2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited Review

Monday September 19th, 2016 at 1:99 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

By David Colman

Hypes: EyeSight Safety, AWD
Gripes: Hard Seats, CVT transmission

Here’s another 2016 model you can probably wangle a good deal on at your Subaru dealer. The current Crosstrek, which is a customized derivative of the Imprezza line, is about to be supplanted with an all new model for 2017. That invariably means that dealers will be more than willing to negotiate on the $25,095 base price of the outgoing 2016 model. While the 2017 model, based on the new Subaru Global Platform, promises to be longer, wider and slightly more powerful (by just 4hp) than the Crosstrek we drove, there’s really little reason to justify spending more for it. That’s because the 2016 Crosstrek did pretty much everything we asked of it. Even with Option Package 23 ($2,895) – a catch-all grouping that includes a 7″ multimedia Navigation unit, Keyless Access and EyeSight Driver Assist – the bottom line totaled just $28,840. Even that’s a number you can probably beat in light of the new replacement Crosstrek that’s on the way.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

The Crosstrek provides a grouping of features that distinguishes its performance and appearance from run-of-the-mill Imprezzas. Subaru raises the ride height of the Crosstrek, to provide added ground clearance for off-road jaunts, or driving in snow. Because the Crosstrek, like all Imprezzas, features fully independent front and rear suspension, the extra elevation has virtually no ill effect on the dry pavement handling of this mini-SUV. All-season Yokohama Geolander tires (225/55R17) are responsible for good adhesion at all four corners, and never issue a peep in protest when you lean on them hard. The telltale identifier for the Crosstrek range is its iconic 17 inch aluminum alloy wheel. Imagine a five point silver cookie cutter superimposed on a black circle and you get the visual. There’s no mistaking the solid stance of the Crosstrek.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

Under the hood, you’ll find a horizontally opposed four cylinder engine displacing 2 liters. This rather unique configuration – soon to be shared by Porsche’s coming 718 – produces 148hp and 145lb.-ft. of torque in Subaru tune. That’s barely enough to instill confidence for passing maneuvers or freeway merges because the CVT transmission takes an extra second or so to spool the engine up to meet the demands of your right foot. It’s not a particularly rewarding drivetrain combo, but it eventually gets the job while achieving an overall fuel rating of 29 MPG. At least Subaru provides tiny shift paddles next to the steering wheel so you can provoke the engine to make more noise if not more speed.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

Inside the cabin, Subaru provides some surprising amenities given the car’s bargain price range. For example, the front seats are heated, the steering wheel manually tilts and telescopes, Sirius XM radio (with 4 free months) is built into the base entertainment system, and the seats and steering wheel are leather trimmed. On the negative side, the front seats are unyielding and lack lumbar adjustment. Even at maximum vertical position, the steering wheel remains canted at a bus-like angle. Finally, the backrest adjuster for the driver’s seat is manually controlled and difficult to position accurately.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

Subaru does, however, compensate for minor comfort deficiencies by providing a bevy of pluses you will be hard pressed to match in this price range. Topping the list is “Symmetrical” all-wheel-drive, which by itself makes this Imprezza worth its sticker price and then some. If you do any winter mountain driving, you’ll appreciate the traction afforded by the Crosstrek’s full time AWD. Another reward is EyeSight Driver Assist – included in Option Package 23. In addition to adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and pre-collision braking, EyeSight affords pre-collision throttle management to lessen or avoid crash damage. According to Motor Trend, the Eyesight systems enabled the Imprezza to “ace the IIHS (International Institute for Highway Safety) front crash prevention test and avoid a collision altogether in the low and high speed tests.” So it’s hard to find a safer ride cheaper than the EyeSight equipped Imprezza Crosstrek.

