The formula will probably seem familiar. Americans like crossovers, so an automaker takes one of its core car models, raises the suspension and adds some body cladding. Subaru has done this successfully with its Outback series, so it's no surprise that the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is built using the same formula. The Crosstrek is essentially an Impreza hatchback with additional wheel travel and refined suspension tuning for off-road or broken-pavement midtown adventures.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a five-passenger crossover available in 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the 2.0i Premium includes 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a six-speaker audio system with CD player, USB port and auxiliary jack.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek features a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed "boxer" four-cylinder engine that produces 148 hp and 145 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and is coupled to an all-wheel-drive system with a 50/50 front/rear power distribution. Optional on the Premium and standard for the Limited is a CVT coupled to a different all-wheel-drive system that typically apportions more power to the front wheels, but directs power -- up to 100 percent -- rearward when traction is needed.
The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and active front head restraints.
The XV Crosstrek has not yet been crash-tested by government or insurance agencies, but the Impreza hatchback on which the XV is based received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Subaru XV Crosstrek follows a template similar to its Impreza counterpart, with a clean and minimal interior featuring no-fuss controls arrayed on the center stack and surrounding the steering column. Dash and door panels are wrapped in soft-touch trim in an elegant (if austere) presentation, and the cabin is surprisingly quiet on-road. The available touchscreen infotainment interface is improved even from its most recent overhaul, although some of the electronic nannies ? you're locked out from adjusting the stereo's tone controls while driving, for example -- are annoying and border on deal-breaking.
Around town and on the highway, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek's 2.0-liter/CVT combination does exactly what's asked of it: mind fuel consumption. From a stoplight, the XV's initial acceleration is surprisingly quick, and once at highway cruising speed, the powertrain is relaxed and responsive to passing maneuvers. But the CVT allows the engine to run out of breath in its midrange, right about when you're preparing to merge into a busy lane or when making a sharp trail ascent. If fuel economy isn't a primary concern, we suggest opting for the manual transmission with its hill-start assist; it doesn't make the engine any more powerful, but does offer more control over power delivery.