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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Review and Quick Spin

Subaru does extra with lower than anyone within the automotive enterprise, and the 2014 XV Crosstrek is an ideal instance of how this resourceful automotive firm remixes automotive recipes as a way to create one thing refreshingly new out of one thing relentlessly acquainted. Primarily, the XV Crosstrek is a Subaru Impreza 5-door hatchback with what quantities to an Outback-style trim package deal and a special identify. Talking of which, why isn’t this automotive/SUV thingy merely referred to as the Crosstrek? Didn’t Subaru study its lesson with that B9 Tribeca nonsense?

Anyway, for the 2014 mannequin yr the Crosstrek is obtainable with an elective gas-electric hybrid powertrain, Subaru’s first. Appropriately, my check automotive arrived sporting Plasma Inexperienced paint, a shade that nearly ensures that you simply and your Subaru will get observed, and maybe ridiculed. At first, this shiny metallic hue was off-putting, after which, with time and acclimation, it proved simply as endearing as the remainder of the automotive.ABTL_2014-Subaru-XV-Crosstrek-Hybrid-Plasma-Green-Pearl-Rear-Quarter-Right-Mountains

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Assessment and Fast Spin: About Our Check Automotive

To get a 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, you’ve gotta pay a $Four,000 premium, however it’s essential to keep in mind that the hybrid mannequin is best outfitted.

For a base worth of $26,820, together with an $825 vacation spot cost, the hybrid mannequin’s normal gear record is enhanced with extra aerodynamic aluminum wheel designs, chrome exterior trim, raised roof rails, a entrance wiper de-icing system, heated aspect mirrors, and LED taillights. Moreover, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid options automated local weather management, heated entrance seats, Keyless Entry & Begin know-how, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rubber cargo mat, upgraded instrumentation, and a Four.Three-inch multi-function show together with superior journey pc features.

Subaru additionally sells the XV Crosstrek Hybrid in a Touring trim degree ($30,120). That is the model I examined, and it had leather-based seats, an influence sunroof, and a 6.1-inch touchscreen navigation system with voice management and Aha smartphone integration know-how.

Along with Plasma Inexperienced, Subaru presents this mannequin in Satin White, Ice Silver, and Quartz Blue paint colours. Sellers can improve the automotive with equipment, together with audio system enhancements, cargo carrying and storage options, exterior styling and inside beauty modifications, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a common storage door opener, an engine block heater, and extra.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Evaluate and Fast Spin: Styling and Design

Let’s agree that the Subaru XV Crosstrek is just not a gorgeous automotive in a standard sense. However, I beloved it in the identical approach that some individuals discover Pugs lovable, and solely partially as a result of the hybrid mannequin’s wheels are the extra interesting design. There’s no scarcity of character within the XV Crosstrek’s styling, and I even warmed as much as the Plasma Inexperienced paint job, which makes it tremendous straightforward to seek out this automotive in crowded parking tons and for different motorists to identify it in visitors.

Historically talking, the Crosstrek’s inside is extra interesting than its exterior. Except for the cabin’s cheap-and-cheesy headliner materials, I recognized no flaws when it comes to fit-and-finish. Supplies are tastefully textured in matching tones, the silver trim and silver seat stitching present sufficient distinction to maintain occupants from feeling like they’re sitting in a black gap, and high quality ranges are each excessive and constant.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Evaluation and Fast Spin: Consolation and High quality

As a result of the XV Crosstrek sits on a raised suspension providing eight.7 inches of floor clearance, the seating hip level is raised, and that interprets to simpler entry and exit. Plus, when you’re seated, you’ve received a greater view of your environment.

Subaru installs fairly snug entrance seats within the Crosstrek, my Touring mannequin’s leather-based seats providing a guide peak adjuster for the driving force’s aspect. Mixed with the lean/telescopic steering wheel and sliding middle console, an ideal driving place is straightforward to realize. Plus, the Crosstrek options soft-touch higher door panel trim, including to consolation ranges. The entrance passenger’s seat doesn’t have a peak adjuster, and whereas it sat a smidge too low for my consolation, my spouse didn’t complain, so there you go.

For those who can, seize one of many entrance chairs as a result of the rear seat’s backside cushion is pretty flat and slightly low. The thought right here have to be to protect true fold-flat functionality for when the Crosstrek Hybrid’s proprietor needs to broaden the 21.5 cubic-foot trunk to its 50.2 cu.-ft. most, however in consequence the rear seat isn’t snug for adults. There’s loads of legroom and foot room, although, and the entrance seatbacks are padded for additional consolation.

The Crosstrek Hybrid’s cargo space is barely smaller than a regular Crosstrek, but throughout a very busy week on the Wardlaw family we hauled gardening provides, residence enchancment supplies, celebration decorations, big-box retailer hauls, groceries, and a few youngsters – not all on the similar time, in fact. The purpose is, the Crosstrek dealt with every thing we threw at it, and when some water leaked out of crops the Touring mannequin’s commonplace rubber cargo mat made cleanup a cinch.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Evaluation and Fast Spin: Options and Controls

For my part, absolutely the worst factor concerning the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the touchscreen infotainment system’s show. The truth is, I might skip the Touring trim degree simply to keep away from having this technique put in in my automotive.