2016 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited

  • Engine: Horizontally Opposed 2.0 liter 4, DOHC
  • Horsepower: 148hp
  • Torque: 145lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 26 MPG City/34 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $28,840
  • Star Rating: 8 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Wednesday May 28th, 2014 at 9:55 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

By David Colman

Hypes: THE Japanese Army knife
Gripes: Needs more suds in the HP department

Attention Nike lovers. There’s now a car to take over when your athletic shoes just won’t do it. Subaru claims the Crosstrek is “equipped for play and built for doing.” There’s more truth to that evaluation than you’ve come to expect from automotive advertising. With a static ride height of 8.7 inches, all wheel drive, and nubby Yokohama Geolander tires (225/55R17), the Crosstrek is a legitimate off road tool, eminently well suited to outback forays, winter endeavors, and expeditions to the supermarket. Crosstrek certainly looks feral enough, with a hunched feline silhouette that’s about to pounce on the next strip of unexplored terrain. Inside, the Abercrombie & Fitch outfitting furthers the Indiana Jones illusion, with rough hewn cloth seats, ribbed rubber matting in the storage area, standard roof rail system, heated front seats, and rear hatch wiper/washer. If you select the Hybrid Crosstrek, which is a new offering from Subaru this year, you also get model-specific five spoke 17 inch diameter alloys that mimic the Fuchs wheels Porsche used as their trademark for over 30 years. Their simple design complements the heavily sculpted contours of the Crosstrek. To emphasize the green allure of the new Hybrid, our test Crosstrek sported an eye watering finish called Plasma Green Pearl that wore well as our week with the car wore on.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Operation of the Hybrid drive train is for the most part so seamless that you hardly know it’s present. Subaru has combined their FB20 4 cylinder engine with a 3 phase synchronous electric motor to provide 150hp and 165 lb.-ft. of torque. The opposed H- configuration gas engine features twin overhead cams, 10.8:1 compression ratio, and an under square bore/stroke ratio of 84mm x 90mm. The permanent magnet electric unit is good for 10kW output and 48 lb.-ft. of torque. Working together, the gas and electric powered Hybrid posts EPA numbers of 31 MPG overall. You can expect 39 MPG on the freeway, which will yield a tad over 500 miles on the Crosstrek’s 13.7 gallon fuel tank. In city usage (29 MPG), this Subaru automatically turns itself off when you’re stopped in traffic for more than 30 seconds, and usually re-fires without hesitation, though a jolt and shudder sometimes mars the procedure.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

The internal layout of the Hybrid’s cabin is so functional that you wonder why so many manufacturers can’t emulate Subaru’s prowess in this regard. For example, take the rear seats here. Instead of making you search out hidden latches and mechanisms to fold them flat, the Crosstrek requires but one simple gesture to transform your interior from passenger to cargo trim. Pull up on the stem of an outboard mounted, visually obvious latch as you thrust the seatback forward, and presto, a flat floor cargo space manifests itself. No manual needs to be thumbed through, no obscure fold and tumble sequence needs to be followed. Removing the privacy screen which shields the rear space from prying eyes is equally simple when you’ve got big loads to carry. Just depress one end of the light weight stick, and the spring inside holding it in place instantly collapses, allowing you to store the part elsewhere. I recently struggled to collapse a similar unit in a Dodge Durango with such an overpowering spring that it refused to budge. The beauty of Subaru engineering is that it makes it simple tasks effortless.

With that ample ride height, you might think the Crosstrek would be somewhat tipsy in normal motoring tests, but you’d be wrong. This crossover handles the curves with aplomb, and you’re almost never aware of your exalted height. The Yokohama Geolanders are surprisingly complicit in upholding their end of the cornering bargain, and on the whole, the Crosstrek handles with the precision of a Nike Cross Trainer. The combined 150hp output of the drive train, however, leaves a bit more to be desired than the handling does. In passing or merging situations, you pretty much have to wring the Hybrid by the neck to extract enough surge to be comfortable. The CVT transmission, which Subaru pioneered a quarter century ago, is definitely your friend during such maneuvers, because paddles on the steering wheel allow you instant access to more rpm and more passing power. Still, this 3,165 pound Crosstrek’s gentle acceleration would benefit from a slightly larger displacement gas motor.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

With a buy-in of just $26,820, it’s hard to beat the Hybrid Crosstrek for value, mileage, practicality and comfort. For “Just Do It” folks, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is like finding a pair of Air Jordans at Ross Dress For Less.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

  • Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC Opposed 4
  • Electric Motor: Permanent Magnet 3-Phase Synchronous
  • Horsepower: 150hp
  • Torque: 165 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 29 MPG City/39 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $26,820
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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