want SiriusXM satellite radio.

Exterior
2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek photo

The 2014 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 obstacles encountered on unpaved roads.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 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 and subwoofer from Kicker.

Under the Hood

The 2014 XV Crosstrek is powered by 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. The XV Crosstrek Hybrid uses the same 2.0-liter engine and pairs it with an electric motor integrated into the CVT. The motor produces 13.4 horsepower from 1,500-6,000 rpm, for a total hybrid system output of 160 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. The starter and alternator functions are combined into one unit, and the engine is equipped with an Auto Stop/Start feature. The hybrid can travel on pure electric power for short distances at speeds below 25 mph.

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)

2.0-liter boxer-4/permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric drive motor
160 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
163 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/33 mpg

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2014 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."

2 people out of 2 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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