So it seems the XV Crosstrek has passed our three-month test (with flying pumpkin colours) and should be ready for retirement.  But not so fast! It had one more task left during its final weekend with us.  My wife and I purchased a piece of furniture that was over an hour away and we had to go pick it up.  The box containing said furniture measured 62 inches long, 38 inches wide and 14 inches tall.  The XV’s rear hatch opening is not completely uniform and it is actually wider, roughly 39 inches, at the top half.  The bottom half is only 36 inches or so wide.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring. Click image to enlarge

We were able to lift the box up through the wider top half of the hatch and then place it down on the floor.  At 62 inches deep, the box required both my wife and me to move our seats further forward than our optimal comfort position, but not so far forward we could not drive home.  Take heed, future XV owners: this is about the maximum size cargo you will want to haul with this little utility vehicle.

And a lot of future owners I predict the XV will have [is that so, Yoda? –Ed.].  The more I drove it, the more I got it.  It seems like a right sized vehicle for those not wanting the ever-increasing, in both size and price, traditional compact crossover utility vehicle.   If you still lament the loss of the original Subaru Forester and its light weight, compact dimensions and tall wagon driving position, the XV is worth a long, hard look.  Compared to a 1998 Forester, the XV is the exact same length, a bit wider, slightly shorter and weighs 5 kg less.  The XV does give up a good chunk of cargo space compared to the original Forester, though, due to that swoopier profile and chunkier design.

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring. Click image to enlarge

My only real quibbles after three months with the XV were minimal.  The continuously variable transmission would moan and clatter until warmed up on colder mornings, the front cupholders were so deep some drinks would get lost in them, and of course there is the ride.  If Subaru could soften the ride slightly, even at the expense of some handling, it would vastly improve the XV.  But these drawbacks are easily outweighed by the positives, like a soft-touch interior, generous seating for four and decent efficiency.  In the end, that is what makes the XV Crosstrek a solid vehicle.

Pricing: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring
Base Price: $24,495
Options: $1,300 (CVT Automatic)
Freight & PDI: $1,695
A/C Tax: $100
Price as tested: $27,590

Crash test results
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

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