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2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek Debut

Taking the place of the Impreza Outback, the Subaru XV Crosstek blazes its own trail.

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What's New

According to Subaru, the 2013 XV Crosstrek is an entirely new vehicle. By most accounts, however, it is essentially a redesigned and rebadged version of the car previously known as the Subaru Impreza Outback. The XV is a 5-door crossover utility vehicle built on the Impreza platform, though Subaru claims it has undergone many notable chassis and body configurations to differentiate the crossover from the sedan in its model lineup. Compared to the Impreza, the XV Crosstrek is taller and more rugged, features distinct body colors and wheels, a larger brake system, and up to 52.4 cubic feet of storage space. After seeing the XV in person, we are subtly blown away by its handsome and solid packaging. And though we haven’t driven one, we suspect that it will compare favorably to the best and newest in the ultra competitive crossover segment.

Who It's For

The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek targets the same buyer as the previous Impreza Outback. We suspect that those buyers are mostly young, outgoing, urban, and desire both all-wheel drive and safety as much as strong fuel economy. Subaru markets the XV Crosstrek as the most fuel-efficient all-wheel drive crossover on the market, pitting it against very tough competition from the freshly-redesigned Honda CR-V, soon-to-be redesigned Ford Escape, and Nissan Rogue.

Key Features

Styling and safety are the key features to the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, and are what Subaru is banking on in setting itself apart from the crossover pack.
  • Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with traction and stability control (not just an urban asphalt dweller)
  • Lots of infotainment goodies like Bluetooth audio and phone support, multifunction display with rear-vision camera, and available GPS and SMS text messaging
  • 33 mpg highway is tops for AWD crossovers
  • Distinctive styling is more youthful in appearance than other "grownup" (sedate) contributions in the segment

What We Think

Most Subarus, by nature of standard all-wheel drive, are niche vehicles that solidly compete, but do not lead in any consumer segment. We're not yet sure if the same will be said about the XV Crosstrek. It isn't the most fuel efficient crossover, but it looks to be one of the sturdiest performers in a crowd of delicate urbanites. And, at 33 mpg highway, it's no slouch. Throw in fresh looks, a handful of technological goodies, and an attractive price point, and this crossover looks to have the potential to run away from the also-rans. That clearly means we can wait to drive it and find out.

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