Based on the Subaru Impreza 5-door hatchback, the new 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek offers a raised suspension with 8.7 inches of ground clearance that the automaker notes is "higher than for most other crossovers and even some dedicated SUVs." Other unique XV Crosstrek identifiers include restyled front and rear bumpers, black bodyside and wheel arch moldings, black roof rails, rear spoiler, and dark-tinted rear privacy glass. The XV Crosstrek also gets a unique set of 17-inch aluminum wheels.
The 2013 XV Crosstrek is available in Premium and Limited trim levels. A standard 60/40-split folding rear seat provides up to 52.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume. The XV Crosstrek's trunk includes a removable waterproof tray, tie-down hooks, and grocery bag hooks. Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio capability is standard, and the stereo includes an auxiliary input jack, iPod connection, USB port, and 6 speakers.
XV Crosstrek Limited models add leather seats, automatic climate control, rearview camera, HD Radio, and a Cold Weather package with heated seats, side mirrors, and wiper de-icer. Additional options include a power sunroof, navigation system, and satellite radio.
Under the Hood
Subaru installs a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine in the new 2013 XV Crosstrek, a design commonly referred to as a Boxer engine for the way the pistons jab outward from the crankshaft toward the sides of the car.
In the XV Crosstrek, this engine makes 148 horsepower. A 5-speed manual gearbox with Incline Start Assist is standard on Premium models. A Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional on Premium and standard on Limited models, and includes paddle shifters with six different pre-set ratios for greater driver control.
As on all Subaru models, all-wheel drive is standard. With the manual transmission, the XV Crosstrek uses a viscous-coupling center locking differential to split power 50/50 front-to-rear and re-distributes power as necessary based on wheel slippage. With the CVT, an Active Torque Split system primarily drives the front wheels until wheel slippage dictates up to 100% power transfer to the rear wheels.
Official EPA fuel-economy estimates are not available as this preview is written, but Subaru is projecting that the XV Crosstrek with a CVT will get 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined.
Like all Subarus, the XV Crosstrek employs what the automaker calls a Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame design. Seven air bags, stability and traction control, and 4-wheel-disc brakes with brake assist and larger front rotors than are found on the Impreza are standard. The XV Crosstrek also has a Brake Override system that the automaker says makes it impossible to accelerate if the brake and accelerator are pressed at the same time.