Although the name is new, the XV Crosstrek is more or less the same idea as the old Outback Sport. That means the XV Crosstrek shares a lot with the Impreza, right down to its interior and powerplant. Look for unique orange or khaki paint and the presence of plastic cladding on the rockers to distinguish between the two models.
Looking for the ground clearance of an Outback with the footprint and fuel economy of an Impreza? Perhaps the awkwardly named XV Crosstrek is the car you’ve been looking for. We find the chassis to be nimble, the handling predictable, and the off-road capability to be more than adequate. One of the few letdowns is the electrically assisted steering, but fuel-economy concerns trump driving enjoyment in a vehicle like this. Not surprisingly, the interior looks and feels exactly like the Impreza’s and offers the same standard Bluetooth and iPod connectivity along with a more universal USB port. The powertrain is carried over directly from the Impreza, which means a 2.0-liter flat-four engine producing 148 hp and all-wheel drive are standard. The only choice to make is between manual and continuously variable transmissions. Despite the shared engine, the XV Crosstrek isn’t quite as fuel efficient as the Impreza because it offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is three more than its road-focused cousin. If you aren’t going to venture off-road, the Impreza hatchback probably makes a lot more sense because its lower center of gravity will improve handling. Although we aren’t in love with the name, we certainly appreciate the execution of this crossover.
Front, side, driver’s knee, and side curtain air bags; traction and stability control; ABS; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. A rearview camera is optional.
- Off-road capable
- Versatile interior
You won't like:
- Just a taller Impreza
- Worse fuel economy than the Impreza’s
Key Competitors For The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
- Hyundai Tucson
- Kia Soul
- Mini Countryman
- Nissan Juke
The new Outback Sport.