2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring. Click image to enlarge
Test Drive: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
First Drive: 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Manufacturer’s web site
Subaru Canada

Review and photos by Mike Schlee

Photo Gallery:
2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

Those who have interacted with me on the Autos.ca Forums over the past few years may know that I used to have a Subaru WRX hatchback. Besides being a great all-weather sporty vehicle, it featured the added benefit of being completely practical. With the rear seats folded down and hatch left ajar, it was able to carry 800 lbs of Ikea wardrobe, 10-foot long rolls of carpet and flooring, 12 foot long posts of wood and the occasional Rottweiler (hatch closed for the latter, naturally).

Since reluctantly giving up the WRX earlier this year, I have missed the convenience of consistently having a vehicle that can haul a moderate amount of stuff. Sick of the fact that her 2008 SX4 Sport Sedan does not have folding rear seats and thus having to rely on friends, family, or the odd press car to transport anything larger than a lamp, my wife’s longstanding interest in hatchback vehicles is at an all-time high.

So what better time than now to welcome the newest member of the Autos.ca long-term test fleet, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Touring. Ever since the XV Crosstrek was announced I have wanted to take it for a drive. Essentially sharing the dimensions of my beloved old WRX, while also offering the raised ride height my wife enjoys, this vehicle appears to be a great compromise solution for us. What better way to see if a vehicle like this suits everyday life than a three-month test?

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

Thankfully, Subaru Canada agreed, though perhaps in no small part because my wife and I are smack-dab in the target market for the vehicle: late 20s, early 30s, recently married homeowners who want a vehicle that is fun, decent on gas, can transport the odd small home furnishing items, and still be something completely practical should our family grow in size in the coming years.

This will mark our fifth long-term test vehicle this year. We find it important to perform as many long-term tests as possible at Autos.ca since it better reflects how a vehicle will respond to different daily tasks than the usual one-week evaluation period. During its three-month stay with us, the XV will be making at least one trip to Buffalo (where its cargo carrying capacity will be put to the test), be used for various holiday season overnight family visits, make a trip in mid-January deep into the central Ontario snow-belt, and much more.

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

The vehicle we received is the entry level Touring Edition of the Subaru XV Crosstrek. It is painted in Tangerine Orange, which my wife isn’t too fond of and neither am I. However, it is a low-gloss finish and if it has to be orange, this one of the better shades out there. At a price of $24,495 before destination and taxes, the XV comes equipped with a cargo cover, 17-inch alloys, heated seats, customizable 4.3-inch colour information screen and much more. Powering all XV Crosstreks is a 2.0L flat-four ‘boxer’ engine producing 148 hp, 145 lb-ft of toque. Sending power to all four wheels is a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) featuring a hill holder system, paddle shift controls, lock-up torque converter and open differentials front and back. Strapped to 1,425 kg of crossover, this drivetrain will have its work cut out for it and that will be a focus of future updates on the vehicle both from a power and fuel efficiency standpoint. That said, the XV is officially rated to tow 680 kg, but since our vehicle did not include the towing package, I will not be able to test this.

The XV’s towing capability comes courtesy of some enhancements to the structure it shares with the Impreza. A bigger radiator, structural reinforcements to reduce body flex and frame twisting and improve steering response and handling and stability.

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