KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 1/7/2014
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.
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.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…