First Drive: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek subaru reviews first drives
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. Click image to enlarge
Preview: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Manufacturer’s web site
Subaru Canada

Review and photos by Paul Williams

Photo Gallery:
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Collingwood, Ontario – The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is a new model whose chunky styling and generous ground clearance harkens back to the type of ruggedly imagined vehicles upon which the company’s reputation was built.

For consumers who like such vehicles this is good news, because for a while it seemed that Subaru was steadily moving away from its off-road, tough-as-nails identity for a more exclusively urban fleet.

Based on the recently introduced all-new Impreza platform, and starting at $24,495, the XV Crosstrek is a distinctive crossover SUV with standard all-wheel drive, 220 millimetres of ground clearance, model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels, black roof rails, and black wheel arch cladding that suggest it will be quite happy bouncing along challenging trails if you have the inclination.

First Drive: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek subaru reviews first drives
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. Click image to enlarge

However, the XV Crosstrek’s fold-flat rear seats and 1,470 litres of cargo capacity (a generous 632 L with the rear seats up) make it a practical package for everyday driving, and the fuel consumption estimates of 8.2/6.0 L/100 km, city/highway (with CVT gearbox) are very impressive for a vehicle of this type. In fact, according to Subaru, the Crosstrek is the most fuel-efficient crossover utility in North America.

The XV Crosstrek’s 2.0L four-cylinder AWD drivetrain is the same as that found in the Impreza sedan and hatch. Making 148 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 145 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm, Subaru sticks with its signature horizontally opposed engine configuration, but has engineered improvements in combustion efficiency and internal friction reduction with a view to making the engine smoother and quieter. Direct fuel injection is not a feature of this engine, although the XV Crosstrek is fitted with electric power steering and it will tow up to 680 kilograms.

As with the drivetrain, inside it’s all Impreza, as the XV Crosstrek borrows that model’s multifunction three-spoke steering wheel, instrument panel, soft-touch dashboard, and 4.3-inch colour display, along with seating and interior panels. Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and audio streaming are standard, as is iPod control capability (but not via a chargeable iPhone connector) and a 3.5 mm input jack.

First Drive: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek subaru reviews first drives
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek. Click image to enlarge

Three packages are offered for the XV Crosstrek: Touring, Sport, and Limited.

In addition to the items listed above, the $24,495 XV Crosstrek Touring includes a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio remote controls, automatic climate control, power windows, door locks, and body-coloured side mirrors, the 4.3-inch colour multi-function display, auto on/off headlights, outside temperature display and carpeted floor mats. It’s not a “base” model, in other words.

A five-speed manual transmission is standard, as are heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer (the CVT automatic transmission can be specified for $1,300).

The $26,495 XV Crosstrek Sport adds a rear roofline spoiler, power tilting and sliding sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights.

The $28,995 XV Crosstrek Limited completes the options by including leather trimmed upholstery, dual-zone climate control, chrome door handles, satellite radio, body-colour side mirrors with integrated turn signals and a voice activated navigation system with back-up camera.

The Subaru XV Crosstrek is a pleasant vehicle to drive. Its Impreza-derived interior is comfortable and practical, featuring many storage containers and compartments for your personal items. Outward visibility is excellent all round, and the ride is agreeable on all surfaces. Car-like, in fact.

Connect with Autos.ca