November 30, 2012
On the road the XV Crosstrek is not that quiet inside. It is a strange mix of NVH as it is not great in a noise or harshness sense, but is great when it comes to vibrations—none find their way up through the chassis to the passengers. The engine is a bit noisy, but makes a more pleasant sound, to my ears at least, than the average four-cylinder thanks to the boxer design. The continuously variable transmission is near silent in its operation and can only be heard during sub-zero-temperature cold starts in the morning.
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring. Click image to enlarge
Many reviewers have complained that the XV Crosstrek is underpowered and I am not going to pretend here that it is not. But, the throttle is very jumpy off the line and around town power is more than adequate. On the highway this Subaru begins to run out of steam but is not the horribly weak engine many are making it out to be. That said, a dose of direct injection and an output of 170-180 hp would do wonders for this vehicle.
The reason for the small engine with low power is, of course, efficiency. So, is it efficient? Well, during our first two weeks with the XV, we were averaging 9.8 L/100 km in what is horrible, stop-n’-go Toronto commuting. But once we eclipsed the 1,500-km mark on the odometer, there has been a noticeable reduction in fuel consumption and our overall average has now dropped down to 9.4 L/100 km. For reference on how horribly inefficient our daily drive is, the average speed achieved during the first 1,900 km with the XV is a mere 39 km/h. To obtain a more realistic indication of what owners who do not live in a commuting nightmare should expect, we took the XV on a two-hour drive last weekend that did not involve rush-hour traffic. We were able to achieve a more realistic 8.2 L/100 km average.
As a pseudo-owner, I have begun to notice some finer details about the XV Crosstrek. The car’s computer lets you program a birthday and an anniversary. I am not sure what the vehicle will do on these days, but my wife’s birthday is on December 11th, so I will let everyone know on the next update. The angle of the headrest is multi-adjustable as is its height, which is nice feature in a non-luxury vehicle like this. The Bluetooth allows for multiple phones to be stored, as well as one audio Bluetooth device. At first I kept trying to pair a phone though the audio setup menu located within the radio and couldn’t figure out why my phone kept disconnecting. I then realized my mistake and paired my (and my wife’s) phone through the proper voice-command procedure using the steering wheel buttons and have not had an issue since.
The front seats so far have proven to be great for medium distance trips of an hour or so. We haven’t put them to the real test as of yet but will in the coming weeks. One thing we have tested is the XV in the rain. It looks like someone forgot to tell the XV that when it rains, the road is wet and traction is reduced. It is beyond composed in these conditions and makes me excited to test it out once the white stuff starts to fall.