Why am I hating on it? Apart from an influence/quantity knob it lacks conventional controls for main features, the display is just too small, the system is sluggish to answer enter, and I don’t discover it intuitive when it comes to operation. I imply, I by no means did work out the way to scale back the brightness degree, so driving at night time with the navigation map displayed was akin to having a flashlight shining within the face your complete time. Critically, no matter firm Subaru employed to engineer and construct this technique should be fired, or at the least pressured to spend a month enjoying with a Dodge Dart’s Uconnect eight.Four infotainment system to find out how this type of know-how is correctly executed.

With that blistering diatribe out of the best way, it’s straightforward sufficient to pair a smartphone to the automotive’s Bluetooth system and to make use of its voice recognition know-how, so the text-messaging perform bundled with the navigation system counts as one helpful facet. Plus, the remainder of the XV Crosstrek’s controls are logically situated and straightforward to make use of.

However that infotainment system, ugh. I’d relatively have the usual radio setup and simply use my smartphone for navigation and different features. That strategy couldn’t probably be much less distracting.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Assessment and Fast Spin: Security Issues

Each Subaru is engineered with what the corporate calls a ring-shaped reinforcement body that’s designed to deflect crash power away from the inside. Evidently, it really works. The XV Crosstrek will get a 5-star general score from the NHTSA and a “Prime Security Decide” designation from the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS).

Except for these excellent crash-test scores, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is provided with a regular reversing digital camera. In the event you’re wanting safety-related know-how that’s extra refined than this, although, the Crosstrek disappoints.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Evaluate and Fast Spin: Driving Impressions

This automotive is provided with Subaru’s first gas-electric hybrid powertrain, a 2.Zero-liter Four-cylinder engine paired with a constantly variable transmission (CVT) that has an built-in electrical help motor powered by a 13.5 kW nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Automated cease/begin know-how and an all-wheel-drive system are normal, and lively grille shutters enhance aerodynamics on the freeway. Mixed output measures 160 horsepower and 163 lb.-ft. of torque, will increase of 12 hp. and 18 lb.-ft., respectively, over a normal XV Crosstrek.

As hybrids go, that is pretty primary know-how. It will possibly journey brief distances at speeds beneath 25 mph utilizing nothing however electrical energy, and peak torque is on the market decrease within the rev vary in comparison with an ordinary Crosstrek. The system causes a slight discount in cargo area, however the XV Crosstrek Hybrid retains eight.7 inches of blizzard-battling floor clearance.

Half-throttle acceleration is respectable, however in case you mash the fuel pedal to the ground considering you possibly can enhance upon energy and response, you’ll be disillusioned. Even my 70-year-old mom, who was driving shotgun, commented on the automotive’s lack of get-up-and-go. Because of the normal boxer-type engine, the Crosstrek Hybrid retains its attribute Subaru grumble, one which I take pleasure in fairly a bit.

Sometimes, the CVT reveals inconsistent, wavering response as it really works to seek out the appropriate ratio, and it additionally drones when coaxing velocity to merge onto a fast-moving freeway; every are widespread traits of this breed of transmission. Manually shifting between CVT ratios utilizing the paddle shifters on the steering wheel isn’t terribly satisfying, both, and I additionally observed that the Crosstrek Hybrid typically rolled again a bit when lifting off the brake and stepping on the accelerator on a hill, regardless of its normal Incline Begin Help system.

Regardless of its spectacular floor clearance and low-rolling resistance tires designed for maximizing gasoline financial system whereas offering traction in water, snow, and filth, I assumed the XV Crosstrek Hybrid demonstrated tossable dealing with, taking corners with sudden gusto and all the time feeling extra nimble than a typical crossover suv. The steering wheel is superb to grip, and whereas response is considerably sluggish, the electrical steering is correct and supplies pure really feel and heft.

I’d cease in need of calling the Crosstrek Hybrid athletic, although. Along with its leisurely acceleration, this automotive’s physique rolls in corners and the seats lack bolstering. Plus, the brake pedal reveals inconsistencies when it comes to really feel and response, typical traits of regenerative braking techniques. This can be a pretty loud automotive on the freeway, too, making it onerous to make calls and have conversations. Wind noise is all the time evident at larger speeds, and on textured pavement the tires produce plenty of street rumble.

In contrast to different hybrids, although, the XV Crosstrek provides loads of floor clearance. This isn’t a critical rock hopper, nevertheless it works higher than most crossovers when the pavement involves an finish. And you may plow by means of deeper snow, too.

So, how did the XV Crosstrek Hybrid carry out when it got here to gasoline financial system numbers? The EPA says it can get 31 mpg in mixed driving. My first experience in my check automotive was an 85-mile drive on L.A. freeways, and the journey pc by no means indicated greater than 30.6 mpg. After every week and greater than 625 miles of driving, I managed to common 27.6 mpg.

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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Assessment and Fast Spin: Remaining Ideas

Regardless of the XV Crosstrek Hybrid’s dynamic disappointments, I actually loved this automotive. The Crosstrek is a sensible and reasonably priced car with a great deal of utility and character, a protected car that will get respectable fuel mileage and isn’t sidelined the second the climate turns from pleasant to frightful. Is the hybrid powertrain value the additional $Four,000? No, nevertheless it does provides the Crosstrek an added increase of satisfying low-end torque whereas on the similar time delivering incremental enchancment in gasoline financial system.

If Subaru needs to enhance the XV Crosstrek’s mileage, a clear turbo-diesel choice may work higher, offering the specified gasoline financial system enchancment coupled with all types of torque. Nonetheless, the complete time I used to be utilizing this Subaru as a every day driver, I stored considering that what the Crosstrek actually wants is a turbocharged fuel engine.